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Although this article is mainly about how to get a Japanese visa in Cebu, Manila, or Davao — because these are the cities in the Philippines where Japan’s accredited agencies are located — the requirements and procedure are the same for anyone anywhere else in the Philippines. Those not living in the 3 cities mentioned above simply have to go through an agency affiliated with the officially accredited agencies. Scroll down to learn more.

SGMT Japan Kyoto Gion 00

Getting a visa to visit Japan is a very simple process. You only need to:

  1. Gather your requirements; and
  2. Submit them anytime to an accredited agency — no need to make an appointment, no need to go to the Japanese embassy for an interview or biometrics.

There is a Japanese embassy in Manila, as well as consular offices in Cebu and Davao; however, starting in 2007, they no longer accept direct visa applications (except in special cases). Instead, visa applicants should just submit their requirements to any of the agencies accredited by the Japanese embassy (see list of accredited agencies below).

Moreover, a Japanese visa is completely free for all Filipinos. Applicants only need to pay the handling fee (usually around PHP 1,000) of the agency processing the visa application.

There were rumors a few months ago that Filipinos might no longer need a visa to visit Japan. This is not true (not yet anyway). What Japan did was to relax the requirements for a multiple-entry visa. You can check if you qualify for a multiple-entry visa HERE. The requirements below are for a single entry tourist visa.


  1. Philippine passport
    • Must have signature and at least two (2) blank pages.
    • The photo should not have broken lamination.
  2. Visa application form — download HERE
  3. Photo
    • 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm with white background
    • Paste photo on the application form
  4. Birth certificate
    • Must be issued by the NSO within 1 year
    • If there is no record in NSO, submit “Certificate of Non-Record” from NSO Headquarters AND birth certificate from Local Civil Registrar.
    • If birth certificate from NSO is unreadable, submit birth certificate from Local Civil Registrar.
    • If NSO birth certificate (NSO) is “Late Registration” submit baptismal certificate, school record (Form 137), and school yearbook (if applicable). Indicate complete address and landline number (if applicable) of the church in the baptismal certificate and of the school in the school record.
    • Exemption from this requirement is granted to applicants with a used Japanese visa on their current or old passport.
  5. Marriage contract, if married
    • Must be issued by the NSO within 1 year
    • In case of non-record, submit certificate of non-record together with marriage certificate from Local Civil Registrar
    • Exemption from this requirement is granted to applicants with a used Japanese visa on their current or old passport.
  6. Daily schedule (TAIZAI NITTEIHYO) in Japan

  7. Bank certificate, if applicable
  8. Income tax return (Form 2316) original and photocopy, if applicable
    • If you have work but can’t submit an ITR for some reason, you will have to say why in a letter of explanation.

If you have a Japanese guarantor (sponsor) or if you’re visiting a friend in Japan, there are additional requirements:

  1. Documents or photos to prove relationship
  2. Invitation letter from guarantor in Japan (must have handwritten signature) — download sample HERE
  3. Residence Certificate (JUMINHYO) if guarantor is Japanese and will shoulder any part of travel/living expenses
  4. Foreign Registration Certificate from City Hall if guarantor is NOT Japanese and will shoulder any part of travel/living expenses
  5. Guarantee letter (MIMOTO HOSHOSHO) — download sample HERE
  6. Income certificate (SHOTOKU SHOMEISHO) from City Hall; tax return certificate (NOUZEISHOMEISHO: Form2) from Tax Office; KAKUTEISHINKOKUSHO HIKAE or bank certificate (YOKIN ZANDAKA SHOMEISHO) — “Gensen-Choshu-Hyo” is not accepted

Please note that I didn’t have a Japanese friend/sponsor/guarantor when I went to Japan so I’m afraid I can’t answer any questions about these requirements (and honestly have no idea what some of them are). 😀

Notes from the Japanese embassy’s requirements page:

  • It is applicant’s responsibility to ensure that he/she meet the requirements for the grant of a visa. Submission of any supporting documents not listed above is encouraged (e.g. applicant’s economic or social ties with the Philippines, urgent reasons for visit: medical certificate, wedding invitation).
  • Submission of requirements does not guarantee issuance of visa.
  • If additional documents are required, applicants have three (3) months to submit them; otherwise, application will be terminated.
  • Documents submitted for application will not be returned.
  • If visa is not granted, applicants may apply again after six (6) month with the same purpose, unless there are emergency/humanitarian reasons, or if subsequent application is for a different purpose.



List of Accredited Agencies

These are the agencies officially accredited by the Japanese embassy to process visa applications. I live in Cebu so I listed the full contact details only of the agencies with offices here in Cebu (otherwise the article would get too long) but it’s very easy to get the contact info of the other agencies HERE.

National Capital Region

  • Attic Tours Philippines, Inc. (Pasay)
  • Discovery Tour Inc. (Makati)
  • Friendship Tours & Resorts Corp. (Makati)
  • Pan Pacific Travel Corporation* (Binondo | Ermita | Makati)
  • Rajah Travel Corporation (Makati | Ermita)
  • Reli Tours & Travel Agency (Las Piñas | Mandaluyong | Makati | Pasay)
  • UHI (Universal Holidays) (Makati)


  • Attic Tours Philippines, Inc.
    Lobby, Waterfront Airport Hotel, 1 Airport Road, Lapu-lapu City, Mactan Island, Cebu
    3412299 / 3412011 / 3412012 / 3412015
  • Discovery Tour Inc.
    G/F Casinillo Building, Pajo, Airport Road, Lapu-Lapu City
    Contact numbers: 3411923 / 3411935 / 09169583489 / 09994205556 / 09227698369
  • Friendship Tours & Resorts Corp.
    Unit 101 Bldg. 1, Oakridge Business Park, 880 A.S. Fortuna St., Banilad, Mandaue City
    3453459 / 3444825 / 09177243373
  • Pan Pacific Travel Corporation*
    Diplomat Hotel, 90 F. Ramos St. Cebu City
    2540343 / 2540345 / 2540347 / 2540349


  • Discovery Tour Inc. (Matina, Davao City)

*May only handle applications WITHOUT a Japanese guarantor

Note that there might be other agencies that will offer to process your Japanese visa application but, if they are not accredited, they will still have to go through the ones that ARE accredited — and your handling fee might thus be a bit higher.

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Personal Experience

I processed my visa through Friendship Tours (in A.S. Fortuna) because it was the agency nearest our house. When I arrived, there were a lot of people ahead of me but they were still filling up the forms. Tip: bring all the documents you need when you go to the agency office. I had already prepared all my requirements so they attended to me first. The agency lady went through my documents, made sure everything was there, collected my fee, and told me when I can expect to have the results. Around 2 weeks later, I received a text from Friendship Tours saying my passport (with the visa — yay!) was ready to be collected. Quick and easy.


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How to get a Japanese visa in Cebu (it’s very easy!)
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45 Responses

    1. That’s what I hope. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by even though it must not be a very relatable topic for you!

      1. I wanted to see what the process is even though it is specific to your country and Japan. I’m curious. I’ve never had to apply for a Visa, yet. When I do I hope somebody has written up some clear, easy to follow instructions for me online. =D

      2. Oooh, I know this is totally off-topic, but I was just thinking earlier that I still don’t understand how the election process in the US works, and your comment reminded me of it.

        It’s a bit different here in the Philippines — we’re holding an election later this year too, and there are 5 candidates. Whoever wants to run for president can run (they don’t need a political party) and we just show up on Election Day and vote for whomever we want. It’s a very simple process but because of the number of possible candidates, we often get a president voted for by less than half of the citizens.

        (I was thinking about your elections in the US because I just saw a video of John Oliver talking about Donald Trump.)

      3. Oh…our election process…is…weird. And possibly overly complicated.
        What’s happening right now is that each party, mainly the Republican and Democratic parties, have candidates bidding to run for their party as president. Right now the voting that’s happening is the caucuses where people vote for who they want to run as president for the political party. My state of New York doesn’t vote until April. The reason they kept talking about the Iowa caucus so much is mostly because it’s the first state to vote and set the tone.
        Depending on how the caucus goes there is a number of delegates selected, it’s different for each state based on population and stuff I don’t know(guess I should look that up!) and then later those delegates will, on behalf of their state, go vote for the presidential candidate for their party. Some of the vote collecting methods for the caucuses are extremely insane and disorganized and probably should be disqualified but are not.
        From there begins the final race and then citizens will vote for one candidate for president. That makes the “popular vote” but what really matters is the electoral college. Each state has different numbers of electoral college votes…seeming complicated yet? Depending on who the citizens vote for in their state will determine how much votes their electors get. The electors are supposed to vote on behalf of their state (and that popular vote). EEk…I hope that makes sense.
        If not try this flowchart I googled:

      4. Thanks for explaining all that! I took a look at the flowchart too. It makes a bit more sense to me now. Complicated but I suppose there’s a logic behind it…

      5. Thanks for explaining your election process to me, too! Now I can seem smart and talk about it to somebody else.
        While we’re on the subject I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter.

      6. Oh yay! At least I don’t have to hide from you the fact that I was laughing so hard at the John Oliver video. Have you seen it?

      7. I watched it after I read this the night before last but I didn’t get a moment to let you know. SO funny! DRUMPF! I was dying at the clip of Trump, I mean Drumpf, saying something like “I have a lot of words, I know great words” or something. He really is a frightening person that has no stance on anything, no opinions. He seems to takes sides based on what benefits him. Like a sociopath, but a moron.

      8. “I’m very highly educated.” 😀 😀 “I know the best words.” 😀 😀 You know, obviously, it’s none of my business who you guys elect president, but…Trump…it’s like sliding backwards. He seems a bit like a caveman, honestly. A rich caveman, but a caveman nonetheless.

      9. Well, you don’t get a vote but it is your business as it affects the rest of the world too. Many people are scared and some still think it’s impossible he could be elected. All I can do is speak up when I see an opportunity, support my party and vote. There’s a whole lot of uninformed, misinformed and generally stupid and racist people out there and that’s what scares me about the people rallying behind him. The republican party & conservatives are always despicable but this is a new low. Very dangerous.

        I saw a quote today from Stephen King on his twitter account that’s perfect “Conservatives who for 8 years sowed the dragon’s teeth of partisan politics are horrified to discover they have grown an actual dragon.”

        But yeah “I know the best words” lol OK!

        By the way have you seen that Funny or Die movie where Johnny Depp plays Trump? It was pretty funny.

      10. Ha! Will have to look that up.

        I kind of understand why there are a lot of people supporting Trump because he’s daring to say out loud the things that they think and feel. I can even understand — not necessarily agree, but understand — why some Americans would like to sort of close off your country and take care of your own people first. But I do think a leader has to be someone who can rise above primitive instincts.

      11. I don’t really understand but I sort of do probably in the same way you do. I think those people think that “we have to take care of us” thing but that’s coming from a place of ignorance. For one thing, they continue to vote for republicans that absolutely don’t give 2 shits about them or support the poor when they themselves are usually lower income and things like that. It make no sense. Next, their fears are deeply rooted in racism whether they realize it or not. This country is still very much divided by red and blue, north and south and political party lines. Ugh my head could explode. Thanks for letting me vent!!
        I looked up the Trump movie and I didn’t see the feature length video available (but I didn’t look that hard…) but the trailer is there so you can at least watch that or find a photo of Johnny in his Trump prosthetics and makeup. His transformation is incredible!
        PS: You are so nice. Your niceness and way of putting things, like in your comment above, made me want to write things in a nicer way if possible when what I was thinking is “OH MY GOSH I HATE ALL THOSE DUMB PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” =D

      12. Ugh in my rant a few posts back, I REALLY wanted to say all sorts of things about the people who’ve somehow whitewashed the Marcos dictatorship in their minds. I couldn’t think of a strong enough insult for what I really thought about them. 😀 But a lot of times, when I say mean things, I tend to regret it a few hours/days after so I try not to. Even if I really want to, and even if I really mean it. 😀 Good Lord, Trump seems unstoppable. I hope he doens’t succeed. A Trump presidency just somehow seems like a slide backward for America…

      13. I feel that! I don’t like to be mean for the sake of just expression myself or getting rage out of my system especially if distracts from my message or invalidates my point because I’m being a jerk. But, some people are super stupid what I can do.
        Back to a few message ago I was thinking about the “take care of our own” rationalization from people-because you’re right that some people are thinking that-and it’s so messed up because by “take care of our own” they don’t mean Americans they mean people who are like them with the same religion and beliefs. It’s very disheartening.
        A Trump presidency would be a huuuuuuuge slide backwards and extremely frightening and damaging. I’m glad that is evident to outsiders because I have no clue what the media coverage is beyond the US really.
        I read that post you wrote about the Marcos dictatorship and it was fascinating.

      14. 😀 🙁 –> It’s so funny in a sad kind of way. Sadly, some people’s beliefs are logic- ad argument-proof. The more you try to make them see why they’re wrong, the more they feel oppressed, and the more they stick to the one person they think is standing up for them. They’ll just cover their ears and say it’s the work of the “liberal media” or whatever pet hate name they have for people they disagree with.

      15. I think so too! Sad but funny but sad because it’s way too real. You mentioned the “liberal media” too and speaking of that, sort of, there’s a petition going around here. Someone has proposed that Buffalo abolish Columbus Day and instead instate Indigenous People’s Day. I am all for this. A friend posted a screen shot of the comments from people who are against ditching Columbus Day and they are so very weird. One of them says that liberals are just trying to rewrite history and another calls Buffalo, NY pathetic for always trying to change things. Uh, what??
        I signed the petition. I guess I am a liberal Buffalonian trying to change things. I don’t think it’s re-writing history but setting history straight and getting rid of whitewashing but whatever.

  1. Hello. So letter of explanation is okay even if I don’t give an ITR? Heheehe. Im an ofw now, and maybe employment contract is okay. Thank you, I got another tip, I am planning to visit Japan soon. 🙂

  2. Hi Ma’am,
    Do you have any idea how much do we have to put in for the bank certificate? Do we have to let the amount mature for months (ie 2-3mos)?
    I heard before that the money should be kept in the bank account for at least 3months. I don’t have any idea what/how the bank certificate looks like.
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi sam!

      A bank certificate is just a one-page document (often a short-sized bond paper with the bank’s letterhead) that states information like your account number, the amount of money you have in the account, your average daily balance for the year to date, and the date the account was opened.

      Regarding the AMOUNT needed, I’m not sure about this because the Japanese embassy does not state it in their website. However, the lady at the bank told me that the Japanese embassy usually requires P200,000. Again, I’m not sure if this is true because I’ve heard of people going on budget trips to Japan, so it’s possible that the bank balance needed will depend on your possible expenses (based on your itinerary) while in Japan.

      As for the TIME that the money should be kept in the bank account, it’s true that a lot of embassies usually require the bank statement of account for the previous 3 months (some even require the previous 6 months’ SOAs). Again, the Japanese embassy does not really mention this in their website, but I think it will look suspicious to them if a visa applicant suddenly acquires a huge amount of money just a short time before applying for a visa — it will look that the money does not really belong the applicant but was just put there as “show money” for the visa application.

      I hope this helps! Good luck on your visa application. 🙂

  3. Hi, ma’am I submitted my requirements this June 7 the lady agency told me to receive a message from them when the passport is ready to pick up. Its almost 2 weeks tomorrow still I did not hear from the agency. I saw and heard from other applicants that they got their visa in less than a week. I was worried these past few days that I might get denied but when I saw your blog I was bit enligthened coz you stated here that you got your visa in 2 weeks.

  4. I submitted my requirements in Friendship A.S Fortuna same as the agency where you went or submitted your documents.

  5. I read one of the agency here in Cebu
    Said when there’s a late registration of your documents. The process may take longer. That is why I’m worried bec my BC is late But I submitted my supporting documents like Form 138 and Baptismal.

    1. Hi Jewel! Sorry for the late reply; I was out of town. I hope you got your visa na!

  6. Hi! Do you have a sample of letter of explanation about having a work but cannot submit ITR? tHANKS

    1. Hi Glizza! Sorry I don’t have a sample of that because I was already in the agency office when I learned that I had to write one so I just handwrote it.

  7. Just wanna ask how many days before you got ur passport back? If you can tell the specific number of days, its much appreciated. I am kind of worried because its already 10 working days after I submitted it.

    1. Hi Margaux! Sorry I don’t remember the exact number of days but it was around 2 weeks. If you want, you can follow up with the agency you used to process the visa — did you go with one of the accredited agencies or one of their affiliates? If the latter that might explain a slight delay. Anyway I’m sure you’ll get your passport back soon enough, don’t worry about it too much. 🙂

    2. Hi Margaux!
      If you don’t mind, may I ask if your visa was granted? seeing as we’re on the same boat, I’m anxious about my application as well. I’ve submitted all the required documents including my used japan visa last year. I was pretty confident with my application but I have this horrible feeling that the longer it takes for them to release my passport, the lesser chance I’ll be given a visa. it’s been 10 working days for me as well and there’s still no word from the agency. I’m hella worried because all the feedbacks I read in travel blogs mostly indicate a denial of the application if it takes longer than the usual 5-7 days.

      1. Hi Janie and Margaux, caught in the same predicament now. tomorrow will be the 10th working day and still havent received a text from my agency. Im as worried, stressed and down. I read some blogs who were able to get theirs in just 2 working days, which is the case of my travel companion. Just want to know if you got your visa? do you thinks its ok to directly follow-up the embassy? thanks in advance.

      2. Read your post. How long before you got your passport? If it took more than 10 days. Is it approve or not? Im stressed right now. pls help enlightened me. Much appreciated. Thankyouuu

  8. maybe one of the reasons it took long for the agency to return the passports is that,in our case, we are from iloilo city.we submitted our requirements to friendship tours in a.s fortuna.we thought that it’ll be filed in japan embassy at cebu,but we were wrong coz they have yet to mail it to their manila branch and the latter will file it to japan embassy in manila.maybe thats one of the reasons for taking so long like weeks for the passports to be picked up or sent back to us…

  9. Place give your cell phone number because we want to apply for japan visa just in cebu because we are in leyte. We had already a promo round trip ticket to japan. I hope you can help us to get our visa. We had the requirement already.

  10. i have a japanese friend in hamamatsu japan and i will attens graduation ceremony on march 2018. but i will shoulder the expenses except for accomodation because i will be staying in their house, do i need to pass bank statement?

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