What to Pack for Japan?

For some of us, Japan is an exotic and different country where some things are a bit different and it’s normal to wonder what to actually take on this trip. Recently, I traveled to Japan for three months and those are my personal tips on how to pack for a trip to Japan and what is important to remember.

1. TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

It can sound a bit of basic information, but it’s great to double-check the most important thing – documents! Have you packed these items?

  • Passport
  • Flight tickets
  • Insurance documents
  • Japan Rail pass, if you wondering if you need it, read my review of Japan RailPass or go to official Japan RailPass website to buy it (it’s cheaper to order the card while you are still at home).
  • Credit cards and cash, have at least 10 000 ¥ (yen) before traveling to Japan. You will be probably shocked by how many places you can’t pay with credit cards.

2. PACK FOR JAPAN HOTEL CONFIRMATION

Before you leave to make sure you have all your paperwork. If it’s possible to print hotel confirmation in English and Japanese. This would be useful if you don’t speak Japanese and Hotel staff don’t speak English. It actually happens quite a lot. As I live in a smaller city in Japan, outside Tokyo, it’s always the case, in Tokyo would be easier to survive without speaking Japanese.

3. TAKE WATER BOTTLE

It’s quite easy to find a place where to refill your water bottle, in many places you can drink tap water. Why you should take a water bottle? Well, first of all, you would use less plastic, but if you don’t care about ecology then there’s another reason. Japan doesn’t really have trash cans in public places, everything you use, you have to take home and then recycle. So if you need to drink 2 – 3 l a day then count how many trash you will be carrying after a long day in the city. I actually before my trip to Japan I bought a so-called soft water bottle, it’s actually for runners, but it takes not a lot of space in a bag and I love it. You can check it on Amazon:

4. TRAVEL ADAPTER

If you pack to Japan and I’m sure you will any electronic device then you will need a travel adapter. The Japanese travel adapter is not easy to find in a shop at home so it’s easier to order it online. Check it on Amazon:

travel adapter

5. SLIP ON SHOES

In many building in Japan, including touristic sightseeing places, restaurants, cafes you should take your shoes off to respect Japanese culture. To minimize the hassle invest in a slip on shoes and remember to wear proper socks.

6. PACK FOR JAPAN CLOTHES ACCORDING TO THE SEASON

Japan has four different seasons so you should pack accordingly. During springtime take a raincoat and umbrella, because it could be rainy, during humid season Summer take light clothes (but keep it classy and mostly wear T-shirts with sleeves). For Autumn take light jacket it will be useful for cooler seasons and in winter take warmer clothes and a scarf.

7. HYGIENE PRODUCTS

This one is a totally personal experience, before traveling to Japan I thought I will take only a super small shampoo bottle and save some space in the bag, everything I need I would buy in Japan. No. When you go to the store you can go crazy about the number of products and everything is written only in Japanese. If you are at least a little picky what face wash to use then it would be a nightmare for sure.

8. OTHER ITEMS

Other items that you might find useful to pack for Japan like pocket WIFI router so you could use your phone without paying expensive data charges (but here is quite is to find free WIFI almost anywhere), Consider taking the external battery and also you can check my packing list for more ideas what to take.

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