South Korean Tourist Visa Applications In Japan Are Rising, And K-Pop And K-Dramas Are A Major Reason Why

International tourism is back in swing between Japan and South Korea!

On June 1, more than 1,000 applicants lined up at the consular office of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Tokyo, Japan in hopes of receiving a tourist visa to travel to South Korea.

C-3 travel visa line at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Tokyo | Lee Younghee/The JoongAng

This visa, known as a C-3 visa, allows travelers to visit the country for up to 90 days.

The large influx of applicants can be mainly attributed to the easing of travel restrictions after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Empty international flight terminal at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in 2020 | Arne Müseler

Even though the embassy previously reviewed C-3 visa applications in 2022, visas were only allowed to be granted on June 1, with a maximum acceptance limit of 150 per day.

Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Japan | Shinjuku Convention and Visitors Bureau
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Japan’s consular office | Quiet Mavblog

Many within the line of 1,000+ applicants planned to wait overnight to improve their chances of obtaining a visa the following day.

People sit outside the Embassy of the Republic of Korea’s consular office after C-3 tourist visa applications conclude for the day | Lee Younghee/The JoongAng

While the motives behind each applicant’s interest in traveling to the country vary, South Korean popular media and entertainment have influenced many potential travelers.

One applicant was a MOA who wanted to be able to see TXT‘s “ACT: LOVESICK” 2022 world tour premiere in Seoul on July 2.

Idol group TXT will hold a concert at the beginning of July. I have to go to Seoul for this.

—Female applicant in her 30s

TXT | HYBE Labels
TXT’s “ACT: LOVESICK” world tour poster | HYBE Labels

A 53 year old mother applied for the tourist visa to finally reunite with her daughter, who is living in South Korea as a K-Pop trainee.

Another applicant’s interest in Korea’s shopping and entertainment sector Korea was piqued after watching K-Dramas like Crash Landing On You.

Promotional poster for Crash Landing on You | TvN

As the demand for C-3 visas have become exceptionally high, it is unclear whether the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Japan has any plans to increase the amount of issued visas per day.

Source: The JoongAng, The Japan Times and Nikkei Asia

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