Japan Visa – Schedule of Stay

Some friends of mine heading to Japan have been asking me for the Schedule of Stay document which is required for the tourist visa application.

I usually send them thru email but sometimes I don’t have access and it’s hard to dig to old emails.  There are also times where I tell them that I’ll send the file and then boom forgot about it. (Sorry friends, I’m a very busy person you know lol).

I have been forwarding this document since 2015! So here goes, for everyone’s access – the Schedule of Stay. For now I can only offer Osaka and Tokyo since I haven’t been to other parts of Japan.

Just click below to download:

Osaka Schedule of Stay 

Tokyo Schedule of Stay

Quick note when you edit:

The date on the top right should be the date of your visa application
The dates on the first column should be the actual dates of your trip to Japan.
The Activity Plan are your day-to-day itinerary.
The Contact is your contact person but if you don’t have it, just put the name of the hotel.
The Accommodation is your hotel/guest house/hostel.

Print it on an A4 size paper and you’re done with one of the requirements for your Japan Visa Application!

I hope it helps! Good luck! 🙂

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osaka schedule of stay

Amazing Osaka Pass

I haven’t traveled much. I’ve only seen Osaka in Japan and I can say I’m very much happy with the city. There’s always something new each time I visit and I can’t help but come back every time I have the chance. Good thing there’s Osaka Amazing Pass which gives tourists access to free or discounted rates for attractions.

Why is it so amazing?
Unlimited rides on trains/buses
Free passes on different attractions/facilities
Discounts/special offers on other attractions/facilities/restaurants and shops

Where to buy?
Available on all subway stations. Just ask the station crew near the automatic gate and they’ll be happy to assist you.

How much?
1 or 2-day pass available, costs 2300 yen and 3000 yen respectively. The 2-day deal is worth it!

How to use?
For attractions/tourist spots, just present your Amazing Osaka Pass at the counter and they will scan it. For trains, just insert the pass in the automatic ticket gate. Don’t forget to get it back.

Note : Note that there are trains and attractions that are not covered. Be sure to read the guide and plan accordingly.

Below is the list of tourist spots that you can enter for FREE with this Amazing Osaka Pass

Umeda Sky Building – I’m really bitter about this since we failed to be here 😥
HEP Five Ferris Wheel
The Museum of Oriental Ceramics
Osaka Science Museum
Natural Hot Spring Naniwa no Yu
Osaka Museum of Housing and Living
Tombori River Cruise / Tombori River Jazz Boat
Dotombori ZAZA
Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum
Entrepreneurial Museum of Challenge and Innovation
Osaka Castle Museum
Osaka Castle Nishinomaru Garden
Osaka Museum of History
Peace Osaka
Tsutenkaku Tower
Shitennoji Temple
Osaka Zoo
Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts
Nagai Botanical Garden
Osaka Museum of Natural History
Sakura Konohana Kan
Natural Open-Air Hot Spring Spa Suminoe
Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel
Cruise Ship Santa Maria / Cruise Ship Santa Maria Twilight Cruise
Captain Line
Osaka Preferectural Government Sakashima Building Observatory
Osaka-Suijyo Bus (Aqua-Liner)
Okawa River Sakura Cruise
Nakanoshima Night View Cruise

The 2-day deal was worth it. We really took our time in each of the facilities we visited so we weren’t able to see everything listed. Next time, we’ll get the rest 🙂

Denden Town – Otaku Haven in Osaka

One of my favorite spots in Osaka is Nipponbashi also known as Denden Town. It is home to anime, manga, video games and gadgets (heaven!) and is comparable to Tokyo’s Akihabara Shopping District. I wish I had more time to explore each building here.

From Namba, DenDen Town is just a walk away. 😀

Animate Osaka

ANIMATE – a building full of everything manga and anime!

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy CD

Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX. All are, of course ,Japan region.

Osaka Gundam

Osaka Gundam – All-Gundam building!

iphone store

Simple iPhone store

action figure store

Store specializing in action figures and plushies

nipponbashi

A street in Nipponbashi

laptops for sale

Laptops For Sale

buying headset

Me buying headset. Audio Technica ❤

old generation console

Old generation consoles

Dining in Osaka and How to Save Money on Food

“Is it expensive in Japan?” is probably the most asked question regarding my trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. I give them the sudden “YES” as an answer and they got skeptical if they can afford it. The truth is, everything is quiet expensive in Japan but of course there is always a way to minimize your spending especially on food. 🙂

Tips on How to Save Money on Food

1. Cook for yourself – our guesthouse offers free use of kitchen but sadly my girls can’t cook haha

2. Compare Pricing – restaurants are typically next to each other with menus displayed outside, check them out and compare.

3. Group Meals – There are meals that are good for x number of people and you can just divide the cost within the group. What you see is what you get. We were afraid that the serving won’t be enough however, our expectations were highly exceeded when our orders arrived!

4. Eat All You Can Buffet – there are some really nice buffets and only costs 1000 yen which I think is a pretty good deal already. I guess I’ll have a separate post on this 😉

Osaka is known as “Japan’s Kitchen” and yes there’s food everywhere. Dotonbori, Namba, and Tsutenkaku are my favorite spots to dine. Here are some pictures to give you idea about the food pricing 🙂

japan sweet potato

I love sweet potatoes! Costs 170 yen each (75 pesos) and still raw. The one at Osaka Castle is 400 yen each!

butaman

Butaman (pork bun) 170 yen each

fried chicken japan

Fried Chicken for 999 yen. Our group of 4 can’t even finish this! Each one contributed 250 yen only

pancit japan noodles

Pancit (noodles) 999 yen also. 250 yen per head since we’re a group of 4.

tonkatsu tempura

Tonkatsu and Tempura. I forgot the price sorry but it’s also very affordable

japan food pricejapan food pricejapan food pricejapan food pricejapan food pricejapan food pricejapan food price

Utada Hikaru <3

It was 2003 – I vividly remember how Utada Hikaru gave me this indescribable feeling upon hearing her song “Simple and Clean” from the ending of the hit video game Kingdom Hearts. You don’t always come across that kind of song that will shake you and stay forever. Right then and then I became a fan.

Utada Hikaru, in my opinion, is the most unique artist. To me, every artist pales in comparison to her. She does almost everything when it comes to her music. She and her music is such a great source of inspiration. Whenever I see a connection – even how little it is – I always reference to her. I like taking pictures and captioning her lines. My wordpress name and tagline is a reference to her.

Fast forward – I’m on my 14th year of being a fan of the most successful singer-songwriter in Japan! My wish is to see her perform live in concert and I got the feeling that it’ll be soon! Btw, her birthday is today, January 19! ❤

That said, going to Japan means rooting for Hikaru!

soundpak denden town

at Soundpak Denden Town

utada hikaru cd

Treasures found!

tower records abeno hoop

Wild Life at Tower Records Abeno Hoop

tower records fantome utadatower records fantome utada

Fantome at Tower Records Namba. I wish I could take home that promotional stand!

Cruising in Japan

The City of Osaka offers a lot of things you can do and experience during your stay. How about a cruise? Lucky we have the rivers and the Bay Area in Osaka. Not the luxurious type of cruise, but hey, it’s fun! If you have the Amazing Osaka Pass, you can enjoy these short cruises for FREE. Yup.

 

tombori river cruise tombori river jazz

Tombori River Cruise / Tombori River Jazz Boat
Dotombori River Cruise around the area. The Jazz Boat has live jazz performance. Sounds fun!

cruise ship santa maria

Cruise Ship Santa Maria 
One Piece! Not really… but hey, it looks like a pirate ship! 🙂

osaka bay area sunset

Osaka Bay Area sunset

cruise ship santa maria twilight cruise

Cruise Ship Santa Maria Twilight Cruise
BEAUTIFUL. This is the 4PM cruise. We thought the Twilight Cruise starts “after” the day cruise which ends at 4pm but NO. When we arrived, around 4:45 (cause the sun is about to set), the ship is about to dock and the crew said they’re closed already.

santa maria cruise ship

MC near the Santa Maria

captain line cruise

MC before boarding the Captain Line (Shuttle Cruiser that connects the Kaiyukan West Pier and the Universal City Port) which is just few steps away from the Santa Maria Cruise.

captain line cruise inside

Aboard the Captain Line Cruise. Stolen shot taken by our friend. Sweet isn’t it? 🙂

tempozan ferris wheel from captain line cruise ship

30 minute roundtrip and we’re mesmerized with the view of Tempozan Ferris Wheel, the ships at the port, and the breathtaking sunset.

Also, you can avail of these cruises : Osaka Suijyo Bus (Aqua-Liner), Okawa River Sakura Cruise, Nakanoshima Night-View Cruise, when you’re around the Osaka Castle Area. It was raining so my team got lazy to get to these. Too bad </3

 

Shitenno-ji Temple : The Oldest Temple in Japan

A trip to Japan without a visit to a temple would be incomplete. Shitteno-ji Temple is considered as the oldest temple in Japan and was built in the year 593.

To get there, take a train to Tennoji Station and it is about 15 minutes walk from the station. Entrance fee is 300 yen, granted free for Amazing Osaka Pass holders. Some areas do not allow picture taking specially inside the temples which houses a big golden Buddha statue. The scent here is so strong and is unique to me. We climbed one of the pagodas thru a spiral staircase (it’s tiring haha)

One thing that made me really excited about going here is the fact that
it resembles the Shrine of Suzaku from the anime Fushigi Yuugi. There’s this feeling of being transported back to the olden times as I listened to the opening song of the anime.

Check out the pictures! Please excuse my Fushigi Yuugi fandom caption alright? 🙂

shittenoji temple gate

Gate to the Temple

shittenoji temple

Shittenoji Temple

shittenoji temple seiryu

Seiryushittenoji temple main

The Main Temple which houses the giant golden Buddha statue

shittenoji temple pagoda

Waiting for the Priestess of Suzaku

shittenoji temple pagoda

One of the Pagodas

shittenoji temple neighborhood

This place reminds me of Tenchu where you grappling hook to the roof

shittenoji temple surrounding

Surrounding

shittenoji temple drinking fountain

Drinking Fountain! The water here is so cold and it is unique in taste, it’s like a miracle drink

shittenoji temple with abeno harukas

Shittenoji Temple with Abeno Harukas at the background

Abeno Harukas – Japan’s Tallest Building

One thing you can easily notice in Osaka is a really tall building, well it is not just a tall building, it is Japan’s tallest building. According to their website, the name of the skyscraper “Abeno Harukas” comes from the old Japanese expression “harukasu” which means “to brighten, to clear up“. As for someone who loves the skies and clouds, going here is a must.

To get there, go to Tennoji Station. Entrance fee is 1500 yen. We’re lucky because the building is located just few minutes walk from our guesthouse. 🙂

You’ll be amazed with the elevator, it was very fast and it got the time-travel-to-the-future feels. 58th – 60th floor is the observatory where you can enjoy 360 degrees bird’s eye view of Osaka up above 300 meters!

Here are some pictures taken during our visit 🙂

abeno harukas up close

Abeno Harukas – up close.

harukas 300

Visitors enjoying the view

abeno harukas 60th floor

Sorry, a bit slanted, taken from the escalator.

abeno harukas sky garden

The Sky Garden

abeno harukas menu

The Sky Garden’s Specialty

abeno harukas viewabeno harukas birds eye view

Bird’s Eye View. Everything looks small when you’re at Abeno Harukas

abeno harukas shopabeno harukas souvenir

I got the white shirt at the Souvenir Shop. They sell mochis, chocolates, biscuits and some other souvenirs. Also, there’s a photo booth with the mascot AbenobeA. We find it expensive so we did not have one.

abeno harukas 16th floor

At the 16th Floor Rooftop Garden. Be sure to visit here before heading out. 🙂

 

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Tennoji Zoo

Would you believe if I tell you this is my first time going to a zoo? Growing up, I missed all those field trips during grade and high school days. Simply put, we can’t afford to pay for those.

Tennoji Zoo is located near Tennoji or Dobutsuen-mae Station. Lucky for us, it is in the neighborhood, just a few minutes walk from Peace House. And hey, entrance is free since we got the Amazing Osaka Pass.

Back in 2015, Tennoji Zoo was under renovation that’s why we weren’t able to go. This time, for sure! There is this excitement, the kid in me perhaps, about going to see the animals with my very own eyes. Yey! 😀

The zoo is very kid-friendly and features a lot of animals (sorry I only got a few pictures to share). There are lots of toddlers around and it’s really nice to see them enjoy the view and kinda “talk and play” with the animals. It’s as if this experience has fulfilled that missing part of me as a kid.

Here are some of the pictures taken at the zoo. 🙂

tennoji zoo entrance with abeno harukas

Us before entering the zoo with Abeno Harukas (tallest building in Japan) in the background

tennoji zoo japanese black bear

Black Bear

tennoji zoo polar bear

Polar (from Crash Bandicoot haha) I was actually surprised as I thought I’d only see one in the North Pole 😀

tennoji zoo flamingo

Doflamingo? 😀

tennoji zoo wolf

Wolves (I wish I could hug them)

tennoji zoo tiger

Bath Time!

tennoji zoo giraffe

Giraffe

tennoji zoo kids

#SquadGoals

tennoji zoo souvenir shop

Stuff Toys at the Tennoji Zoo Souvenir Shop