Where to stay in Osaka, Japan?

Last year, when we visited Japan for the first time, we stayed at Peace House Showa Conveniently located near Tennoji / Dobutsuen-mae Station. We were overwhelmed by their hospitality. Everyone in the house is friendly and you can feel the warmth in the cold winter.

Click image to book

This year, we again booked with them however the house is already full!  Good thing they opened a new Peace House! Peace House Abeno is just a few steps away from Peace House Showa. The address is 2 Chome-3-24 Sanno, Nishinari Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 557-0001, Japan.

PROS
– very friendly and helpful staff!
– Very affordable
– very comfortable stay
– very clean
– walking distance from Tennoji / Dobutsuen-mae Station
– walking distance from tourist spots (Shi-tennoji Temple, Tennoji Park, Tennoji Zoo, Abeno Harukas, Tsutenkaku Tower)
– Free coffee / hot drinks (do it yourself)
– Free use of induction cooker (you can save a lot if you can cook haha)
– Free toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, cotton buds and others)
– Free and very fast wifi

CONS
– sometimes noisy when other guests are getting loud at the lobby

Stay is 2500 yen (1065 pesos) per person, per night. (Please note that price may change depending on the season). So if you’re looking for a place to stay in Osaka, I recommend staying with Peace House. 🙂

Book now thru Agoda!

Here are some pictures taken during our stay.

Peace House Abeno
Welcome to Peace House Abeno!
Peace House Abeno shoe rack
Shoe rack
Peace House Abeno lobby
Lobby
Peace House Abenobed
Bunk Bed
Peace House Abeno shower
Shower
Peace House Abeno lavatory
Lavatory
Peace House Abeno toilet
Toilet (it’s automatic!)
Peace House Abeno kitchen
Kitchen
Peace House Abeno coffee
Feel free to make your self a coffee or tea

Facing the Immigration Officer at NAIA

You got everything planned, you already invested so much of your time, money and resources for this vacation. You already have expectations (vs reality haha) and you even have the captions ready for your social media posts. Too much hype and emotional investments.

But before that dream vacation comes to life, you have to go through the immigration officer. The one person that can ruin everything you have planned. I have read quiet a lot of horror stories about them and I had my fair share of butterflies whenever I’m about to face an IO.

The Immigration Officer
I noticed they don’t smile and they don’t greet back. They show no emotion and are very strict and will go straight with the questioning. I think they are trained like that to show that they are in authority.

Here are the requirements that you need to show to the IO.

REQUIRED
Passport – at least 6 months before expiry
Visa (if applicable) – valid visa to your country of destination
Round Trip Tickets – to show that you intend to come back.

SUPPORTING DOCS
(You don’t really have to have all these but if you can bring them (specially for first timers) the better so you can have all the supporting documents you need in case the IO asks for more questions, you can easily show them proof)

Company ID / COE – to show that you are currently employed and have a job to come back to
Itinerary – for touring / sightseeing purposes
Plane Ticket Receipt – to show that the tickets are already paid
Hotel Booking / Confirmation – proof that you have a place to stay
ITR – shows your earning, to prove that you can support this vacation
Approved Leave of Absence – can be a letter or a screenshot of the calendar/leave app. Supporting document to show that you are on leave for the intended dates of your vacation
ATMs/Credit Cards – backup money abroad
ATM Receipts – to show you still have money
Birth Certificate – just bring this in case you’re questioned about your age

I always greet them but they don’t seem to care and just start with their questions. Below are the ones they usually ask:

Where are you going?
Purpose? (they will ask you about your itinerary so better know it by heart)
Who are you going with? (in my opinion, it’s easier to pass the IO if the airline itinerary reflects the people you’re traveling with)
Where will you stay? (show them the hotel confirmation)
How many days are you going to stay? (you can show them your approved leave of absence)
Where do you work? (they will ask for the company ID)
How long have you been employed? (show them the COE in case they ask for it)

There’s only 1 rule when it’s your turn for the interview: Don’t Lie.
That’s basically it. Just don’t lie about your purpose of going out of the country and you’ll be fine. Answer them with confidence (and excitement too) and be consistent. If you don’t have anything to hide then you won’t have problems with them and you’ll be on your way to the boarding gate.

Now go ahead and fulfill how you want this tour to be! 🙂

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Japan Visa Without ITR 2316 – Letter of Explanation

This post is for those hesitant to apply for Japan Visa because they don’t have an ITR and feel they won’t get approved. I’d like to share this experience hoping to give you light and at least lessen your worries in getting the visa approved! 🙂

 

 

We recently applied for Japan Visa last October and my girlfriend does not have an ITR because she just got hired this year (ITR will be released next year). We wrote a letter to the Embassy stating why we can’t provide it.

I believe that this example can also be used by freelancers, housewives, students, or anybody who can’t provide the ITR. Below is the letter, feel free to edit it as per your details and reason. Good luck with your application! 🙂

The Office of the Consul General
The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
2627 Roxas Boulevard
Pasay City, Metro Manila 1300

October 17, 2016

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am personally requesting for a single entry visa for myself. I am (Your Name), bearer of Philippine Passport # (ABC12345), and resident of (Complete Address). I am currently employed as a (Job Title) at (Company) with office address at (Complete Company Address).

I am writing to your office to let you know that I am lacking the required Income Tax Return BIR Form 2316. I just got employed this year and my company cannot provide the ITR for 2016 because it will be released early 2017. Attached herewith is my Certificate of Employment as well as other required documents.

I will be flying to Japan on (Departure Date) and will stay until (Return Date) only together with my family/friends for sightseeing and touring. I guarantee that I will not become a public charge or burden during my stay in Japan and will strictly follow all rules.

I am hoping for your positive response. Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

___________________
Your Name

 

Got your visa approved? Don’t forget to book your stay now, check out deals in Agoda!

 

 

 

 

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Tips on How to Get Japan Tourist Visa 2020

1

With all these promo fares/seat sales everywhere, going to Japan has become very affordable. The sad part though, we  have to apply for a visa to enter Japan and there lies the “uncertainty” about this dream of visiting the Land of the Rising Sun.

Below is the list of requirements that’s needed to apply for a visa (for Tourist WITHOUT Guarantor) as well as some notes that’s purely based on my experience. I applied twice and has been granted two times. I now got 5 year multiple-entry visa. 

MAIN REQUIREMENTS

Philippine Passport
– must have your signature
– at least two blank pages
I applied for 4 persons and the agent noticed that one of our friend’s passport does not have a signature. The agency will NOT accept your application if your passport is unsigned.

Visa Application Form (Download Here)
– it is an editable PDF, fill out the necessary information and print. Don’t forget your signature.
– if you trust your penmanship, go for it. Just make sure there’s no erasure.
– always put N/A when not applicable
– some agencies will not accept your application form if it’s not printed in A4. -_-

Photo
– photo studios know the specs
– must be with white background
– wear something with collar (or you can opt to have it edited)
– no smiling

Birth Certificate
– must be from PSA and issued within a year
– if you have an old Japan Visa, you are exempted!
I have an old Japan Visa from last year but I still ordered a copy of my birth certificate just to be sure hehe. The agent from Friendship Tours returned my birth certificate upon seeing my old visa.

Marriage Contract (if the applicant is married)
– must be from PSA and issued within a year
– again, if you have an old Japan Visa, you are exempted!

Daily Schedule in Japan (Download Sample Here)
– your itinerary
Realistically, you should submit a real one to show how many days and where you intend to stay and the places you’re going to. In my opinion, your show money (bank certificate) will be judged based on your itinerary.

Bank Certificate
– must be addressed to Embassy of Japan in the Philippines
– request this from your bank (must be the branch where you opened your account)
– BPI and BDO charge P100 for this
– some banks will furnish this right the moment you request, some will make you wait, some will ask you to come back the next day.
The big question on this matter is “how much?”. There is no minimum stated in the website. Your ITR must atleast reflect your bank cert. To be safe, six digit figure.

Income Tax Return (Form 2316)
– request this from your Finance/HR
– original and photocopy
The agency will get just the photocopy, I always give the original though haha.

ADDITIONAL

Below documents are really “not required” but if you can submit them, that’s a whole lot better. I believe submitting these will increase your chances of getting your visa approved (just my opinion).

Certificate of Employment
– must state your position, tenure, and salary.
– request HR to put the gross annual income to make it look like a big amount 😉

Airline Tickets
– print the itinerary / receipt and attach together with your main requirements.
In my opinion, roundtrip tickets give them the idea that you will be returning and will not overstay.

Accommodation Booking
– print the confirmation email from your hotel and attach together with the main requirements. For your stay in Japan, I highly recommend booking thru Agoda.

WHERE TO APPLY

Rajah Travel Corporation
– Handling fee is P1500
– Address: 3rd Floor 331 Building, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City.
Applied Monday, got the result on Wednesday. They just say that the passport is ready for pickup. So there’s this question whether the visa is granted or denied. Moment of truth!

Friendship Tours
– Handling fee is P1200
– conveniently located at 3F Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.
Applied Monday, Thursday still no word. Called to follow up during lunch time and I was told to wait for a call around 4-5PM. Around 5PM, I got a call saying our (a team of 4) visa has been APPROVED!

SUMMARY

Plan your trip months away so you can get cheap tickets and deals as well as a lot of time to process documents.

Prepare and submit all the required documents to the accredited agencies. If you can provide additional documents to prove you can finance your travel and that you will be returning, the better. Also apply at least a month before your flight so you have ample time should they require supporting documents.

The hard part though is waiting. There’s this uneasy feeling and thoughts about the result. Paranoid about the incoming texts/calls hoping it’s the agency. The longer the wait, the more we think negatively. I know it’s hard to keep calm, it’s Japan we’re talking about! 🙂

Good luck with your application!

Questions / thoughts? Feel free to comment below!

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