How to get a Japan visa

9 Feb

I don’t know how it is in the Philippines but I was surprised at how easy it was for me to get a Japan visa in France. I was a bit stressed when preparing the documents for the application because I didn’t read the requirements all the way through. On the website, I saw the following sentence in red and I just stopped there.

les fichiers électroniques/duplicata/ fax/ imprimés depuis des automates ne sont pas acceptés sauf si certifiés par un cachet original de l’établissement émetteur.

You see, all our bills are electronic so we don’t actually receive any original copies by mail. Whenever we need those, we just print them out. But the Japan embassy does not accept printed out copies. So I nagged and nagged and nagged the husband to call EDF to get them to send us a copy of our electricity bill. To those not in France, the EDF bill is considered as proof of residence and is needed in all transactions with the government and even in buying a phone line.

Plus I have to renew my titre de sejour soon after my planned trip to the embassy for the visa and I need my passport for that one.

The copy arrived a month later. It was just then that I read the list of actual requirements.

The EDF document was not in the list of requirements. Toink! The rest of the requirements were basic visa application documents (bank statements, passports, itinerary, etc).

Here’s the list of requirements in english. You can find more information at the Japan Embassy website (in french).

  • a valid passport (non-biometric ones are accepted, like mine)
  • titre de sejour
  • visa application form
  • 1 ID photo
  • roundtrip plane reservations
  • last 3 bank statements proving you have enough funds to go on the trip
  • proof of revenue (last 3 payslips)
  • hotel reservations for the duration of the stay
  • itinerary

Not a lot of papers really. Just the usual. So imagine the face of the husband when I told him I didn’t need the EDF document after all.

You don’t need an appointment to submit the application form. You just go to the embassy between 9:30am – 12 noon. I arrived at around 9:45 and I was the 2nd one there. No lines, no hassle. It helps that the French don’t need visas to go to Japan.

So the lady gets my papers, tells me to wait for a bit while she sends the documents to her superiors.

5 minutes later, she comes back and calls me. I can claim my passport with my visa after 2 days. The cost: Free.

Cool! Apparently there’s an agreement between the Philippines and Japan that tourist visas for less than 45 days are free.


2 days later, I go back for the visa. I was the only one there. No lines, no waiting. I was in and out in 2 minutes. I love how efficient the Japanese are compared to the French. To renew my titre de sejour, I have to go to the prefecture to wait for at least 2 hours to schedule an appointment for renewal in 3 months. How lovely.

Anyway long story short….I’m all set and ready to go!


5 Responses to “How to get a Japan visa”

  1. Victoria February 9, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    Envy (again)! I badly want to go back to Japan, but it’s hecka expensive. Where and when are you going?

    It’s pretty much the same here in the Philippines, except that it’s mandatory to course it through a travel agency accredited by the Japanese Embassy. While the tourist visa is also free, the travel agency service isn’t. The travel agency can also offer pick-up and delivery.

    • xcinthecity February 9, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      Really? We did it DIY style hehe. So no extra fees. I remember you writing about your trip. Any tips on what we need to do, see, eat? 🙂

      • Victoria February 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

        I only spent a total of 30 minutes there (Golden Pavilion in Kyoto), but I’m told Nara Park is also nice…. And if you get to Osaka, do try the okonomiyaki…basta food in Japan, you can’t go wrong. =)

  2. Victoria February 9, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    Oops, just checked your previous entries now. Kansai! =)

  3. xcinthecity February 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Yup, we’re making Osaka our base for day trips around the region then 3 days in Kyoto. I’ve tried the okonomiyaki here, pero of course we have to try the original one.

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