2022 Japan Travel Guide for Filipinos
Envious of your favorite anime characters when they noisily slurp up their ramen2 on their chabudai3 or when they drink their hot cup of matcha4 under the pink Sakura trees5? Why not experience it firsthand? Visit Japan and do these things yourself.
Try wearing kimono6 while walking under the Fushimi Inari shrine7 to get a glimpse of their culture or take a picture with the famous Glico Running Man in Dotonbori8. You could even experience Japan by not having to socialize nor having the need to communicate in introvert-friendly establishments such as restaurants like Ichiran Ramen and other one-seater dine-in places. Also, you would be surprised that almost everything can be bought from vending machines, even freshly cooked ramen, and these vendos are conveniently placed and can be seen on every corner of Japan.
Prepare your Japan trip by following below travel guide curated for Filipinos who would want to visit Japan and experience yourself its serene nature as well as its advance technologies.
Determine what type of visa you need
As of writing, Japan is open to Filipino leisure travellers from countries on the “blue list,” including the Philippines, as long as they booked a GUIDED GROUP TOUR with AN ACCREDITED TRAVEL AGENCY. Take note that the “blue list” is subject to change from time to time. For more information regarding border measures, may refer to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan consular services.
Also, Filipinos will need to acquire visa as Philippines is not among the sixty-eight countries who are listed as visa exempted (short-term stay) in Japan.
Choose from categories below to learn more about acquiring a short-term stay visa fit for your travel need:
- Single Entry Visa
- Multiple Visa for Nationals of Republic of the Philippines for Business Purpose, and Cultural or Intellectual Figures
- Multiple Entry Visas (for other kind of Short-Term Stay)
- Filipino parents of Japanese-Filipino Children (JFC) who are traveling to Japan with the children
For more details regarding short-term visa requirements, check here.
Check travel restrictions and regulations
So far for Filipinos wishing to visit the land of the rising sun, regardless of the vaccination status, the on-arrival test, home quarantine and other measures are not required. Below are the requirements for Filipinos travelling to Japan.
To be able to enter Japan, Philippine passport holders must secure the following requirements:
- Passport with at least six months validity
- Valid Japan tourist visa
- Negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure and uploaded here. No more tests nor quarantine required upon arrival.
Note: Starting September 7, 2022, border controls are planned to be eased by removing requirements for pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travellers who have received a minimum of three vaccine doses as announced by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Furthermore, he is also considering the increasing of the daily entry caps as soon as next month. More details regarding this announcement can be found here.
- Health insurance with COVID-19 coverage
- Registration to the MySOS and COCOA mobile apps, at least six hours before arrival
- Must book a guided group tour with an accredited travel agency. Independent leisure travellers may NOT yet enter Japan.
For updates on border measures, check this link every now and then before travelling.
Note: Especially for those Filipinos coming back from abroad, when entering the Philippines, travellers (whether Filipinos or foreign) must fill-up e-Travel Registration, a mandatory requirement for arrival in the Philippines, imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) that started last December 1, 2022. Make sure the form is filled-up and you have the QR code for this ready before checking in to your flight.
Must do and see in Japan
Visit Anime/Manga themed Parks
You can find this interactive theme park in the north of Awaji Island, in Hyogo prefecture. It is where you can spot the Hokage Rock and a real-life Ramen Ichiraku. Furthermore, this park does not only feature Naruto-inspired attributes but also it is home to other internationally famous manga and movie characters such as Godzilla, and Crayon Shin Chan.
This is an indoor theme park located in Tama New Town, Tokyo, where you can meet Hello Kitty and other world-famous Sanrio characters. Hello Kitty fans can enjoy cute character shops, live shows, parades, and LOTS of pink in this theme park.
This theme park in Osaka is among the most popular and frequently visited theme park in Japan as it covers a wide spectrum of entertainment based on blockbuster Hollywood movies, from thrilling rides to shows featuring popular characters. It also has limited time attractions varying per period such as Attack on Titan, One Piece, Detective Conan and many more! Passes can be bought on their official website or through Klook.
This is the world’s first ever Ghibli Park that just newly opened last November 1 2022. It’s location is within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Nagakute city near Nagoya. Studio Ghibli fans can expect to explore the five areas of the park: Hill of Youth, Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse, and Dondoko Forest that are based on Studio Ghibli’s most famous and beloved movies. Check out this trailer by Aichi for Studio Ghibli Theme Park.
- Bullet train (Shinkansen)
Shinkansen bullet trains are the fastest and most convenient way of discovering Japan. The Japan Rail (JR) network is extensive and the trains reach a top speed of 320 km/h (199mp/h). This is the best way to get to different points in Japan as it has nine Shinkansen lines
- Giant moving Gundam
This can be found in the Yokohama Gundam Factory. Gundam fans can witness the 18 meter tall robot bending its limbs and assuming different positions in this site until March 2023. The robot pilot-operated “mech” (a large mechanical automaton with a human operator inside) is the first moving mech of its type.
- High-tech toilets
Toilets are one of the many foreign visitors initially get confused with but praise afterwards when visiting Japan. Many toilets in Japan feature a lot of buttons that are very helpful in doing your “business”. Some helpful features, especially for winter, are warming of toilet seat, water shower that washes your bottom with adjustable temperature. dries you with warm air, flushes automatically and even closes the lid when it senses you stand up and leave the toilet.
Japan is a haven for shoppers as it is abundant of stores selling various merchandise from traditional souvenirs, foods, to the latest electronics and trendiest fashion brands that may max out your budget for pasalubongs. Make sure to bring ample cash with the right currency and bring backup source like debit cards that you can use to withdraw funds from ATMs worldwide just like the Security Bank Debit card.
Two of Japan’s large cities such as the Tokyo and Osaka, are home to several shopping districts where you can get almost everything from branded goods upto thrift finds. Also, don’t forget to drop by on a Don Quijote store a.k.a Donki, the largest discount store chain in Japan which has 160 locations throughout Japan that you wouldn’t need to worry trying to find one, and get as many Kitkat flavors as you can.
How to manage your Japan Trip budget
Fulfilling your dreams of visiting Japan doesn’t have to be costly. According to BudgetYourTrip, the average daily expense for a budget travel style would cost you around ¥5,978 (around P2500) per day per person in Japan.
When getting your plane tickets, check patiently from time to time the ticket prices in Google flights or Skyscanner. And be sure to be one of the first ones to know about airline promos by following their social media accounts, constantly checking their websites and applying for their free memberships. Know more hacks about how to score cheap airline fares by checking this blog. And, if it is your first time travelling abroad, check out this blog to learn tips and advice before going abroad.
For airlines offering direct flights from Philippines to Japan, check this list:
Furthermore, you can minimize your travel cost by using your credit card rewards points in purchasing flight tickets, booking hotels and even in shopping. If you don’t have credit card yet, check out this Security Bank Mastercard Credit Card that can be used worldwide and even offer installments and ready cash services whenever and wherever you needed.
So what are you waiting for? Book that flight to Japan now and fill your social media accounts with pictures of Japan foods you ate and iconic spots you visited. Don’t forget to share this blog to your family and friends who are also planning to visit Japan. Hope this curated 2022 Japan travel guide for Filipinos will make your travel-planning easier.
And if you are also aiming to go to South Korea this year, check out this curated 2022 South Korea Travel Guide for Filipinos.
(1)Konnichiwa – said between late morning (11am) and early evening (5pm) in Japan. It’s a formal kind of saying “Hello!”
(2)ramen – noodle soup dish
(3)chabudai – short-legged table used in traditional Japanese homes
(4)matcha – finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves
(5)Sakura trees – cherry blossom trees
(6)kimono – traditional Japanese garment and the national dress of Japan
(7)Fushimi Inari shrine – head shrine of the kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
(8)Glico Running Man in Dotonbori – Dōtonbori’s most recognizable landmarks, is a giant neon sign depicting a runner crossing a finish line