top of page

What to Pack for Japan: Japan Packing List, Tips, and Tricks




From the Zen temples of Kyoto, rich in cultural and historical significance, to the electric city streets of Tokyo, awash in neon glow, the Land of the Rising Sun offers up a sprawling array of experiences for any traveler (that's exactly why it's one of our favorite destinations). And while the diversity of activities practically guarantees a fascinating adventure, it also means you really need to think about what you need to pack versus what you want to pack when you visit Japan.


That means planning ahead, and there’s no better way to do that than by diving into the ultimate Japan packing list so you know what to wear, what to bring, and what to forget to make sure you have the trip of a lifetime. We’re talking everything from the bare necessities to the highly specific brand-name items that our team can’t travel without (if that's not enough, join the FTLO Community for even more inside info). Let’s go.


  1. Japan Travel Essentials

  2. What to Wear in Japan

  3. Japan Packing Optionals

  4. Leave Behind When You Visit Japan

  5. Notes on Japanese Customs and Culture


1. Japan travel Essentials


A woman packs light clothes in a suitcase

Before we get into the nitty gritty, we’ll need to hammer down the essentials—if you only listen to one piece of advice on how to master your Japan packing list, make it this. Whether you’re climbing up through the 10,000 torii gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine or you plan on navigating the crowds of Omoide Yokochō on the hunt for the best izakaya in the capital, these items will make your Japan trip so much more enjoyable. You’ll be comfortable, prepared, and ready for whatever comes your way.



The Basics


  • Portable water bottle: Make sure to stay hydrated on the go and refill your bottle wherever you are. There are a million options, but for size, style, and convenience we recommend Hydro Flask’s 21 oz.

  • Day bag or backpack: You’re going to need some essentials on day trips and hikes. Save space and get yourself a 4Monster packable day pack that’ll fit into the palm of your hand.

  • Portable power bank: A staple on our Japan packing list and every other one for that matter. There’s nothing worse than being disconnected on whatever device you're using. Luckily, today there are tons of great portable chargers. We’re huge fans of Anker’s slim power bank.

  • Universal travel adapter: Ensure you can charge your electronics no matter where you are in the country. Our favorite is Newvanga’s all in one (if you have region-specific adapters, keep in mind that Japan uses type-A plugs).

  • Travel pillow: On long flights, a travel pillow makes all the difference. MLVOC’s memory foam comfort does the job for our crew.

  • Comfortable walking shoes: In Japan, you'll get around a lot by walking, so bring a pair of sturdy and comfortable shoes for your daily adventures.

  • Light layers: Japan's weather can vary, so pack light layers that you can easily add or remove based on the temperature.

  • Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun during outdoor excursions and sightseeing.

  • Travel insurance: Save the hassle of worrying about anything and get it before you go. Some companies may cover trip cancellations, others could even reimburse you for that Japan rail pass if something goes wrong, so make sure you have it



Carry-on Items


  • Passport and photocopy of passport: Make sure to bring your passport and to keep your travel documents safe and readily available (bring at least one photocopy of your passport, hotel, flight details, etc.).

  • Prescription medications: Bring an adequate supply of your necessary medications.

  • Cash (Japanese yen) and credit cards: Ensure you withdraw Japanese yen (for more rural areas) and a credit card (widely accepted in all cities) for your trip.

  • Toiletries: Pack toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, hairbrush, razor, and other essential toiletries in a toiletry bag.

  • Phone and charger: Download offline Google maps and pick up a local SIM card when you enter Japan (if you don't have international data).



Expert Tip


We love packing cubes and believe it's a good idea to carry-on everything if you can when visiting Japan or anywhere else. Pack smart; lost luggage is not your friend!


2. What to Wear in japan


Japan's distinct seasons offer a diverse array of experiences, from cherry blossom blooms in spring to vibrant autumn foliage in fall. As you plan your trip around Japan, it’s important that your packing list is designed specifically for the time of year of your visit.


Packing List for Japan: 7-10 day Japanese Adventure



Spring (March to May):


If you're traveling to Japan in the Spring, expect mild temperatures. Cherry blossoms, or sakura, paint the country in brilliant hues of pink and white. Locals and tourists alike gather under the blooming trees for picnics and festivities at Hanami parties.



Pack the following items for a comfortable and stylish spring adventure:


For Women:


  • Light jackets or cardigans: Consider 1 jacket and 1 cardigan.

  • Long-sleeve shirts and blouses: 2-3 of these should do it. Opt for soft and breathable fabrics.

  • Short-sleeve or sleeveless tops: 4-5.

  • Comfortable pants and skirts: 3-4. Choose versatile bottoms that allow you to explore the city or hike in the countryside.

  • Dresses or skirts: 2-3.

  • Shorts: 1-2 pairs.

  • Comfortable walking shoes: 1 pair for long walks or city explorations.

  • Sandals: 1 pair for a stylish night out.

  • Scarves or shawls: 1.

  • Underwear and socks: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 pair.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks


For Men:


  • Light jackets or sweaters: 1 lightweight jacket or sweater that can be easily layered over shirts or T-shirts.

  • Long-sleeve shirts: 2-3. Choose comfortable and breathable shirts suitable for various activities.

  • Short-sleeved shirts: 4-5.

  • Comfortable pants: 2-3. Opt for versatile trousers or jeans.

  • Shorts: 1-2 pairs.

  • Comfortable closed-toe shoes: Bring a pair of comfortable shoes for long walks or city explorations.

  • Light scarf: 1 should do it.

  • Underwear and socks: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 pair.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks.


Summer (June to August):


Summer in Japan can be hot and humid, especially in the cities (don't worry, air conditioning is widespread). Sometimes there’s also rain in early June.



Stay cool and stylish with these essential items:


For Women:


  • Breathable shirts and tops: 5-6. Choose lightweight and loose-fitting tops to beat the summer heat.

  • Shorts and skirts: 3-4. Embrace the warm weather with comfortable shorts and breezy skirts.

  • Light dresses: 2-3.

  • Comfortable sandals: 1 pair. Opt for stylish sandals that are perfect for sightseeing or strolling along the beaches.

  • Light pants: 1 pair.

  • Light jacket or cardigan: 1

  • Swimsuit: 1 if you have the chance to swim.

  • Underwear and socks: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 comfortable pair should do.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks.


For Men:


  • Breathable short-sleeve shirts: 5-6. Pack lightweight and moisture-wicking shirts for a comfortable summer experience.

  • Shorts: 2-3 pairs. Stay cool and casual with a variety of shorts for different occasions.

  • Lightweight pants: 1 pair.

  • Comfortable sandals: 1 pair for relaxed summer outings.

  • Swimsuit: 1, if you have the chance to swim.

  • Light jacket or cardigan: 1 for cooler evenings.

  • Underwear and socks: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 comfortable pair should do.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks.


Autumn (September to November):


Autumn in Japan brings mild and comfortable temperatures, making it the perfect time to enjoy the fall foliage while wearing layers for a cozy and stylish experience.



Pack the same things as you would in the spring.


For Women:


  • Light jackets or cardigans: Consider 1 jacket and 1 cardigan.

  • Long-sleeve shirts and blouses: 2-3 of these should do it. Opt for soft and breathable fabrics.

  • Short-sleeve or sleeveless tops: 4-5.

  • Comfortable pants and skirts: 3-4. Choose versatile bottoms that allow you to explore the city or hike in the countryside.

  • Dresses or skirts: 2-3.

  • Shorts: 1-2 pairs.

  • Comfortable closed-toe shoes: 1 pair for long walks or city explorations.

  • Sandals: 1 pair for a stylish night out.

  • Scarves or shawls: 1.

  • Underwear and socks: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 pair.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks.


For Men:


  • Light jackets or sweaters: 1 lightweight jacket or sweater that can be easily layered over shirts or T-shirts.

  • Long-sleeve shirts: 2-3. Choose comfortable and breathable shirts suitable for various activities.

  • Short-sleeved shirts: 4-5.

  • Comfortable pants: 2-3. Opt for versatile trousers or jeans.

  • Shorts: 1-2 pairs

  • Comfortable closed-toe shoes: Bring a pair of comfortable shoes for long walks or city explorations.

  • Light scarf: 1 should do it.

  • Underwear and socks: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 pair.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks


Winter (December to February):


Winter in Japan can be quite chilly, especially in the northern regions where snow-covered landscapes create a magical atmosphere. The cold weather provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy traditional hot springs, indulge in delicious hot pot meals, and check out winter festivals.



Stay warm and fashionable with these winter essentials:


For Women:


  • Warm coats or jackets: 1 insulated and stylish coat or jacket to keep cozy during winter days.

  • Sweaters: 1-2. Layer up with cozy sweaters and thermals for added warmth.

  • Long-sleeve shirts or tops: 4-5.

  • Thick pants or jeans: 2-3. Bring warm pants to pair with your winter outfits.

  • Dresses: 1 to layer with tights or leggings.

  • Warm tights or leggings: 1-2 pairs.

  • Thermal socks: 7-10 pairs. Keep your feet warm with thermal socks during chilly days.

  • Waterproof boots or shoes: 1 pair to handle rain or snow.

  • Scarf: 1.

  • Gloves: 1 pair.

  • Winter hat: 1.

  • Underwear: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 comfortable pair should do.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks.

For Men:


  • Warm coats or jackets: 1 insulated and versatile jacket suitable for various winter activities.

  • Sweaters and layers: 1-2. Stay comfortable and cozy with a variety of layered outfits.

  • Long-sleeve shirts: 4-5.

  • Thick pants or jeans: Bring warm trousers or jeans for a polished winter look.

  • Thermal socks: 7-10 pairs to keep your feet warm and dry.

  • Waterproof boots or shoes: Prepare for winter weather with waterproof footwear.

  • Scarf: 1.

  • Gloves: 1 pair.

  • Winter hat: 1.

  • Underwear and socks: 7-10 pairs (more if you want to workout).

  • Pajamas: 1 comfortable pair should do.

  • Activewear: 1-2 pairs depending on hikes or longer walks.

By packing most or even some of these for each season, you'll be fully prepared to embrace the diverse climates and experiences that await you in Japan. Enjoy your adventure in this captivating country while looking stylish and feeling comfortable throughout your journey.



3. Japan Packing OPTIONALS


A map with a camera and a notebook.

In addition to the essentials and recommended attire, consider packing some of these optional add-ons to enhance your travel experience in Japan:


  • Noise-canceling headphones: Block out ambient noise and enjoy a peaceful journey on crowded trains or flights. Some people prefer earbuds, but our favorites are Bose’s over-ear 700 model.

  • Instant film camera: Film is back! These bad boys may take up space in the bag, but they’re just so fun. Fujifilm’s Instax Mini is our go to.

  • Portable WiFi device: Stay connected and have access to the internet while exploring Japan's cities and remote areas. There are a million of these, but we like the ease of the TP-Link AC750.

  • Travel umbrella: Be prepared for unexpected rain showers, especially during Japan's rainy season. We like the SY Compact for its small size and durability.

  • Travel guidebook or language app: Enhance your cultural experiences and make communication easier with locals. We’re still suckers for Lonely Planet.

  • Travel journal or notebook: Document your experiences and capture memories during your Japanese adventure.

  • Coin Purse: Japanese yen can come in 500, 100, 50, 10, 5, or 1 coins


4. leave behind When You Visit Japan



To keep your bag light and efficient, consider leaving these items behind when you pack for Japan:


  • Formal or heavy clothing: Japan is relatively informal, so you can leave formal attire and heavy clothing at home.

  • Hiking boots: Lightweight sneakers are sufficient for most outdoor activities.

  • Excessive accessories: Japan's minimalistic style makes simple accessories more suitable.

  • Hair dryers: Most hotels provide hair dryers for guests.

  • Other heavy or unnecessary items: Opt for lightweight and versatile pieces to avoid overpacking.

5. Notes on Japanese Customs and Culture



Customs are important around the world; however, in Japan in particular, these are really a fundamental part of society. When you start thinking about what to bring to Japan and your Japan packing list, it's a good idea to begin learning about the cultural norms and traditions that you should be mindful of as well.


Take Off Your Shoes


Something you'll notice pretty quickly after you arrive in Japan is the tradition of removing shoes before entering a home or certain traditional establishments such as ryokans (Japanese inns) and onsens (hot springs).


This seemingly simple act is deeply rooted in Japanese values of respect and cleanliness, and following it demonstrates your acknowledgement and appreciation of Japanese culture.


As a traveler, showing such respect can significantly enhance the depth of your experiences, opening doors to deeper cultural exchanges and mutual understanding. To make this practice easy for yourself, pack slip on shoes that are easily removable.


*Pro Tip: If you enter a house, shop, izakaya, or anywhere else on your trip to Japan and you notice a tatami mat (a traditional floor covering made from woven rush grass), take that as a cue to slide those walking shoes off.


Dress Modestly and Respectfully at Temples


When visiting temples and shrines on your trip to Japan, it's important to dress modestly out of respect. Avoid wearing clothing that is too revealing such as tank tops, short skirts or shorts. Instead, opt for items that cover your shoulders and go past your knees.


Gift Giving Tradition


Gift giving is a significant part of Japanese local culture, and if you're invited to someone's house, it's customary to bring a small gift as a token of your appreciation. The gift should be wrapped and presented with both hands.


Queuing and Public Transport Etiquette


Japanese people take queuing very seriously. Whether it's at train stations, bus stops, or restaurants, orderly queues are formed.


Be patient and respectful, and always wait your turn. On public transport or Japan rail, it's customary to offer your seat to the elderly, pregnant women, and those with young children or disabilities.


Bowing


Bowing is a common way of greeting in Japan, and is also used to express gratitude or apologize. The deeper the bow, the more respect is being shown. As a foreigner, you're not expected to initiate a bow, but returning one is appreciated.


By being mindful of these customs and traditions, you'll better immerse yourself in Japanese culture and have a more enriching travel experience.


Remember, the golden rule of travel is to respect the local customs and traditions of the places you visit. Anyone who's visited Japan will tell you just how important that is there.


Bidets in Japan


Unbeknownst to many foreigners, but widely loved by locals and those who've visited before, Japan uses particularly high-tech toilets or 'Washlets'. These modern marvels (more than mere bidets) found everywhere from high-end hotels to humble homes, are symbols of cleanliness and wellness, and are a testament to Japan's innovative spirit.


Equipped with a variety of functions, from seat warmers to self-cleaning features, these toilets are designed for ultimate comfort and hygiene.


While it might seem daunting at first, rest assured that usage instructions are typically available in multiple languages for ease of use. Embrace the experience and immerse yourself in this small but significant aspect of daily life in Japan. Remember, when in Japan, do as the locals do - it's all a part of the adventure!


Japan Travel Made Easy



Now you don't need to follow everything on this list (we know, it's long!), but it should serve as one of the best ways to get started packing for Japan. By keeping just a few of these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying an unforgettable trip to Japan.


Want to explore more of Japan? Check out the dates for future trips on our fan-favorite nine-day adventure that mixes ancient beauty and the modern world.


If you’re interested in checking out the rest of the world with FTLO and an amazing group of travelers, check out all of our upcoming trips or join our community by filling out a profile, and one of our Community Managers will help find the best destinations for you!



2件のコメント


hyundai glad
hyundai glad
5月23日

This fan-made masterpiece, which takes inspiration from the classic titles geometry dash

いいね!

In a recent writing service review, customers praised the meticulous attention to detail and prompt delivery. Writing handbooks often include a literature review outline example, making it easier for writers to craft compelling content. Quality content creation remains paramount for effective communication strategies.


いいね!
bottom of page