Travelling to Japan has been our dream since we watched Spirited way. The gate pass to the land of most modern cities, unique mountains, and fantastic temples, all connected with highly efficient public transport and fascinating history, is what we wanted in 2022. However, we wondered how to get Japan Tourist Visa with so much confusion in the air due to COVID. If you wonder the same, this post will clear all the air and help you easily get your Japan tourist visa.
Is Japan giving a tourist visa now?
Yes. Japan was one of the last countries to open its borders to international tourists. In August 2022, foreign nationals could travel to Japan for leisure if only accompanied by a Japanese government-recognised travel guide. In September, they lifted that rule and let international tourists who have had at least three COVID-19 vaccinations or undergo a PCR test before travel.
As of January 1 2023, Individual tourists may visit Japan starting October 11, 2022, subject to vaccine or testing requirements as described on their official website.
Is Japan visa-free for Indians?
No. Indian citizens are eligible for E-Visa and Visas on arrival in less than 60 countries. And Japan is not one of them.
Is it easy to get Japan Tourist Visa?
Travelling through Japan with its public transport is easier than anything else in this world! BTW, that is a hop-on hop-off bus at Tokyo
Yes. We found getting a Japan tourist visa less complicated than a Schengen Visa. Their official website specifies formats, and every specific detail is clearly mentioned. There is no ambiguity in anything while applying for a Japan tourist Visa.
How can I get a tourist visa for Japan?
While applying for a Japan tourist visa, pay attention to detail like how Japanese sculptors do!
It may be daunting for many to arrange many documents with precise details. If you need your Japan tourist Visa without hassle, I recommend you go through i-Visa. Plus, they regularly update you with the COVID-19 regulations as soon as the government changes the rules. So that you don’t have t worry about the “test-no test, Quarantine-No quarantine” dilemma. They have made it easier to get many of my visas.
Does a Japan visa get rejected?
Any guess which city this is?
When I say it is easier than getting Schengen Visa, you must pay attention to the details in your documents. As Japan is an Asian country, many travellers may take the specifics prescribed by Japan MFA lightly and get their visa rejected for the silliest reason. For example –
As working employees, we submit a No Objection certificate from the employer. Usually, this letter is addressed to “Whom soever it may concern.”. But for Japan Tourist Visa, an Original NOC / Leave Approval letter from the Company letter must address to The Visa officer Japan Consulate of your city!
The best vegetarian dish in Japan I could ask for!
The bank statement is the second reason why some traveller’s Japan tourist visa requests get cancelled. Use a bank account in which you make regular transactions. If you submit the bank statement of an inactive account with a sudden or only transaction of a huge amount a few days before submitting your visa request, it creates some suspicion. Any nation’s consulate rejects this kind of bank statement, for that matter.
What are the documents required for a Japan tourist visa?
Updated as of July 5th 2023 – SOS fasttrack form filled online is not needed anymore to enter Japan as a tourist
- Original Passport (Valid for three months from the date of return) and old passports, if any.
- Photos (35mmx45mm with white background and 80% face coverage)
- Application Form – You can fill it on their PDF and download it. Trust me; this makes your life easier.
- Original Covering Letter signed by the applicant) the letter must address to The Visa officer Japan Consulate of your city.
- Initial NOC / Leave Approval letter from the Company letter must address to the Visa officer at the Japan Consulate of your city – Very important.
- Accommodation (to be blocked under the applicant/accompanying person’s name)
- Day-to-day Schedule – You need not stick to it. But make up one. Plus, ensure to use their particular format.
- Letter from the Sponsor and his/her financial documents – For retired/unemployed/students with no Income Tax Return document.
- Latest Bank Statement (3 months) with bank seal (This is not mentioned on their website. But most consulates reject the document if it is without bank seal) and IT Returns (3 years) salary slip for the last three months.
- Blocked Tickets – Always book refundable air tickets.
- Vaccination certificate – Three doses of approved vaccination.
How long does it take to get a Japan tourist visa?
It takes five working days for the consulate to process the request. Therefore, expect the approved/denied passport to reach you 8-10 days after submitting it.
How much bank balance is required for a Japan tourist visa?
It depends on how long your stay is in Japan. We travelled to Japan for 19 days and got our visa for a month. So we showed the balance of 5 Lakhs INR on our bank statement. Ensure your account has active transactions.
How much is Japan visa fee?
The visa fee is around 1000 INR for a 30-day Single entry Visa. Plus, Vfs global service charges.
How long does it take to get through immigration in Japan?
Being famous for quick and fast processes, I expected Japan’s immigration processes to be faster. But it was quite the opposite for various reasons. It took us almost 1hr to get through the immigration in December, which is off-season at Haneda airport Tokyo.
A struggle to get Japan Tourist Visa is worth it to visit these dreamy locations
- I may only know a few people who personally travelled to Japan for tourism. But Japan is one of the most popular destinations. So expect a lot of tourists like you and me to wait at the airport to explore beautiful Japan.
- Peak tourist season is during Sakura ( March to May). Expect a higher crowd in that season and be prepared for at least 2 hours to clear the immigration.
- Post-Covid, things are changing everywhere. Forms like SOS Fast track needed to be filled out by everyone entering Japan, and many tourists weren’t aware of it. Some may even have entered incorrect details, making the process even slower.
- The method may be faster if you land in other minor airports, unlike Haneda, Narita, and Kansai. But remember that the international connectivity to Haneda and Narita is the highest. Hence many travellers enter Japan through these airports.
How long does it take to clear immigration at Haneda Airport?
Tokyo’s public transport stops at 12 AM. So most people plan to exit Tokyo airport before that to save money on Tokyo’s expensive taxis. In addition, the crowd waiting for immigration to get cleared is highest between 9.30 PM to 11.30 PM. So expect a minimum of 1 hour to get your immigration process done during the off-season.
Thanks to our Cathay Pacific flight which was delayed departing from Hongkong by 1.5hrs and landed in Tokyo at 10.30, we took a taxi!
Is Haneda Airport easy to navigate?
Yes. It is very easy. Japanese have mastered the art of displaying the right information at the right spot in a precise and cute way. And they are one of the friendliest people on earth! (I thought only Iranians were the nicest, but the Japanese are on the next level). Learn some Japanese phrases. If you don’t speak Japanese, talk slowly in English. The way they pronounce English words and what we do are different. Anyways, it is easy to navigate through well equipped Haneda airport easily.
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