Category Archives: JAPAN

OSAKA, JAPAN: HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA

We decided to stay in Hearton Hotel KitaUmeda, during our first time in Japan. And I can say, that if you are going to Osaka (and you don’t have much money like me, but is traveling with another person) then stay here. I highly recommend it!

hearton hotel kita umeda

I could say that from all the hotels I stayed during my first time in Japan, the Hearton Hotel Kita Umeda is the most spacious. It is still cramped but  is the most spacious (did I confuse you? lol). Well,  compared to the others that I have stayed at at least it still has space to bend over  (since most of the hotels in Japan is small, they are good at limiting, cramping spaces) It is really hard if you have a lot of luggage, because the space is good for only 2 people. (WTF I can’t properly describe it. lolz, anyway, let the pictures speak for themselves).

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA TWIN ROOMS

The price is right (cheap to mid-range hotel) however, this is good if you have a traveling companion because you will be able to split the cost. I paid 3,537 PHP for my one night stay. It also has a good location, it is 2 minutes walk from the nearest subway, so going around the city is a breeze. However, going to the main train station (to go to other main cities, such as Kyoto or Kobe) it is about 20 minutes walk or a 5 minute taxi ride. Also, one good thing about this hotel is that it is located 10 minutes walk from the bus stop of the Kansai Limousine Bus line (airport bus).

The front desk staff speaks good english, and the check-in was fast. Strictly no dilly-dallying. The breakfast is free, and is good even though there are only a few selections available. And also they have a nice well-lit lobby. I could say that this hotel, is mainly for business travelers, because it is like a no-nonsense hotel, meaning, it has no (in filipino term, pagarbo) luxurious decorations and such. It is simple and direct to the point. (WHUT? haha)

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA LOBBY

Since Osaka was our first stop, this hotel was the first hotel that I’ve stayed at in Japan, I was very surprised with the toilet. It is a bathroom where the shower, the toilet seat, the mirror (which is fog-free *yeah, i was so amazed haha) and the sink is one whole fixture, and they installed it at the space where the bathroom should be. It’s like it was a ready-made bathroom and you will just need to put in on the space where your bathroom will be, and voila, you have your bathroom without mounting separately the toilet, tub and sink. and also the flooring is made of plastic (not tiles). (I’m so confused on how to explain this. english skills lacking. lol


As for the room. As I’ve said, it was small but still spacious compared to other hotels in Japan (that I’ve stayed at during my first travel in JP). The beds are really comfortable. We ordered a twin room so we got two beds. The single beds are not really single beds per se, it is a tad bit smaller than what we call single beds in the western world and the Philippines. hehe. But, still it is very soft and comfortable.

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA BED IN TWIN ROOM

The room is also furnished with a television, an electric kettle, telephone, airconditioning and coffee and tea

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA AMENITIES 2HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA AMENITIES

And also, I was so in love with their YUKATA’s (sleep wear) hehe

HEARTON HOTEL KITA UMEDA YUKATA

  • VALUE FOR MONEY: 4 STARS
  • LOCATION: 5 STARS
  • COMFORT: 5 STARS
  • AMBIANCE LOBBY: 3 STARS, ROOM: 5 STARS
  • SPACE: 4 STARS (BY JAPAN STANDARDS)

 

JAPAN VISA FOR FILIPINOS: SCHEDULE OF STAY

HELLO THERE WANDERERS!

This is a sample of my Schedule of Stay that I submitted to the Japan Embassy  last 2013 before they became lenient

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JAPAN VISA APPLICATION FOR FILIPINOS

JAPAN VISA APPLICATION

I’m one of the persons who love reading mangas or watching animes.. Well to tell you, I became addicted with this hobby, just 1-2 years ago. But hey, who won’t forget the nice story and well played roles of Hana Yori Dango? Anyway, I was, and is currently is, in love with Japan. I don’t know why, I feel like coming there instead of any countries in the world. It was my first list in my bucket list. Well, next is United States, and of course Europe.

Anyway, nuff said.

Before anyone, or any Filipino otakus like me  (though I don’t want to be called like one, not that really an otaku) 🙂  can leave their footprints in the land of the rising sun, one should first have a Japanese visa.

Well, people say that Japan visa is a hard-to-get visa since most Filipinos look for job in Japan. 🙂 Well, haven’t seen a soul of Filipinos when I went there, unlike Hong Kong. But, hey, they are strict because, just like US, Japan is a developed, or a first world country, and those living in the developing countries like us Filipinos, would like to test the waters and go there to work. HELL TO THOSE FILIPINOS WHO BECAME TNTs!! That’s why these countries won’t allow us, Filipinos, to go there without a visa– which is totally a headache.

Nuff said. I’m being carried away. So, you, yes you! Don’t be like them and be a good boy/girl! 🙂 and use your visa just how you are supposed to use it. 🙂 Anyway, here are my tips and how to’s in getting your Japan tourist visa.

1. Choose a travel agency

Japan Embassy does not allow in-person application, so you need to get an agency to submit your application.  I chose Reli Tours and Travel Agency in SM Mall of Asia, since they have the cheapest processing fee which is 1200.00. The people in Reli are very professional and will text you once your passport is ready for pick up or once they had already forwarded your application in the embassy.

Reli Tours and Travel Agency is located in SM Mall of Asia, near SMX. Telephone number: 556-1445 OR 632-556-1447  Cell No: 09065136777

map-e-moa1

Here are the lists of accredited travel agencies: Click here

2. Fill up the application form

I suggest that you submit your form in typewritten or computerized form to make it more formal, and so that the person reading your application would not be annoyed if ever your handwriting is akin of that of a chicken (bad handwriting). As I said above, computerized is better as it is more presentable.

You can fill up the application form here: click here

These are the documents which I submitted (I made this post right after I got the visa. i grabbed this from my pinoy exchange account)

I submitted the following in Reli Tours MOA last Monday through LBC, received a text from Reli that they received my documents last Tuesday 7pm, then my Passport was ready for pick up last Friday. Though I got it this Saturday lang.

Okay saakin ang Reli Tours MOA, super bait ni Miss Babes na nagassist saakin, I hope she stays there. wala naman akong horror stories na maishashare unlike sabi ng mga previous pexers about Reli tours Megamall. Sa MOA, approachable and mababait yung mga tao.. 

We are 4 persons traveling together, my mom, me, my sis-in-law, and my nephew. We were all granted a visa! yey! our travel will be this May, sana medyo malamig pa!

we bought airtickets already, sugal lang talaga! kakakaba nga eh! haha, so ito ang mga documents na sinubmit ko, ang iba dito hindi naman talaga kelangan, sinama ko lang kasi na-OC ako, ayoko madeny kasi nga masyado ng madaming gastos (airtickets, hotel bookings etc, sama mo pa ang visa fee na 1,200 each, diba if magpapass ka you’ll make sure na kahit papaano confident ka sa papers mo)

1. Completed Application form (I computerized mine and printed it on A4 paper back to back, although sabi naman ng mga travel agency, kahit long o short, back to back o hindi, okay lang, pwede ngang humingi nalang ng app form sa agency nyo e, although computerized is better since it looks more presentable) Our travel agency Reli Tours’ representative, the very kind and approachable Ms. Babes, told us to not leave blanks in the app forms, so don’t forget to put n/a if the question is not applicable to you

2. 4×5 x 4×5 cm picture, white background, strict sila sa picture na to, punta kayo picture city or any well known picture booths/shops, meron sila ng for japan visa. paste it in your application form. (My ears cannot be seen in the photo, masyado kasing maliit yung ears ko, so I think oks lang kung di kita yung ears, pero as much as possible ilabas nyo pa rin yung ears nyo, yung tipong makikita kahit tip lang. ) And also this should be pasted. I suggest using a double sided tape so that hindi makalat yung glue sa application form.

3. Passport, 6 months valid, so better check your passports expiry date.  And also make sure that there are at least 2 remaining pages and that the passport was properly signed in its back portion. Broken laminations of the first page (the information page, where your picture is located) will not be accepted, so better renew your passports if you have problems with such.

4.COPY OF  INCOME TAX RETURN and ORIGINAL BANK CERTIFICATE. Since my mom will be sponsoring all the expenses for this trip, we attached her bank certificate and ITR and we also put an Affidavit of Sponsorship on each of the applications which expenses will be handled by my mom. 🙂

5. Daily Schedule (day to day itinerary). I submitted my daily schedule– Osaka–Kyoto–Tokyo. we are staying in Japan for 6 full days. Click here to see my Schedule of Stay or Daily Schedule.

6. Birth Certificates for the four of us, this needs to be original and is issued within one year of visa application. So if you will apply on April 30, 2016, then the Birth Certificate should be or was procured on or after April 30, 2015. (they are very strict with this, so please comply)

  1.    If Birth Certificate from NSO is unreadable, submit Birth Certificate from Local Civil     registar
  2. If there is no record in NSO
    In addition to “Certificate of non-Record” from NSO Headquarter.
    Attached together with the one from Local Civil Registrar.
  3. If Birth Certificate from NSO is “LATE REGISTRATION”
    Baptismal Certificate
    School Record (from 137)
    School Yearbook (if applicable)
    *Please indicate complete address and land line(telephone, if applicable) of the              church in the baptismal certificateand of the school record.

7. Marriage Certificate for married people, I got one for my mom and one for my sis-in-law. This should be an original copy from NSO. and like the Birth Certificate, it should be issued within one year of Visa application.

TAKE NOTE: If you’ve been to Japan before, and you were given a single entry visa, then you don’t need to submit your birth certificate and marriage certificate for your next application, however, you are required to submit your old passport where the used Japanese visa is attached. It’s better (though not really a requirement) to have it photocopied (together with the entry and exit stamps) and attach it in your application.

OTHER DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED: The following docs are not necessary, I just added them pampapogi. Pero promise, hindi ito kailangan.

1. Airline tickets. since meron na kami, sinama ko na, unlike south korea embassy they remove those documents not stated in the list of requirements, for japan embassy, you can add them. Sugal to, grabe, kung alam nyo lang kung paano ako ka-OC sa mga requirements dahil sobrang laki na ng ginastos sa airtickets, pinatulan ko kasi sale eh, pero humigit kumulang 12k pa rin per person (Clark-Osaka, Tokyo-Manila). Inuulit ko ang sinasabi ng ibang pexers dito, having confirmed tickets will not give you 100% chance of visa approval. It is up to your financial documents.

2. Hotel Reservations. Meron na kaming booked hotels paid through Agoda, expedia and Booking.com. Kung ano yung rineserve namin ay yun din ang linagay namin sa mga blanks sa application form

3. Certificate of Employment and Schedule of positions handled throughout the start of service. This is Not necessary, kaso sinama ko pa rin.

6. photocopy of Land Titles owned by my mom,

7. Sponsorship Letter. Since my mom would be the one handling all the expenses for this trip, we asked her to execute a sponsorship letter, and we made it a public document by having it notarized.

8. Bus Reservation (Kyoto to Tokyo) from Willerbus (willerexpress.com)

FOR STUDENTS LIKE ME: I added the following supporting documents, although no.1 and 2 will suffice, OC lang ako kaya dami ko sinama. sorry na. 
1. Photocopy of ID
2. Certificate of Enrollment
3. Certificate of Units Earned
4. Transcript of Records
5. Flowchart

FOR NSO BIRTH CERT WITH LATE REGISTRATION: I was late registered so I submitted the other docs:
1. Baptismal certificate
2. Transcript of Records
3. Form 138 (high school) FYI: nasa Law school na ako. sinubmit ko yung sa hs pa ako! haha!
4. Form 137-a (high school)

Upon submitting all the documents to the travel agency, everything is out of your control already, so before doing or wagering in your 1200 or the costs of your airplane ticket, make sure that you gave all the requirements needed, and also not to make you go back and forth in the travel agency just because you are missing one requirement. Save yourself a few bucks by being organized and also by making sure you have all the requirements.

It is not bad to give other paper documents that shows your capacity to finance your trip and shows your ties in the Philippines. So, I suggest if you have these things, why not include it in your application?

That’s all Hope this helped you. HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

I will post my Japan itinerary soon! Keep wandering! 🙂