Korean travel experience from Japan: how to apply for a visa, book flight tickets, hotels

Korean travel experience from Japan: how to apply for a visa, book flight tickets, hotels

The geographical distance from Japan to Korea is very close, moreover, travel costs are not too expensive, so the land of kimchi has become a popular tourist destination with many young Vietnamese in Vietnam. Japan. In this article, I will share with you my own experiences, as an international student, about how the journey started to explore Korea. Hopefully the article will help those who are looking to travel to Korea in the near future. 

1. Apply for a Korean tourist visa from Japan

Visa is an important ticket for you to enter Korea, so prepare your documents carefully to be sure to receive a visa and start your trip. For Vietnamese, to be able to apply for a short-term visa to Korea from Japan, you need to be in one of the following four categories:

① Long-term visa holders who have been in Japan continuously for more than 2 years. Or in the case of less than 2 years, you can also apply for approval of your application if you fall into the following categories:

    Foreigners receive invitations from the government, local public organizations, and public authorities of Korea along with their spouses and underage children.

    Long-term visa holders are permanent employees, diplomats, employees of international organizations, and their spouses and minor children.

    Spouses and minor children of Japanese/permanent visa holders.

    Holders of highly specialized work visas, Professors, Engineering – Humanities – International Professionalism, International students of regular universities with their spouses and children.

② Holders of permanent visas

③ Persons applying for visa conversion

④ Holders of Certificate of Visa Approval (not applicable to holders of Leisure and Hotel Visa Status).

More information can be found on the website of the Korean Embassy in Japan

After confirming that you are eligible to submit a visa application, prepare all the documents for the Korean Embassy in Japan. Depending on the subject that the application needs to be submitted may have slightly different points, but basically, we will need the following documents:

    Visa application form

    3.5cm x 4.5cm photo of card taken in the last 3 months (attached with visa application).

    Passport (valid for at least 6 months)

    Alien card

    Photocopy of passport and alien card

    Certificate of Residence 住民票 – can be obtained at the City Commission, the county where you apply for permanent residence.

    Certificate of attendance (working) – can be obtained at school (work place)

    Itinerary of the trip created by you, a printed copy of the hotel reservation, air ticket (if possible).

    Application fee: 2200 yen.

You can apply for visa approval at the Korean Embassy or Consulate near your locality. Note that Embassies and Consulates will be in charge of different provinces, for example you cannot apply in Osaka while living in Tokyo, so please confirm the exact address you have You can apply.

    Korean Embassy in Tokyo: 1-7-32 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 

    Korean Consulate in Yokohama: 118 Yamate-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken

    Korean Consulate in Osaka: 2-3-4 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka

    Korean Consulate in Fukuoka: 1-1-3 Jigyohama, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

    Korean Consulate in Nagoya: 1-19-12 Meiekiminami, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya

In addition, you can also refer to detailed information about the address, phone number and receiving provinces of the Korean Embassy and Consulate in Japan here .

I myself, after receiving the application at the Korean Consulate in Yokohama, I received an appointment letter informing me of the time I can come to receive the visa application result. The lead time is about 10 business days. Short-term visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue, so please pay attention to the duration of the visa to arrange your trip accordingly!

It should also be noted that, in the visa application, there will be some fields to fill out such as the expected date of entry, the expected time of stay in Korea, the address and phone number in Korea, so, I think it will be better if you book a hotel room in advance to be able to fill in the most complete information as well as improve the accuracy and reliability of your profile. The visa application form does not have a flight information section, so it is okay to book a ticket later.

2. Air ticket booking

A huge plus for traveling to Korea from Japan is its very close geographical distance. Flight time to Seoul, South Korea is about 2 hours 30 minutes for Tokyo, 2 hours for Osaka and 1 hour 30 minutes if from Fukuoka, so you can save money by choosing airlines cheap price like JEJU Air, Flypeach, Eastarjet,…

I plan to come to Korea around mid-October, so I’ve been hunting for cheap flight tickets since August. I’ve ordered JEJU’s Narita (Tokyo) – Incheon (Seoul) round-trip airfare. Air for more than 20,000 yen, including 15kg of hand baggage and 20kg of checked baggage. 

Normally, airfares will be higher than normal in the peak tourist seasons in Korea (Spring: March – May; Autumn: September – November), long Japanese holidays such as Golden Week, Obon and year-end holiday. However, if you book your flight tickets early and hunt for discounted flight tickets, you will definitely save quite a bit of travel costs there.

You can hunt for airline tickets at some websites such as , , etc.

3. Hotel reservation

Accommodation is also an important thing that you need to consider carefully when planning your trip to Korea. Depending on the tourist destinations you want to go to, the total number of people in the tour group that you can choose to rent a hotel or an Airbnb house accordingly. Basically, in Seoul, the subway system is very convenient and has many similarities with Japan. If you are traveling on your own and want to explore many places in the inner city of Seoul on your own, I encourage you to choose places close to subway stations, especially subway stations close to tourist attractions. Famous calendars such as Myeongdong, Hongdae, Dongdaemun, etc. 

The cost of hotels in Korea is not too expensive. You can absolutely choose a 3-star hotel, in the central area with a price of only about 2500 yen / person / night. Take a closer look at the websites we list below and book as soon as possible to find the hotel that suits your requirements and wallet!

During my trip, I chose to book a room at Alice Hostel, located in Jongno-gu, Jongro, Seoul. This hotel has a huge plus point is that it is close to the train station, around there are many walking tourist attractions such as Gyeongbokgong palace, Myeongdong neighborhood, Insadong street and just a few metro stations away. reach Dongdaemun – a busy shopping street, a paradise of fashionistas, etc. The hotel also serves a simple, self-service breakfast with bread, rice, soup, tea, coffee, etc. But because I want to taste a variety of dishes, appear on dramas and variety shows in Korea, so I choose to have breakfast at convenience stores and small restaurants around. 

This hotel is cheap, so it attracts a lot of foreign tourists. However, it should also be noted that the low price means a lot of services will be cut, if you want a comfortable room and perfect service, try to consider other hotels across the street. The link that I recommend is below.

4. How to change money when traveling to Korea

One of the most important things when traveling is money. You can change money in advance in Japan or after arriving in Korea. Personally, I choose to change money at the airport after arriving in Korea. Right after immigration and going out, there are many foreign currency exchange counters of many Korean banks to choose from. Each bank will have a list of exchange rates of foreign currencies, so I went around to find out which bank has the highest exchange rate to choose to change money. The purchase price of foreign currency will be cheaper than the selling price, moreover Seoul is a tourist city almost everywhere will have money exchange points, so even though bring about 80,000 yen for the trip 7 days, but I didn’t change too much won in advance, but only changed about 50,000 yen in advance and then continued to change if there was a shortage.During the trip, I only exchanged more money once at the currency exchange counter right on Hongdae shopping street. A small note is that you need to present your passport when converting foreign currencies, so don’t forget to bring it!

5. Things to note when traveling to Korea

Weather in Korea

Korea has four relatively distinct seasons, very similar to Japan. The best time to visit Korea is in spring from March to May and autumn from September to November, when the temperature falls between 5-18 degrees Celsius. In summer, the temperature rises. up to about 28 degrees Celsius while winter temperatures can drop to below 0 degrees. My trip took place in early October, when Korea was starting to get cold. During the day, I only need to wear a long-sleeved shirt, but in the evening when the temperature drops, a thin shirt will definitely be an indispensable savior. Please monitor the weather before you go to prepare appropriate clothes!

T-money card

In particular, like Japan, the public transportation system in Korea is very popular with subways or buses, so people also use an IC card called T-money. T-Money cards can be purchased at train stations and convenience stores, but you can book in advance on travel sites like Klook or KKDay to get more deals. With this card, you can top up money and use it on trains, buses, taxis and even pay at convenience stores. The unused portion of the T-money card can be refunded to cash at a convenience store if the balance is less than or equal to 20,000 won. In the case of more, you will have to go to T-money’s headquarters for a refund, so consider the amount of money you need to use to top up a sufficient amount on the card.

Phone and internet

In Korea, the internet is not always available, so there are 2 ways for you to connect to the network anytime and anywhere, that is using a phone sim with data data or using a wifi pocket . To be able to use both mobile phone and internet, I chose the combo phone sim with 10 days data package combined with T-money card for about 3000 yen on Klook. On the purchase information section, I can choose the point to receive the sim card to match the airport that I will land in Seoul. Immediately after check-in entry and exchange foreign currency, I went to the sim card exchange counter of the sim card company that I registered according to the instructions of the carrier, gave the order number to the staff and received their support. install sim phone quickly. Conveniently, right?

How to buy cheap things in Korea

Korea is a paradise of fashion and cosmetics, when you come here, you will definitely find it hard to resist these items. However, don’t worry! In the land of kimchi, you will often come across offers such as buy 2 get 1 free, buy 3 get 1 free, if you can buy it with friends, you will definitely get the item you want at a reasonable price. very good. This promotion is not only applicable to cosmetic products, but also to food such as confectionery, drinking water, etc. 

Languages ​​available in Korea

When you come to Korea, you will probably feel worried about how you will have to communicate when you do not know Korean. However, the truth is that there are many Koreans, especially young people, who can communicate in English. In some shopping streets, popular tourist attractions or on public transport, you will also find guides in different languages ​​such as English, Chinese, and Japanese. Even, I was surprised to meet a few Korean salespeople who can communicate fluently in Japanese. Moreover, Koreans are also very enthusiastic and hospitable. I once had a Korean guy help me very enthusiastically when I had trouble swiping my train pass here, even though he could only communicate with us in simple English, which was quickly translated through an app on my phone. phone.

Some simple sayings you should know before coming to Korea

When traveling abroad, wouldn’t it be great to be able to communicate and connect with locals? One of the best ways you can bridge the gap with Koreans is by speaking their language. I pocketed some simple Korean dialogues to use while traveling, and as a result I received a lot of cute smiles and compliments from everyone!

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