Japan Trip – Part 1: The VISA Drama and Arrival

Female Dorm

How are you guyss? I hope you’re doing well!

Sooo, last month I finally went to Japan. And it’s all because of Royal Pirates (RP). Haha. When they announced that they will have concert in Japan, and that time there’s still no news about Korean concert, I was very tempted to go. And yeah you know how it ended up, I impulsively bought my plane ticket to Japan. Since the concert is on February 11th & 12th, I bought my ticket for February 11th and planned to come to their concert in 12th and then traveling around. I booked my flight back from Osaka for February 19th. It’s 9 days in total, the longest trip I’ve ever done.

I didn’t know that February 7-10 is Seollal holiday when I booked the flight. After asking my friends how to apply Japan VISA from Korea, here what I got:

GENERAL REQUIREMENT for JAPAN VISA
If either a visa applicant do not intend to return to Korea or do not extend the stay of Korea after finishing the current status, Those persons need to return to their home country in order to apply for a visa to enter Japan.

The following is an outline of application procedures for someone who apply for a temporary visitor’s visa for such purposes as short-term business affairs, visits to relatives/acquaintances and tourism. It would be difficult to issue a visa to those who has not a financial stability in Korea.

It might be required the guarantor of Japan in accordance with visa applicant’s nationality or status in Korea, purpose to go to Japan  etc.

(Note.1) In either case, it is not permitted to perform activities to undertake revenue-generating business operations or activities to receive remuneration/compensation.
(Note. 2) Applicants who live in Busan, all Kyongsang province area, as well as Jeju island, they should be applied at the Consulate of Japan of jurisdiction of them.

Visa Application time is from 9:30~11:30am, 1:30~4:00pm. (Mon~ Friday)
Application place: Twin Tree Tower A, 8F. 6 Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03142
(Line 5, Gwanghwamun Station, Exit 2 / Line 3, Anguk Station, Exit 6 / Line 1, Jonggak Station, Exit 2)

map

★Documents should be submitted within 3 months from date of issue. Documents submitted at the time of application are not to be returned to the applicants, with the exception of passports. The Embassy of Japan will not make copies, if you need original documents, please bring the original and one copy.
★Basically, applicants should come here in person to apply visa. But, In some cases the application may be made by an accredited travel agent that has been approved by the Japanese Embassy / Consulate General or a proxy who bring a letter of attorney and copy of ID membership can prove that someone belong to same organization.

Visa applicant should contact to tour agent by themselves.
It doesn’t mean that they can guarantee your purpose of tourism.
They reserves the right to refuse the application if deemed necessary.

[Available tour agency list for visa proxy application]
Crown tour 02-757-4227
Damoa tour 02-720-3453
Dream tour 02-6263-0020
Boss tour Club 02-737-4450
Weekend tour 02-734-7320
Young friends 02-725-3000
Sejoong namo 02-2126-7777
Sunjin travel 02-720-2660~2

★According visa applicant’s nationality and the purpose of entry to Japan, it may required the guarantor of Japan later.
*If your visa application were cancelled or refused, that sign would be stamped on your passport by consulate.
After reviewing REQUIREMENTS by a Japanese consul, some extra documents may be required so as to go on a visa examination.
For a process will takes about 6~7work days or more(except for weekend). Visa fee is 30,000krw.

[Basic materials]
1. Visa application form signed by visa applicants with one recent photo. (4.5cm x 4.5cm)
(One photo which taken within 6 month from and must be pasted on the application form.)
http://www.kr.emb-japan.go.jp/people/ryouzibu/consulate_8_1_visaform_en.pdf
2. Original passport
3. One of followings (in accordance with the status of residence at Korea).
a. Copy of the business registration of Korea (If you are a sole proprietor/partner/owner of the company)
And recent documents of business activities in Korea.(ex, Bill of landing during the year)
b. Letter of employment verification of you that issued recent by employer (Using the organization letterhead, It doesn’t mean a contract letter)
c. Certificate of enrollment that issued recent by university (Using the organization letterhead)
d. Spouse/parents’ Letter of employment verification as above and Certificate of alien registration with description of his/ her family relationship with all family members issued by Korea immigration.
4. Copy of valid alien registration card of visa applicant (left at least 3months)
– If a visa applicant do not intend to return to Korea, Those persons need to return to their home country in order to apply for a visa to enter Japan.
5. Documents to prove the finance situations through the bank account in Korea.
– It recommended that visa applicants should maintain enough balances of bank in Korea in a stable state. (One of belows)
a. The latest copy of updated bankbook (at least 3months~less than 6months) or
b. A list of deposit and withdraw (at least 3months~less than 6months) recently provided from bank
– It’s not mean that printed out from internet
– It must be made in writing the account owner, account number and the latest balances in English/Korean with a official stamp of bank.
– It can’t be guided how much required.
6. A flight (or boat) booking (not a ticket, just confirmation by an offer) for round trip
7. A hotel confirmation (provided shows guest name, date of check in/out by hotel)
– Not required If stay at the home of inviting person.
– Do not pay early for hotel and flight.
8. Schedule of stay (Activity plan, accommodations during of stay)
http://www.kr.emb-japan.go.jp/visa/Schedule_of_Stay.pdf (English Form)
– This should write base on the exact date of flight and accommodation.
– Not required if submitted by inviting person.
– A purpose to visit the acquaintance/kinship/organization will regard the purpose of entry as the “visit visa”, not the tourism. In this case belows documents will require.

——————————————————————————————————–
[Add materials in case of the purpose is visit to kinship/acquaintanceship/conference/ business trip etc. ]

9. Documents to prove kinship/acquaintanceship/relationship.(One of followings)
(kinship) ・Birth certificate ・Marriage certificate ・Family registration
(acquaintanceship) ・Photo(taken with inviting person) ・Letters, e-mail
(business, conference, etc.) ・Travel requisition by employer ・Letter of mission

10.【Provided from Japan】
* If visa applicant visit to the person, “specific forms” should be sent to visa applicant FROM JAPAN as belows.(forms download: http://www.mofa.go.jp )
① Letter of reason for invitation
② Schedule of stay

* In case of visa applicant have rare financial balances in Korea, they might be required add documents on the guarantor as below.
③ Letter of guarantee
④ Either one of the following documents concerning the guarantor
・A certificate of income
・A certificate of deposit balance
・A photocopy of the counterfoil of final tax return with the seal of reception of the TaxOffice.(e-Tax : submit 「Receipt Notification」and 「Final Tax Return」)
・A certificate of tax payment (Form 2)
((Note) Please submit the document including gross income.
⑤ A certificate of residence (with description of his/ her family relationship with all family members)
– a Certificate of residence without omission of matters listed, and a photocopy of his/her passport (including the pages of status items, the record of entry/departure, and permission of residence)
⑥ A photocopy of the both sides of the valid residence card (only foreigner, the Alien Registration)

* If visa applicant visit to the company/organization/conference,  “specific forms” should be sent to visa applicant FROM JAPAN as belows.(forms download: http://www.mofa.go.jp )
① Letter of reason for invitation
② Schedule of stay
③ Letter of guarantee
④ An incorporation register of the company/ organization
・A stock exchange-listed company does not need to submit a copy of the incorporation register or an overview of  the company/organization if it submits its quarterly corporate report.
・When an individual is extending an invitation, submit the “Certificate of Employment” in lieu of a copy of the incorporation register or an overview of the company/organization.

Since I heard my friends finished their application only in 1-2 days, I wasn’t that worried when I went to apply my VISA really close to my departure date (February 2nd, Tuesday). I could only apply on that day because I need to wait my home deposit back. In Korea, you need to pay deposit when you enter the house and they’ll give it back to you when you move out. And it’s quite a lot of money. So when I first came, the staff questioned my bank account transaction. He asked me to give proof where this money came from. Ayee. Since I lived far from Seoul and I need to do other things and another off-the-record drama, I finally came back the next day (February 3rd, Wednesday) with my home contract. The staff finally accepted my application documents. I was kinda worried if I don’t have enough time since they’ll close because of Lunar New Year holiday from Saturday to Thursday which is my planned departure date. So, I only had 2 more days.

The next day, I emailed the embassy. They asked if I moved out and had to pay deposit too. So I sent them my new room contract by email and told them that I didn’t need to pay deposit this time. And no news after that. The next day, I was panicked. I sent another email, asking and kinda begging if it’s possible to finish by that day or I need to reschedule my flight. They asked for other bank transaction print out for the last 1 month from that day. Maybe they were worried that it’s a fake transaction I made to fulfill VISA application requirement. It was almost 11am, so I could only give them during the second batch of application (after 1.30pm). And if that’s the case, I wasn’t sure if they can finish it on that day. I sent the print out from internet banking even though they stated they don’t receive from internet banking. And then I rushed into the bank, it was finished around 11.20am. I sent the picture by email. And in 10 minutes, they send another email telling me that my VISA is ready. OTL. If it couldn’t be finished that day, I need to reschedule my flight, which means no RP Concert for me. That possibility made me kinda disappointed. But yeah, at the end it all turned out great! I can finally go based on my initial plan. Yeayy!

The D-Day
I arrived at the Incheon airport around 1pm since my flight was at 2.50pm. I took Jeju Air which maximum allowed check-in baggage is 15kg. Turned out my baggage was a little over that, 15.3kg. But Jeju Air isn’t that strict, they let it pass without any fee nor asking me to take some stuff. After check in and immigration thingy, I tried to find prayer room. It’s located in Departure Hall, next to Gate 24, after SM Duty Free. It’s easy to find. But since it’s a multi-faith prayer room, no prayer mat or mukena available. There’s no wudhu/ablution facility too. There’s compass picture on one of the room corner, some visitors made drawing to point out qiblat. I don’t know which one is correct but I follow the one which point out on the door direction.

prayer room

Prayer Room in Incheon International Airport

My flight after that was on time, I arrived at Narita around 5pm. I still couldn’t believe it when I arrived. Japan immigration officers are really kind and nice, I felt very welcomed. After taking my baggage, I was asked to open it but the officer was really kind. I didn’t feel offended at all. He also helped me arrange the stuffs again.

Done with the baggage thingy, I went to Lawson nearby to buy Fujiko F. Fujio Museum (Doraemon Museum) ticket. I wanted to go there the next day since it’s in Kawasaki and the concert was also in Kawasaki. We can’t buy the ticket in the museum, we can only buy it through machine (loppi) in Lawson. And the entrance time is divided into 4 blocks everyday, at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm. Visitors must enter the museum no later than half an hour within the reservation time schedule. Read more about how to buy the ticket here. The machine is all in Japanese. So, I asked for Lawson staff’s help. But she’s kinda confused after entering my name. I told her to type my name in katakana part since it’s not Japanese name. But then she couldn’t find button to go to the next process. Turned out she need to put on the hiragana part instead of katakana, and the katakana will be automatically filled. Hahaha. After she put my name in hiragana, she was like ‘Only えか?’ I wanted to type in my middle name, but I forgot how to  write it in hiragana. So I asked her to type in my middle name which become really weird in Japanese. Hahaha. Actually, I learned Japanese at high school for 2 years, but seems nothing is left in my brain. xD It took so long for us to finish the reservation process. LOL. But after got the slip from loppi and paid it on the counter, I finally got my ticket! Yeay!

My flight landed in Terminal 3. And because the train station to Tokyo is in Terminal 1 and 2, I walked to Terminal 2 through the walkway. I was really hungry, so I had dinner first before heading to the station. I went to halal tempura restaurant on the 4th floor of Terminal 2 called Tentei. It’s kinda expensive tho. Around 1000yen including tax. T.T

tentei

Halal Tempura Restaurant in Narita Airport, Tentei

After eating, I went to buy Suica card because I read that if I want to travel outside Tokyo I need to buy Suica instead of Pasmo. Tried to find the machine but I couldn’t find it, so I bought from the staff in the office in front of the machine for Pasmo. To keep me on budget, I also went to buy Tokyo Subway 3-Day Pass. I didn’t read the description carefully, so thought I can buy it on JR Train Office. Turned out I couldn’t. Yup, I was still confused about Tokyo subway system that time. And I’m still confused even now. I finally bought it on the 1st floor of Terminal 2, on Keisei Bus outlet. It costed 1500yen for 3-day pass and valid for Tokyo Metro and Toei Line. Not valid for JR Lines.

subway pass

Tokyo Subway 3-Day Ticket

Then I went to my hostel using subway JR line to Bakurocho station. It’s still confusing me how the same train can change to another line, tho. After an hour and half, I finally arrived in Bakurocho. My hostel is in Akihabara area. It was around 9.30pm when I arrived. I didn’t have internet since I sent the simcard I booked here directly to the hostel because it’s a little bit cheaper than sending it to post office in the airport. And the station exit confused me. I asked staff how to get to my hostel, and he was really kind to explain so I could understand. It was very quiet outside, and I wasn’t sure if I took the right way. But no one was around, shops were already closed. But glad my instinct that time worked well, I finally arrive at my hostel called Grids Lounge Hostel Akihabara.

I actually planned to go to Shibuya that night, but because it’s very quiet outside and late from my initial plan and I was tired too, I decided to just stay at the hostel. It’s a capsule hostel. So I only had space to sleep. Hahaha.

Btw, I need to rent electric adaptor since Japan has different electrical plug. Had no time to bought it before I came there. And that’s how my first day in Japan!

Will continue on the next post! ^^

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