Tokyo, Japan – Here we come!

by: xtian001

In: Japan | Travel

9 Nov 2010

The next few days would be posts about Tokyo, Japan. I can’t help it as it is where we 3 are headed for this Friday! After months of planning, (see previous post), we started our own countdown at the start of November. Everything fell into place as we got our new passports from the Philippine Embassy in Doha, just in time for my company to transfer our Qatar Visas before we fly. For the Japan Visit Visa we acquired, I talked to the lady at the Japanese Embassy in Doha and was told that even though the old passports are invalid, the Japanese Visas are still valid and there is no need for us to transfer the Visa stickers. I’ve also arranged for AAA Qatar (Arabian Automobile Association) to pick us up on Thursday night since I get free pickup service being a Gold Member. I’ve made a quick review of some of AAA Qatar services on another post. I digress. The flight is at 1 AM, Friday, November 12 and would have a quick stop at Osaka, Japan before taking us to Tokyo. The flight is expected to be 11 hours long. Longer than our usual trip to the Philippines by 2 hours. I guess we have to endure the long flight…as they say, “No pain, No gain”.

We would be arriving at Narita Airport at 7:10 P.M. and hopefully would go through immigration without hassle. A quick note; it would be best if you carry your passports, itinerary (one that you submitted to the embassy or a more detailed one), and hotel booking as you go through immigration just to be safe and be ready for questioning. I’ve asked Mavis to have a rundown of our detailed itinerary so she’ll have an idea of places we are going to.

After immigration, instead of taking the bus to Tokyo, we would be getting the N’EX and SUCIA package by JR East Railway Company. NE’X stands for Narita Express Train which takes you to the main stations in Tokyo. In our case, we have to stop at Tokyo Station itself to get to our final destination. I’ll tell you where later. In any case, tickets are available a floor below after you exit customs. Fares are as follows:

Roundtrip
Ordinary – 5,500 Yen
Green Car – 8,000 Yen

One Way
Ordinary – 3,500 Yen
Green Car – 5,000 Yen

It also comes with a SUICA card which has a preloaded 1500 Yen. The other 500 Yen is meant as a deposit once you return the card. The SUICA card is  a rechargeable smart card used as a fare for trains in Japan as train would basically be the mode of transportation you are going to use while there. By the way, Green Cars are “First Class Cars.

Anyway, the value of the package would really be 7880 Yen if you stop at Tokyo and goes higher if you stop at Yokohama or Shinjuku so you’d at least be saving 2880Yen by using N’EX.

Why N’EX and not bus nor Taxi? Bus takes longer that trains. Taxi? It would probably cost you less than  half of the cost of your airline ticket from Doha to Tokyo, say 40,000 Yen.

The N’EX is supposed to take you from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station in 53 minutes. So we’ll get 2 of the round trip packages. How about Xiane? Another tip for you guys with kids; Kids who are below 6 are free of charge as long as they seat on your lap. For 6 and above, you have to pay 50%. In Xiane’s case, it would be cheaper for us to buy her a separate N’EX card for kids plus we can get her a Child Suica pass which only deducts half of the adult fare for the other trains and metro.

Since we’re arriving at past 9:00 at Tokyo Station, I decided that we just take the Taxi from Tokyo Station to…Akihabara!  Yup, I found an apartment in Akihabara which would be our base for the next 14 days. The taxi is expected to be between 1000 Yen to 1500 Yen. Flag down rates of Taxi in Japan is 650 Yen/700 Yen , I think. It is quite expensive but since we’re going to endure the long trip, I didn’t want us to be carrying and transferring to another train line to reach Akihabara.

Hopefully, we will have things work out that way we planned them and that we won’t get any hassles along the way. I’ll probably make a post on our Tokyo Budget the next time around that other travelers who want to visit Tokyo would have an idea of some costs. Till then!

Here is information on how to apply for a Japanese Visit and business visa in Doha, Qatar. It is quite easy and the only hassle would probably be obtaining and gathering the requirements especially the confirmed hotel bookings and flights if you’re going to be there as a tourist.

It takes 3 working/business days to get the Visa approvals. In our case, once we submitted our papers, it took probably 10-15 minutes for the lady at the reception to check them. After, she gave us some forms signifying that we submitted our passports to them and told us to call after 2 days. In the morning of that day, she called us and told us that the visas are ready for pickup. It seems the Filipinos are not required to pay anything for the Visa!

One thing to note, if your Japanese Visit Visa is valid from, say, November to December, you passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the end of your Japanese Visa. In the said case, it should be valid till June of the next year. This is important for airport checks in Tokyo and not necessarily approval for the embassy. Meaning, you can apply for the visa even if you don’t meet the requirement but you should get your passport validity extended from your own embassy or get a new passport after you get your Japan Visit Visa. You also don’t need to transfer the Visa from the old passport to the new passport, but make sure you bring your old passport with you when traveling as the visa on this expired passport would still be valid.

Japan Embassy in Doha, Qatar Website
http://www.qa.emb-japan.go.jp/en/consul/consul_e.html

The Consular Section
Address: The Consular Section is located in the Embassy
Diplomatic Area, West Bay, Doha, Qatar
Tel: 44840888
Fax: 44832178

Working Hours: from 7:30 to 15:00 (from Sunday to Thursday)

Visa Procedure for Tourists

  1. Visa Application Form (1 sheets)
  2. Original Passport which must remain valid for at least another 6 months beyond the requested validity of your visa
  3. Recent Photos (Each photo should be taken within 3 months before applying) – passport size
  4. Salary Certificate
  5. Confirmed Hotel Reservation (for the whole period of stay)
  6. Confirmed Return Ticket (to and from Japan) Reservation
  7. Personal Bank Statement for the last 6 months
  8. Daily’s Schedule in Japan

Visa Fees (Single Entry)

Indian     QR32
Iranian    QR192
Others    QR115

Some countries’ citizens do not need to pay for Visa.

Visa Procedure for Business Visitors

  1. Visa Application Form (1 sheets)
  2. Original Passport which must remain valid for at least another 6 months beyond the requested validity of your visa
  3. 1 Recent Photos (Each photo should be taken within 3 months before applying) – passport size
  4. A Covering Letter from Applicant Company etc. in Qatar
  5. Invitation letter from the Guarantor in Japan
  6. Confirmed Hotel Reservation (for the whole period of stay)
  7. Confirmed Return Ticket (to and from Japan) Reservation
  8. Daily’s Schedule in Japan

Visa Fees (Single Entry)

same as above.

For further information, please contact 44840888.

http://www.vodafone.com.qa/go/pressrelease/announcement

02 November, 2010: Vodafone Qatar sadly announces the passing of its Chief Executive Officer, Grahame Maher.

The whole Vodafone family including its Board of Directors and employees extend their condolences to his wife Jenny Maher, to his daughters Jessica and Kate, and to his wider family.

Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, John Tombleson will step in as Acting Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Qatar.

Grahame came to Qatar in 2008 to set-up Vodafone Qatar with the purpose of making a world of difference for all the people in Qatar.

Grahame himself made a difference to the lives of everyone he touched. He was a great CEO, coach, mentor, and friend. We will all sorely miss his inspiration and vision, his passion and energy, and his love for all the people he worked with.

Condolences will be held at the W Hotel on 3rd, 4th, and 5th November from 6 pm to 9 pm.

Gift-Giving 2010

by: xtian001

In: Family & Friends | Personal | Philippines | Xianelle

29 Oct 2010

Last year, as part of our Gift-giving advocacy, we gave away slippers, school supplies and medicines to a community of Aetas in Bamban, Tarlac.  This year upon the advice of Barangay Captain Danny  Adrias, who is the leader of the said community among many others in their area, we decided to extend our gift-giving to the pupils and teachers of the San Vicente Elementary School.

Instead of giving away slippers, Kapitan Adrias, requested that we give away umbrellas just in time for the rainy season.  So in total we together with our family and our friend Michael gave away around 300 umbrellas, school supplies for each class, medicines, toys and candies.  Seeing all those smiles really makes it all worthwhile.

Our thanks also go to our friends here in Doha who contributed to this cause. You know who you are and may God bless you a hundredfold for your kindness and generosity.  You surely helped make this endeavor a success.  Until our next gift-giving.

Qatar WTA Event on February!

by: xtian001

In: Entertainment | Events | News | Qatar | Sports

25 Oct 2010

This is good news indeed for Tennis fans as another Women’s Tennis Association event would be held on February 2011. I do like the Sony Ericsson Championships as they bring the top 8 women players in the world. However, if our favorite players don’t qualify, then there is no chance for us to see them. Having a WTA event that invites more players is sooo welcome!

Doha will return to the regular Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) calendar in February next year when it hosts the Qatar Open, an event the country had to let go when it won the rights to host the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in 2008.

Qatar became the first country in the Gulf to conduct a women’s tennis tournament in 2001, then called the Qatar TotalFinaElf  Open, and continued to host it until 2008 after which it was discontinued because Doha had landed the more prestigious season-ending tournament for three years and under the rules one city could not hold two events.
However, since Qatar’s three-year contract to host the Sony Ericsson Championships ends this year, it is once again eligible to host a regular WTA tournament, which will be held from February 21, 2011.

“We are pleased to announce that Qatar will be once again on the regular WTA calendar from 2011,” tournament director Karim Alami said yesterday.

About our blog

It's been 10 years since the San Juan Family started their blog documenting their lives in this little spot called Qatar. Follow Chris, Mavis and Xianelle as they share what Doha has to offer.

  • xtian001: Your financial status matters as it is proof that you can support your stay in the country. [...]
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  • Chamara: Please let me know that how much should i need to mentioned an acount balance for apply japan visit [...]
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