I just returned from Fukuoka Japan where I went on a 33 hour Visa Run for teaching in Korea. I want to write this so it is helpful for anyone else needing to go, because I had a hard time finding the facts on the internet.
You can only go on a Visa Run if you have already been issued a Visa in the past. If you have never had a Korean E2 Visa, you have to have an in person interview in the states. (This is written for americans, and of course the information may be changed by the government)
Bring your passport and one photo copy of it to keep with you when you turn your passport into the consulate. You also need your visa issuance number that the school gives you. Bring the address and phone number of the school with you so you can fill out the forms and you can use that as your housing address. Bring 1 passport photo.
Be sure to book the earliest flight possible, mine left Busan at 9:15 which really cut things close. We landed in Fukuoka within 40 minutes of take off. Go as quickly as you can through immigration (the consulate only accepts visa paperwork from 10:30-11:30).
Head out the front doors of the international terminal and jump on the shuttle bus to the domestic terminal. Then, turn to your right and go into the subway. Buy a ticket for 290 Yen (exchange money when you are at the airport in Korea) and take the train to TajinMachi K5 stop.
Use Exit #1, turn around 180 degrees when you come up and walk to the intersection. Make a left and walk down following the canal. Head W toward the ocean. Go about 1/4 mile to the next big intersection. Cross the street. Make a left, walk over the canal. The Hawks Mall should be on your right. Pass the mall and the consulate is on the right just past the mall.
Fill out the forms, pay 4,500 Yen, turn in your passport and you are done for the day. Roam around, find your hotel and enjoy yourself. You have to go back the next day after 1:30 to pick up your visa.
I stayed at the Hotel Sunlife at Hakata Station. Thursday night I walked around and found a restaurant near to my hotel. I had some fish (I don’t know what kind it was, it wasn’t tuna…but it was so good!) Some edamame, a few beers and an amazing waffle with ice cream for dessert.
The next day I had a traditional Japanese breakfast at the hotel. It was large and delicious.
I had about 4 cups of coffee to get my day moving. I put on some sneakers and hit the road for a few hours of roaming.
This was the route I took. I found a really great temple. The weather was perfect, the sun was out and there was a breeze. I sat on a stoop and read my book for an hour or so before I ventured on.
Here are some of the sites I saw. I have to say, I did not have my iPod on and did not listen to music. I had no one to speak with, no phone to ring and really I can’t speak Japanese (can you believe it) so I really was on my own. It felt absolutely unexplainably empowering to roam a country where you feel safe and without anything or anyone to see or do.
Anyway, I ended up back at the consulate for 1:45 to pick up my visa, bought a pair of shoes, and headed back to Hakata on the train.
I will say though, as I was boarding the airplane to Korea, this is what was next to us…
Ahhh…I know, Hawaii…Next time, I just may be boarding that plane (but I think Adam should come with me)