Japan tourist visa guide for Indians

logo-3.3-with-bgJapan is an awesome country and you should seriously consider going there (if you haven’t visited already). My Japan visa application process was among my smoothest.

I had some trouble finding out where the Japanese consulate was in Kolkata, but managed to download a map from the Internet. It appeared close the the Tollygunge metro station.

I got all my documents ready:

  • Passport (of course!)
  • Filled-in visa application form
  • Schedule of stay
  • Copies of my hotel bookings
  • Photographs (sizes as mentioned)
  • Return air tickets
  • Bank statement of the last six months
  • Income tax returns of the last three years

These would have been enough, but I included a couple of more things to make my application stronger and just to be sure I would have no problems in getting my tourist visa (or the ‘temporary visitor visa’, as they call it). These extra documents were:

  • A letter from employer stating I was an employee of the company and had been granted leave and that I would be going to office again from a certain date
  • Proof of some of my investments
Japan map


It was drizzling when I got to the big locked gate in front of the white building. I stood in front of the gate under my umbrella and caught the attention of the security guards inside.

“Yes?” One of them inquired from under a shed.

“I want to apply for a visa,” I hollered back. Was I even in the right place?

The man walked forward and unlocked a small door fixed in the big gate. Right place!

I walked in and entered a small room where they scanned my bag and frisked me. Once they were satisfied, they asked me to walk ahead through another door. This door opened to a little path in the open and there were two doors in another building at the end of it.

“Get in through either door. You’ll find three windows in there, one of them for Japanese citizens. Please ring the bell on one of the other windows,” said one of the security personnel.

I did not want to open my umbrella again and partly ran through the pathway to the nearest door. There was no one in the room but a man sweeping the floor. It had three windows for officials to deal with visa-seekers. But at that time, there was no one on either side!

“Please ring that bell and wait,” the sweeper said pointing to one of the bells. It was one of the bells you tap on and it goes “TING”. I did it and sat on one of the grey plastic chairs. Am I the only one interested in going to Japan?

After a good five minutes, an Indian woman came to the window and nodded to me. I went forward and submitted my documents. She examined them for a few minutes and gave me a receipt that said they’d return my passport in four days.

My job  for the day was done. The good thing about the Japanese visa is that you only pay the visa fees if you actually get the visa.

Four days later, I went back to the same empty room, paid the INR500 and collected my passport with the Japan visa in it.

Hello Japan!

Hello Japan!



  1. Anil September 1, 2016 at 11:11 #

    Hi Andy,
    Really a much of info from your blog, Infact am planning to visit Japan in Oct, However would like to know one key part of obtaining the Visa from Japanese Embassy. How much is actually bank balance required?. I have my flights and hotels booked so far.


    • Andy September 2, 2016 at 11:37 #

      Hi Anil,
      The amount depends on the number of days and there is no official figure. The visa officer considers several other factors apart from the bank balance before granting a visa. I would suggest you pay a visit to the visa office before submitting the actual application and tell them the amount you have and ask if that is enough.


      • Anil September 6, 2016 at 17:14 #

        I checked with the Visa officer, and they are reluctant to tell the Minimum amount i should carry but rather suggesting me to provide whatever you have it. Well its an 8 days trip, and i have 80K+ (After my airline tickets + accommodation).


  2. Andy September 7, 2016 at 18:52 #

    Anil, I think that amount should be ok since you’ve already got your tickets and hotel rooms booked. The good thing about Japan is that they don’t charge you if they don’t give you a visa. Why don’t you apply immediately?


  3. Dr Jack September 10, 2016 at 12:08 #

    Hello Andy,
    I am from India and still studying for my post graduation entrance exams, i am planning my tour to Japan for about 15 days with a friend who will join me from Vietnam.
    Actually I am a student and so I don’t have salary slips or account where I get regular money, my dad will provide money for my travel and I am not sure how to show 6 months bank balance which is consistent and good amount of transections?
    Another thing is I am going to volunteer on WWOOFING so I would get accommodation and food by the host of the farm, so I am not going to book hotel tickets. How can I show my hotel booking ?
    Help from anyone would be appreciated
    Thanks :)


    • Andy September 11, 2016 at 23:00 #

      Hi! A letter from your father and his bank statement should suffice. Also, you could ask your WWOOF host to send you an invitation letter.


  4. A Shenoy October 11, 2016 at 17:25 #

    Hi Andy, I am having enough bank balance (INR 4 Lakh) and got my last 2 year ITR statements as well. I have already travelled to Singapore, Malaysia, UAE and HongKong as a tourist. Can I get a Japan tourist visa if I cannot show proof of employment? (As am leaving company, going for trip, and joining another)


    • Andy October 11, 2016 at 17:57 #

      Shouldn’t be a problem. But if possible, show them the job letter from the new company.


  5. Sid March 11, 2017 at 07:24 #

    Hi Andy!

    I’m planning a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto in May 2017. I still have a few questions on the Visa documents.

    I’ve been employed since 1st April 2016 and it’s my first job right after Post Graduation. Thus, I don’t have any ITR filed yet. Is this going to be an issue while I’m applying?

    Can I explain my situation in my covering letter? I really want to avoid showing my parent as a sponsor, if at all possible.

    I’d really appreciate your views on this.



    • Andy March 12, 2017 at 08:28 #

      Hi Sid!
      No ITR isn’t an issue since you’ve just started working. And if you can show enough money in your account, you do not need to show your parents as your sponsor. All the best!


      • Sid March 12, 2017 at 10:49 #

        Thanks a bunch Andy!
        Should I explain my situation in the Covering Letter to the Consulate? I plan on submitting all of my salary slips and investment proofs. Also, I think INR 2.5 Lacs is a sufficient amount for 8 days right? (After flights and accommodation?)


        • Andy March 12, 2017 at 11:14 #

          Take the cover letter along but I don’t think it will be necessary. Just explain the situation to the person collecting your passport. INR2.5 lakh should be enough.


          • Sid April 11, 2017 at 15:27 #

            Hey Andy!

            Just giving you an update. I got my Visa today! I applied through VFS and just gave a justification for No ITR in the covering letter.

            Damn excited to go to Japan!

          • Andy April 12, 2017 at 05:36 #

            That’s amazing! You will love Japan :)

  6. Karoop April 21, 2017 at 10:53 #

    Hi Andy,
    My husband is leaving to Japan this Sep to pursue language course. Myself n our 1.5yr old kid are planning to accompany him. So we’ll stay in the house which ma husband would rent. I work in a PSU and ma avg take home sal is around 50K. I want to know how much i should posses in my bank accnt during visa eligibility for me n my kid. We are planning for 1 month trip.


    • Andy April 22, 2017 at 05:47 #

      Lots of factors at play here. But to give you a very rough estimate, I think INR300,000 should comfortably cover you and your child for a month.


  7. zoorg April 24, 2017 at 10:31 #

    Hi Andy,

    I am planning for a 15 days trip to Japan in May and June 2017. Me and my wife and two kids will be travelling with me.

    I was hoping to visit Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Kobe-Osaka during my trip there, do you think its a good itinerary?

    As far as balance in saving account goes i have 7Lkh in my account and an equal amount in my wife’s account. Can i give statement of both accounts to boost the chances of getting an Visa? also is anyone getting an Multi Entry visa?


    • Andy April 25, 2017 at 05:06 #

      Hi! That’s enough money in the account. Itinerary is fine but if it’s possible for you, let Kyoto be your first impression of Japan. If you visit the quiet Kyoto after the throbbing energy of Tokyo/Osaka, you might find it a little boring. But Kyoto is where you experience the real Japan.


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