Photo/Illutration People form a long line to obtain a South Korean tourist visa outside the South Korean Embassy’s consular department in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on June 2. (Yuko Kawasaki)

Tourist visa seekers formed a line stretching 100 meters outside the building of the South Korean Embassy’s consular department in Tokyo’s Minato Ward just before 9 a.m. on June 2.

A 53-year-old woman living in Saitama Prefecture said she finally could apply for her visa that morning after waiting overnight outside the building.

“The wait was 10 times longer than at Disneyland,” she joked. 

Many are rushing to obtain South Korea’s tourist visas, which the country has begun issuing once again for the first time in two years.

The South Korean government resumed issuing short-term visas enabling foreign tourists to stay in the country for up to 90 days on June 1, after a hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The woman from Saitama wants to travel to South Korea to visit her daughter, who is there studying.

“I never expected getting a visa would be this hard,” she said.