For years I have dreamed of traveling to Japan and this year I am finally making that dream a reality. To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement. Planning the trip was easy, because of how much daydreaming I’ve done about Tokyo over the years. But with the trip coming up quickly, I realised I needed to get organised and start thinking about what to pack as Japan is completely different to anywhere I’ve been in the past.
So, here is my Quick Guide to what to pack for a trip to Japan, of course if you are going for Japan Ski Holidays you will also need to think about the lovely, warm snow gear you will need too.
If you’re going to Tokyo, visit my guide on ’43 Things to do in Tokyo’ to help you decide what to do while you’re there. Tokyo is incredible and if you don’t have a clear idea on what to do, you may feel overwhelmed and lose precious sightseeing/fun time.
Bring a small bag packed full of essential medicines with you. Unlike Australia, and most other countries, it isn’t possible to duck down to the corner store and pick-up some paracetamol. There are drug stores in Japan, but if you wake up at an odd hour in the grips of a horrid cold, you’ll be helpless until one opens. Take the risk out of it and pack things like cold and flu tablets, hay fever/allergy medicine, ibuprofen, paracetamol, tums and Imodium.
Pocket packs of tissues tucked into a bag may come in very helpful at public toilets. Whilst there is no shortage of T.P in Japan, there are some public toilets which run out of the good stuff due to the high volume of people using them. Don’t be a victim, be proactive.
Seems simple enough, right? Wrong! Make sure you pack shoes which are comfortable, for all the walking you will do, but also easy to slip on and off as you may need to take them on and off during the day to stay in keeping with local customs. Note: your thigh high lace-up boots may not be appropriate this time.
Japan is the land of delicious, weird and creative food stuffs. Bring a water bottle with you so you can easily refill around the city, to save you falling victim to endless vending machines calling your name toward the sugary drinks inside. Tap water in Japan is safe to drink so you’ll save money and also save yourself from dehydration by drinking water.
Don’t fall victim to the mental pressure of wanting to pack every item of clothing you own, nah-uh. There are so many great shops in Japan selling affordable clothing, you will be able to buy anything you are missing at a decent price. Keep it simple, you hoarder!
Here are a few of my travel hacks and tips for a trip to Japan or any destination, developed from personal experience, as well as a couple of cool travel gadgets I love the look of!
Stash some large plastic grocery bags and small sandwich bags in your luggage, they come in so very handy for storing dirty shoes and clothes as well as bars of soap, wet swimwear or leaky toothpaste tubes!
I use Tupperware or similar hard plastic containers to put all my toiletries in. This ensure no leaks will destroy my clean clothes and makes it really easy for me to grab my toiletries in one easy swoop, keep them together in the hotel and makes re-packing easier too. I also use a small container for all my jewellery and another one for electronics like adaptors, cords and chargers. It keeps me organised and stops me from losing things!
Put dryer sheets in your suitcase to keep your clothes smelling good throughout the whole trip, easy! No more musty smelling clothes for you, my friend.
Roll-up Travel Charges.
Yes, yes, yes. I can only imagine how much time a Roll-Up Travel Charger would save me when it comes to packing and unpacking charging equipment, I must have one of these. It minimises clutter and puts all your much needed charges in one very useful bar that plugs straight into the wall. It appeals to the neat-freak within me… a LOT.
The Trackstick II is so very cool and will appear to the nerdy data types out there (i.e. my husband). It’s a GPS receiver the size of a memory stick, it can be used to track your every step for weeks! Take it with you in your pocket and you’ll have a satellite album of your travels. You can see where you’ve been, shown via a red line that is traced on satellite photos and 3D terrain. Told you it was cool. It continuously records its exact route, stop times, speed, direction and other valuable information, all of which is easily downloaded to your computer.
These are my tips for what to pack for a trip to Japan, what are yours? What are your top travel hacks or tips? I’d love to hear them so share in the comments below.