Going to JAPAN from the PHILIPPINES

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Japan was not actually on my ‘to go to list’ before, I even had this over generalization that Japanese were rude based on what our history teacher taught us- Hello Bataan March! (plus the fact that my Mama is from Bataan even aggravated my dislike). But when my boyfriend pleaded me to go with him during Sakura (cherry blossom) season- Japan is one of the very few countries he wanted to visit, I just couldn’t say no.

Tokyo City View

So after my seven-day trip to Japan, it turned out to be one of my favorite countries I’ve been to (so far) and I bet it will be yours too. So I listed here the things that one should consider before going to the Land of the Rising Sun.


1. Japan is located at the upper region of Asia
It’s a short airplane ride that takes about 3 1/5 hours of travel.

2. Japan Visa is required for Philippine Passport holders
As of this writing, Japan consulate requires Japan Visa for Philippine Passport holders but recently there was news that Japan will no longer require visa to all the Filipinos who wishes to go to Japan. Nevertheless, while it is not yet formalized you can check out my other post:

3. There are a number of airlines that services direct flights from Manila-Japan and vice versa.
You can choose from Philippine Airlines, Japanese Airlines, Jet Star and Cebu Pacific. Because Cebu Pacific offered discounted rates to their recently opened flights to and from Tokyo, we immediately took the chance of booking for Holy Week. Our route was from Manila- Kyoto then Tokyo-Manila, our fare fee costed at around P19,500 back and forth  (really cheap compared to others and considering it was Holy Week pa!)

Tokyo Narita Airport Terminal

4. Philippines is one hour behind

5. Currency in Japan is Japanese Yen
As of this writing the exchange is Php 1 = JPY 2.3

6. Japan experiences four seasons
Yes you name it- Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. But the best times to visit Japan is during Spring and Autumn (Fall).

Spring in Japan occurs between March- May where the famous cherry blossoms are in full bloom. We went there during this season so we can catch the beauty of Sakura. The climate is quite pleasant but for Filipinos who are not used to the cold weather (like me!) bring jacket, boots, scarf, hat and gloves.

Cherry Blossoms in Nijo Castle

Summer in Japan is from June-August where it becomes overly hot and humid.

It is also recommended to visit Japan during Autumn from September- November when you can experience pleasant climate and amazing foliage patterns.

Winter season is from December- February when temperature drops at 0 C.

7. Note down the Philippine Consulate in Japan
Address: 5-15-5 Roppongi Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8537
Opening Hours: 0900H to 1800H Monday to Friday
Telephone: (03) 5562-1600


1. Majority of Japanese are nice and very respectful
Contrary to my belief, 90% of the Japanese Mike and I encountered were incredibly nice and very respectful. Though most of them are not very keen in speaking English they were very willing to help us in any way they can. There was this instance when Mike and I rented two bikes for one day and when we were about to return them, Mike realized that he left his backpack at one of the parks we visited! Devastated, we biked again and to our relief we found his backpack at the very spot where he left it. Untouched! 

Mike with his backpack at Maruyama Park

2. Train lines are the best mode of transportation but can be very confusing and tricky
When you go down the Japan subway you will find yourself in a whole different world, aside from ticket booths and train stations you will find numerous shops and restaurants. And going to your destination is a challenge at first! It was for us. So its important that you know exactly where you're going and don't hesitate to ask questions.

Smallest Subway Ticket I've seen

Tokyo Metro Ticket Booth

Inside a train

3. Japanese time is very PROMPT
Filipino Time is a NO-NO in Japan. Trains & buses leaves exactly on time and shops open on their exact opening schedule.

Waiting for our limousine bus

4. There are a lot of cheap shops in Japan
Surprisingly the cost of living in Japan is not that high (well expect for accommodation). You can find a lot of cheap items likes food, clothes, toys and especially electronics. Mike bought me a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 for JPY7,300 (tax included) which is only Php 3,200. What is C-H-E-A-P!

Fujifilm Instax Mini

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