Fukuoka E2 Visa Run

After running out of time in the UK to attain my working visa for Korea I had to go on a visa run to Fukuoka, Japan. I was extremely nervous about this as all websites I had been on had stated you needed to get your visa in your home country if you were to be working in a private school. I was very lucky with mine as my school gave me fool proof plans, maps, paperwork to ensure it ran smoothly. They also organised the travel and accommodation which meant all I had to worry about was my visa.

Looking through the internet it is filled of correct/incorrect information which can be very confusing!!! After doing it myself it couldn’t be more simpler! (This was as of May 2013)

The visa run takes 3 days. 1 day to get there, the next day to drop off your passport and paperwork and the 3rd day to pick up your passport and go back to Korea. I got the earliest ferry from Busan and did not arrive until 12. (Half 12 after going through customs) The embassy only accepts passports between 9-11am so you will not get there in time in one day.

There are two different types of ferry, the overnight ferry which takes 13 hours and the one I got which was the hydrofoil (The ferry comes out of the water so it is very smooth!) which takes 3 hours. Despite my ticket being paid for, you MUST pay tax (each way) at the ferry terminal which was 30,000 won. ($30) It is also important that you change your money into Yen BEFORE you get to Japan as there is not too many places who will change it once you are there.

Once I had arrived I grabbed a taxi to the hotel in Hakata and headed out to explore. You will have quite a bit of time to kill so it’s worth looking at what to do before you come so you don’t end up walking aimlessly around.

The next day I got up and out the hotel for 8am and took a taxi to the embassy. The taxi was about 2,000 yen ($20) and if I had known I would have got the subway which will get you there for 25o yen ($2.50) however I wanted it done as soon as possible. I was first one in the embassy and it was actually extremely easy. All you need is your passport, your application form with your visa insurance number and 1 passport picture. (They have application forms there as well as a passport picture machine) I had all mine filled out and was in and out the embassy within about 4 minutes. The visa charge was 9600 yen ($95) which was cheaper than what I was quoted (12,000 yen)!

I was told tome come back between 1.30pm and 3.00pm when visas are handed out so I went off exploring.

The next day I jumped on the subway, although the machines look tricky they are actually easy. Just find the station you want on the map above the machine and the number is the price of the journey, pop your money in and select the price…simple! The best station to get off at is Tojinmachi. Once you are out of the station head straight along the road towards the gas station and BMW garage. Cross the road and walk to the BMW garage, you will come to an intersection, turn right so you follow the BMW garage round the corner. Keep walking up that road for about 500m until you come to a Shell gas station and the Korean embassy is straight ahead across the road.

Otherwise take a taxi to the Fukuoka dome and walk down (you can see how close the dome is below!)

Korean Embassy

Korean Embassy

It’s worth a mention if you have time to kill, get off at Ohorikoen station (1 station early) and visit Ohori Park and the ruins of the Fukuoka castle! Also if you keep walking straight past the embassy you will reach the Hard Rock Cafe!

I popped in and again the whole exchange took about 4 min! I jumped back in a taxi and went straight to the ferry port which cost me about 1,900 yen. ($19) Once I had checked in again I had to pay the tax which was 1,800 yen then a further 500 yen as I boarded so 2,300 ($23) yen in total.

And that was it, as long as you have your visa insurance number you can do a visa run even if you are employed by a private school!!

If you want to know how to spend you time here is some of the bits and bobs I got up to here.


What you will need


Application Form

Visa insurance number

1 passport picture

30,000 won tax for the outgoing journey

2,300 yen tax for return journey

9,600 yen for the visa

Points to note

Embassy only takes applications between 9am and 11am

You can only collect your passport between 1.30pm and 3.30pm

Change your money to yen BEFORE you leave Korea

You will need a copy of the address you are staying at to fill in your immigration papers (Both ways) So make sure you have a note of your hotel in Japan and your address in Korea

Take a photocopy of your passport to give to the hotel as some want to keep your passport


7 thoughts on “Fukuoka E2 Visa Run

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed your entries on Japan – my second home – and on South Korea (of which I have had only minor experience).
    A comment on cash: 7/11 stores will get you money most hours of the day, even when banks close early and are very reliable as well as convenient.
    On Japan, I could almost smell the okonomiyaki and, yes, SpaWorld is quite an experience.: recommended.
    As for castles, if you can only see one, the top example is Himeji-jo which has just had a major renovation, due to be complete about now.

    • Thanks, glad you liked them!
      That’s good to know about 7/11 I would never have thought to try there!
      I’m really gutted we were not allowed into Spa land is really does look awesome!
      I’ll have to look up that Castle and check it out. I will defo be making it my mission to get back to japan one day and explore more! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Fukuoka, Japan | Jennie McKie

  3. Hi Jennie,

    Firstly, thank you so much for writing such a helpful post on doing a visa run. I am hopefully going to travel to Japan in the next few days to get my E2 visa, and have found this to be very useful!

    May I ask a couple of questions?
    I am looking to get a night or Early morning flight from Japan so that I can be ready to go straight to the Embassy. I am also planning this so that I only need to stay in a hotel one night. Where did you stay? How much was the hotel?

    I am going to change money in to Yen at Incheon Airport. How much money total do you think I will need? I was thinking of changing 200,000 KRW. Is that too little or too much?

    Thanks in advance you may be able to offer me!

    Steve ^^

    • Hi
      Glad it helped… I know only too well how conflicting some of the information is that is out there right now!!

      I have heard that you cant make it in time if you take the early morning flight however they might have earlier times now?? As long as you have your passport in by 11 it is ok any later and they will not take it.
      Bear in mind you might have quite a bit to travel to get to the embassy… I am not sure how long sorry as I arrived Via hydro-foil ferry!

      I stayed right beside the train station… unfortunately I could not tell you exactly how much as it was all covered by the school. If you try go on hostelbookers.com I always use them to look for cheap places to stay and you usually get a great deal!

      There is no express service so unfortunately you will only be able to pick up your passport the next day after 1pm… again this may have changed but I would look into staying 2 nights!

      As for money it really depends on what you will do when you are there and eat/drink. I think 200,000 should be enough. I ate Mcdonalds and fast food while there as the food is very expensive. I did a few tourist things but most of them were free like the Fukouka castle ruins and Ohio park. Subway takes you very close to the embassy so you should try find a place close to a subway stop and it will make your life much much easier!!! 🙂

      Oh and as you go into the embassy you also need to write down your address in Korea…. its better if you have this on hand or even better a business card so you dont need to write anything down!

      Hope this helps!

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