How to apply for a Japanese Visa

Travelling to Japan is on almost everyone’s bucket list and if it isn’t then I would definitely recommend that you add it to your list. There is so much to see, do and eat. You will be spoilt for choice and a single trip will not be enough time to experience everything it has to offer. That being said, South Africa and Japan do not have any agreement which allows for visa-free travel and therefore you will have to apply for a Japanese Visa in order to be able to travel to Japan. So let me break down the process that you will need to follow in order to apply for a Japanese Visa.

Sensoji gardens

Types of Japanese Visa

There are various types of visas available for application. These visas are the temporary visitor’s visa, transit visa, cultural activities visa, college student visa, pre-college student visa, trainee visa, and designated activities visa.

However, the main visas which would be applicable to you, include the following:

  • Temporary visitor’s visa – these are mainly for tourism and sightseeing but also can include short-term business affairs and visiting relatives. These are granted for stay in Japan for periods up to 90 days.
  • Transit visa – this is for people who are transitting through Japan on their way to another destination. These are granted for a limited period.

Requirements for a Japanese Visa

In order for you to be able to apply for a tourist visa to Japan, you will need to comply with the following requirements:

  • be in possession of a valid original South African Passport
  • completed visa application form
  • one passport-size photograph (45mm x 45mm on a white background)
  • proof of flight tickets with entry and exit dates to/from Japan
  • a detailed itinerary of your stay in Japan – including hotel details and travel itinerary
  • if you are married, provide your marriage certificate
  • proof of ability to finance the entirety of the trip – this is by way of a bank account statement
  • proof of identification – such as a identity card, driver’s licence or birth certificate

Please make sure that you have at least two blank pages in your passport and that your passport is at least six months away from expiring. Also please take note that temporary passports are not accepted.

Further, the documents which you submit must be valid and have been issued within the last three months of the date of the submission of your application.

Itinerary for Japan

The embassy does provide you with a guideline or format as to what this document must contain.

The itinerary must specify your date of arrival and departure as well as the flight details, including flight numbers and airport information.

In addition, you must provide details of your accommodation, which include the name of the hotel, its physical address, and contact number.

Further, you must complete the itinerary on a day-by-day basis and list all activities which you will do on each day.

This is the itinerary that I used, which you can check out here and use as a guideline so you can prepare yours too.

Application Process

You will need to fill in an application form and collate your documents. You can find a copy of the application form here:

After you have collated your documents, you will have to visit the Japanese Embassy South Africa, in person, in order to submit your documents and make the necessary application. You must make your application for a visa prior to you travelling.


Once you submit your application, passport, and the required documents you will be requested to pay the visa fee.

If there are any further documents which they require, they may ask you to submit same via e-mail. (When I applied for my visa, the assistant at the embassy was extremely helpful and advised us to submit any further documentation to her via e-mail. I always believe that being polite and courteous usually helps you a long way.)


The offices will advise you as to how long the issuing will take and when you must return. Ordinarily, the process should take about a week to complete, if there are no queries. Please note that the discretion of either accepting or rejecting your application lies solely with the embassy. And you may be asked to submit further documents if needed.

Once the embassy has processed your application, they will notify you of their decision. If your application has been successful, you will be notified when your visa is ready for pick up.

You will once again have to attend the Japanese Embassy South Africa in person when you pick up your visa. If you made your application in person, you can arrange for someone else to pick it up on your behalf. But you must be in possession of your valid visa prior to boarding your flight.

A bonus tip that hopefully can help you, is to make a copy of the documents you submit to the embassy for your application process, especially the confirmations for your itinerary. The reason for this is that when I arrived at the airport in Tokyo, the passport control officer who was to stamp my passport to allow me entry into Japan requested to see these documents and wanted to know the purpose of my visit. I found that having a copy of the itinerary and confirmations, made the process easier, speedy and convenient. Also, apart from your passport, no other documents submitted with your application will be returned to you.

Cost of visa

The visa fee is R455.00 for a single entry and R910.00 for a multiple entry.

Please note that their offices only accept cash.

Validity of a visa

A visa is valid for three months from the day of issuance for single entry. The period of validity cannot be extended.

Sake Barrels

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Japan Embassy South Africa contact details:


Embassy of Japan in Pretoria

259 Baines Street

Corner of Bains & Frans Oerder Streets

Groenkloof, Pretoria

Office of Consul of Japan in Cape Town

21st Floor Office, The Towers, 2 Heerengracht Cnr, Hertzog Blvd,Cape Town 8001


Telephone number:

012 452 1500

021 425 1695


[email protected]

[email protected]

Office Hours:

Monday – Friday

09:00 am – 12:30 pm (applications and collections)

14:00 pm – 16:00 pm (collections only)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do you need a visa to go to Japan?

  • Yes, you need a visa to travel to Japan

Is Japan visa difficult to get?

  • As with any visa the difficulty depends on whether you are able to comply with their requirements. If you comply with their requirements, you will be able to obtain a visa.

How much is a visa to Japan from South Africa?

  • A visa to Japan from South Africa costs R 455.00 ( four hundred and fifty-five rand) for single entry and R910.00 (nine hundred and ten rand) for multiple entry.

How much is the Japan visa fee?

  • A visa to Japan from South Africa costs R 455.00 ( four hundred and fifty-five rand) for single entry and R910.00 (nine hundred and ten rand) for multiple entry.

How long does Japan visa process takes?

  • The process to obtain a Japan visa is straightforward, and if there are no queries, usually takes approximately a week.

How long does japan visa last?

  • A Japan visa lasts for approximately three months. However, your visa will specify your entry and exit dates which is when your particular visa would expire.

How many types of visa in Japan?

  • There are various types of visa in Japan. These include the temporary visitor visa, transit visa and college visa. Depending on the nature of your travel to Japan, you will apply for the most appropriate visa type.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below.

Once you get the visa, you can also check out this post about How to plan a trip to Tokyo which has helpful tips and tricks on how to plan your next trip.

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