Visiting Japan: New Guidelines
In line with the opening of Japan's borders to international tourists starting June 10, 2022, here are the detailed travel guidelines when travelling to Japan:
Japanese government request foreign tourists to be accompanied by a guide for all itineraries for your entry. In addition to that, "Certificate for Completion of Registration to the ERFS system" issued by a Travel Agency/Tour Operator in Japan is required for your visa application.
Requirements to enter Japan as a tourist:
-A valid visa (old visas are not permitted anymore due to new travel protocols in Japan)
To get this type of visa, applicants should have a copy of the certificate from the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS) by Ministry of health – organised by Japanese company. The Certificate for Completion of Registration must be obtained by a Travel Agency/Tour Operator in Japan on behalf of the applicant (SRF LLC is a certified Tour Operator, our accreditation No. is 20437), and the "purpose" written on the certificate must be "観光" (Kanko = Tourism).
ERFS Visa Application Process Summary
1. Find an accredited Japan Travel Company or Tour Operator and buy a package tour.
2. The company will apply through the ERFS system for you.
3. A Certificate for Completion of Registration will be issued.
4. The travel company will email the certificate to you.
5. Take (or send) the certificate, your passport etc to the nearest Japan embassy or consulate.
6. The processing time is 5 to 7 days. They will send your passport to you or some will allow you to pick it up in person.
7. You can then fly to Japan and enter the country.
8. You will need a negative PCR test to enter Japan taken within 72 hours of boarding your flight to Japan.
Your Travel Company or Tour Operator will need to apply the ERFS the following:
After applying, contact Embassy or Consulate General of Japan nearest you.
***Negative test result taken 72 hours prior to departure date
***Medical insurance (need to cover medical expenses related to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
***Confirmed itinerary with a guide for the whole trip (from entry to exit of Japan). Note that this is a requirement to get a visa based on new Japanese travel protocols.
***Official Proof (either digital or paper-based) for Insurance
***Confirmed registration to Visit Japan Web Service.
***Smart phone with internet connection
***MySOS app (GPS application that confirms location and to report health condition)
Mount Pulag via Ambangeg Trail is surely an easy to average mountain to climb for a person with normal fitness. But one must still prepare enough for the trek in order to increase the chance of success in reaching its beautiful rolling hills of grassland and dwarf bamboo plants.
Shutter Adventures Co. always choose to do their Mount Pulag Photography Adventures in a traditional way. This means that the tour leaders and participants will start their journey from Victory Liner bus station (Cubao EDSA) to embark a bus heading for Baguio City. Our choice of time for departure is usually from 9:00 PM to 12:00 midnight. The bus usually arrives in Baguio City at around 4:00 AM. We will disembark at the station and board our monster jeep immediately. Before 5:00 AM we should have left for Mount Pulag. We will have our breakfast at Pinkanjo Restaurant on the way to Bokod DENR. We will have our breakfast there. At around 9:00 AM, we will arrive in Bokod but before we head to DENR, we have to get our individual Medical Certificate from Bokod Hospital first. This is one of the requirements together with your Covid-19 vaccination card. At the DENR, we will attend an orientation about trek guidelines. It will take 30-60 minutes for us to complete the orientation depending on the volume of trekkers at the time we arrive there. After, we will head to the ranger station for lunch. We will meet also our guides there. If you need a porter, there are many locals who can carry your stuff for P1000 (two-way). Every porter has a limit of 15kg. If your things exceed, additional charges will incur. When everything is settled at the ranger station, we can start our trek to Camp Site 2. Then, we can hope for a great weather during our stay in the mountain.
1. Do a 30-60 minutes of cardio, walking or running on a daily basis two weeks before the trek. Better if you can start doing it 30 days before the trek. It will help you gain more stamina for the trek.
2. Prepare for the worst weather. Weather proof your camera gears and clothing. Mount Pulag is a very cold place, if your clothes get wet and there's nothing to change what you're wearing, you will be very prone to hypothermia.
3. Bring your own sleeping bag. Shutter Adventures Co. doesn't provide sleeping bags for hygiene reasons. But if you really don't have one, please message us immediately so we can provide one for you for a minimal cost.
4. Since Shutter Adventures Co. are operating in Mount Pulag during weekdays, expect less foot traffic in the trail.
5. You are riding a bus and a monster jeep. Shutter Adventures Co. always choose to go to Mount Pulag the traditional way for reasons such as: a) We want to local drivers to earn, b) Bus rides are more comfortable than vans, and c) It is more fun and more adventurous.
6. Be at Victory Liner (Cubao EDSA Station) at least 1 hour before our departure time. For this particular trip, our departure time is 11:00 PM. Participants are expected to arrive at the station at 10:00 PM.
7. There are spring water in the mountain. They are good for drinking and cooking. However, if you are sensitive to this kind of water you can always bring your bottled water. The only downside is it will add weight to your pack.
8. Porters usually walk fast. Please inform your porter that you want him/her to always stay close to you. You don't want your medicine, water or trail food carried by your porter might be far from you in the event that you need them.
9. There are no standard toilets in Mount Pulag. There are only latrines. A latrine is a simple facility that is used as an emergency sanitation. In the case of Mount Pulag, it is hole in the ground. But don't worry, it has walls and covers around. One reason why we organize this tour on weekdays is because of this reason. Fewer trekkers, less competition in the use of latrines. You can take loperamide to slow your vowel activity during the trip.
10. Make sure you prepare for the cold weather. Winter clothes are not required. But a down jacket, rain coat, waterproof pants, bonnet, warm socks, and gloves will surely make your stay warm and comfortable.
11. The trek is not a race. Always take a rest when you need to. You don't have to join the pace of the team. There will always be a guide at the back to wait for you and assist you. So take your time and enjoy the walk.
12. Always remember the mountaineer’s creed: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”
13. When we return to the ranger station, you can tidy up there but I have to warn you that the water is ice-cold. You can request for hot water to warm the water that you'll use for taking a bath.
Just love telling stories about our trips.