Chūbu Region Honeymoon Road Trip

My husband and I initially wanted to hold a separate wedding reception in the Philippines, and go to Boracay since he’s never been there.  However, the moment we found out that we’re having a baby, we consulted with a doctor, and I was advised not to fly.  I’m actually fine; it’s not a high-risk pregnancy, but I am in Japan, and doctors here can be very protective.  Perhaps, that is the reason why it’s one of the safest countries in the world to give birth.  They don’t only take extra care of the babies but their moms too.


Anyway, better safe than sorry! So we scrapped the original plan and decided to just drive around the Chūbu Region for five days for our honeymoon.

From our house, our first stop was the…

  1. Tateyama Alpine Route (Toyama)

It’s a two-hour drive.  Then, we took a cable car to the bus stop, and a bus took us up to Murodo Station where we saw these beautiful scenic spots.  We walked around the area for an hour or two, and YES, our journey was longer than our stay there, but it was worth it.  We felt really close to nature being so high up there surrounded by the Japanese Alps.

All in all, it was just a half day trip, and we went back home that night! 

The next day, we went to one of UNESCO’s World Heritage site, a traditional Japanese village…

2. Shirakawa-go (Gifu)

The ancestors of the residents here helped each other build these gassho-zukuri farmhouses about 250 years ago.

After two hours of strolling around, we headed to . . . 

3. Nagoya City (Nagoya)

We just visited the castle and the newest landmark in the area, Oasis 21 Rooftop.  It’s at the shopping area of Sakae District.  We stayed there for the night, so we had time to visit a pub near our hotel, and I was glad to talk to the manager who knew a lot about the Philippines.

The following day, we went to one of the best hotels in Shizuoka to see Mt. Fuji! It’s no other than the…

4. Nippondaira Hotel (Shizuoka)

I really enjoyed our stay here, and we are definitely coming back sometime during the winter when the skies are clear. We were able to see Mt. Fuji but only for a short time. It turns out that in the springtime, Mt. Fuji is only visible from dawn up to 8:00 or 9:00 am until the clouds get in the way. Nonetheless, it was a great hotel for a honeymoon & their food was great too. We had a French course menu, and our tummies were very satisfied.

In our attempt to have a closer look at Mt. Fuji, we drove to…

5. Fuji Shiba-sakura Festival  (Yamanashi)

The clouds completely blocked Mt. Fuji, but we were pleased by the beautiful garden all the same.

6. Nagano City (Nagano)

Our last stop was Nagano City. It was a relaxing night. We pretty much just had dinner, massage and stayed at our hotel.

The morning after, we visited the Zenkō-ji Temple before we headed home.

There, my husband bought me an amulet for safe delivery. Then, we drew an omikuji, and I luckily got the best one, great blessing (大吉), yay!

Well, I really like this temple except for its pitch-black passage underground, where everyone is not allowed to use a flashlight. I know, it is a very spiritual thing for Buddhists; it is a purging experience, and I would have appreciated it if I weren’t pregnant. I just really panicked in there because I could see nothing, not even the floor and not even my husband. So I was little worried about the safety of my baby. But of course, if you are sure that you won’t have a heart attack while walking in the dark, by all means, try it.

There you go!

That’s all we did for our honeymoon! It was tiring, especially for my husband who did all the driving, but it was definitely fun!

As far as I remember, it cost us about 200,000円. The gas and toll fees were of course, pricey. And we splurged on food!

But our honeymoon is still cheap compared to most Japanese couples who go to Hawaii and France and spend about 1,000,000 円 .

Sponsoring your Relatives to Visit Japan

Good news!

My aunt and my sister’s visas have been approved, and I’d like to give you some tips on how to be a sponsor and guarantor of your relatives who would like to travel to Japan.

A lot of articles online say that it is now quite easy for Filipinos to get a visa to Japan.  They claim that a Philippine passport holder can secure a temporary visit visa by just submitting the necessary documents and by showing a bank certificate that has at least 60,000 PHP, which I guess is lower than before.

However, I did not want my family to risk it by applying as a tourist. I wanted to make sure that they would be able to attend my wedding; it’s my big day anyway, and I really need their presence on that once-in-a-lifetime event. Hence, I decided to sponsor and guarantee their stay in Japan.

What are the requirements?

Based on the Embassy of Japan’s website, the visitor should provide the following:

(1) Visa application form

(2) Pictures

(3) Passport

(4) Documents to prove kinship (for visit to relatives)

・Birth certificate

・Marriage certificate

(5) Bank certificate (optional)

On the other hand, the guarantor in Japan should provide the following:

(1) Letter of reason for invitation

(2) Schedule of stay

(3) Letter of guarantee

(4) Documents on the guarantor B

(a) copy of residence card

(b) residence certificate. There is a specific format for this, and it was not clear to me even after reading the list given by the embassy. Just show this note to the city hall or your town hall staff officer when you request one, so you won’t have to come back and forth.

(c) certificate of income/taxation,

(d) certificate of tax payment, or copy of the final tax return with the seal or PROOF OF TAX EXEMPTION

(e) bank certificate

(6) documents to prove kinship (for visit to relatives)

Note that even if you have the same last name, such as the case with me and my sister, I still needed to submit a birth certificate. Likewise, my aunt had to include my father’s birth certificate to prove that we are really related by blood.

Now, you might wanna ask how much money should a sponsor have in her bank account. Well, based on my friends and my own experience, you should have at least 1,000,000¥ in your bank account for the guest to be approved. Also, I asked my aunt and my sister to submit a bank statement although it was optional. We kinda over killed it because I badly want their company on my wedding day.

Actually, I really wish that I included my birth certificate and knew the right format of the residence certificate early on. Had I known that my birth certificate was necessary despite that our family names were the same, and that there is a very specific format of residence certificate for sponsoring a relative, we would have gotten their visa approved earlier and booked plane tickets way cheaper that what they had paid for.

Lesson learned, (1) submit your birth certificate and (2) show the note on the picture above, so you’d get the correct format of the residence certificate.

For complete details on the requirements, please visit this link:
https://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/files/000236579.pdf

To download the forms necessary, kindly go to this page:
https://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_en/00_000035.html