Japan is one of the most diverse countries, you will ever visit. It has a fascinating history, rich culture with unique traditions and a climate of its own. Japan can be very hot or very cold, wet with cyclones and often somewhere in between. It is worth researching the weather for the time of the year you are traveling and plan ahead.
Because Japan is so vast and diverse, many visitors opt for a variety of activities: from hiking up Mount Fuji to swimming with arctic monkeys in hot spring pools. So, pack light and wisely based on your unique itinerary. But whatever your itinerary, the following list along with the essential information you need to know before you go, will have you covered for a memorable trip:
- What to wear in Japan
- Camera, electrical equipment & technology
- What to leave at home
- Gift-giving: Japanese customs
- Japan travel guides
While walking through the major cities’ streets, it is inevitable that the Japanese are open-minded about fashion. Feel free to wear what is most comfortable. However, err on the side of conservative apparel when visiting temples and smaller communities. Visible tattoos are taboo in most spring baths.
- Layer Up: The classic travel advice of wearing layers and breathable fabrics, is still the best advice to follow. A stylish raincoat, cashmere (for colder climates) knitwear and button up tops would give you the perfect combination to mix and match. Stick to your favourite classic pieces.
- Comfortable Footwear: You will be doing a lot of walking, so comfort is key. Closed toe, lightweight walking shoes are essential. Cariuma is the best and my favourite brand for men and women. The shoes are comfortable, stylish, go with everything and are consciously kind to nature.
- A pair of jeans in a dark wash and a lighter pair will travel very far.
- Face cover / Mask: Not just for times during a global pandemic but also for anytime, you feel under the weather. If you are experiencing any symptoms of feeling unwell, after a long flight or any other activity, it is only mindful to help prevent the spread by wearing a mask. Revolve have stylish brands for the ladies.
Here is a detailed and downloadable packing list:
- Chargers & Universal adapters: The voltage in Japan is 100 Volt
- Note: There are some areas where flight rules apply and drones are not permitted, such as densely populated areas, airports, government buildings, the Imperial Palace, night time, above 150 meters etc… the list is here. If you need to fly a drone in restricted or ‘no-fly zones’, submit an application for permission to the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism 10 business days prior to the operation. Contact Japan’s UA / Drone Counseling Service for more information.
- Download 5 useful apps on your phone before you go.
- High heels were absolutely pointless on our trip but if you are planning or attending a special event, bring your favourite pair. Otherwise, the fashion in Japan is absolutely fabulous and you won’t fall short on options.
- Hiking boots would not serve any purpose unless you are visiting Japan to hike up 5000 meters. We visited and hiked on Mt. Koya and training shoes were more than comfortable.
- An umbrella turns out to be a nuisance when it rains or during a cyclone. A good raincoat would travel much further in wet climate.
- A hairdryer takes up a lot of space in a country that has excellent hotel amenities.
Believe it or not but tipping is generally frowned-upon in Japan while giving gifts are welcomed with open arms. Here are a few pointers for an excellent gift:
- Unlucky numbers are 4, 9, and 43.
- Two hands are better than one… give with both hands and receive in the same manner.
- Food (sweets/candy), flowers (except those associated with funerals), and alcohol from your home country are most appreciated. (ie. Barry’s Irish tea, Scots whiskey, Canadian maple syrup etc.).
Here are also the essential details, you need to know before packing for Japan. From visa requirements to weather and a couple of Japanese ‘house-rules’.
Leave me a comment if you this list helped you in preparing for your Japanese adventure.