10 MUST HAVES IN JAPAN (WHAT TO PACK)
Planning a trip to Japan? Wondering what to pack? Here are 10 essential items you will need with you at all times while in Japan. This essential Japan packing checklist is based on my personal experience from living and traveling to Japan numerous times.
Make sure to review the following list carefully as these are items you will not want to forget! Aside from a toothbrush and some clean underwear of course...
ESSENTIAL JAPAN PACKING LIST
10 things you need when traveling to Japan.
ITEM #1 - A GOOD HANDKERCHIEF
Not only fashionable but very practical, Why? Although Japanese toilets are super advanced, the hand drying systems if available are still very primitive. So make sure to carry your trusty handkerchief with you so you can dry your hands in an eco-friendly way after washing. Unless you're the type that doesn't wash... Shame on you.
ITEM #2 - GOOD WALKING SHOES
In Japan most of the best things you will experience all involve plenty of walking. So don't be strapping on a pair of heels when you step out to explore Japan. Choose something comfortable that will allow you to keep walking day after day, blister-free!
ITEM #3 - WALLET WITH COIN PURSE AND CASH
Many of Japan's best shops and restaurants are cash only. Yes, even in the big city of Tokyo! You will be dealing with lots of coins and bills daily so make sure to always bring cash and have a safe place to keep it. Your credit card may not save you every time... No need to worry Japan is safe you won't get robbed. Here's a true story to prove my point...
My friend once left his wallet at a restaurant full of cash. One week later he finally tracked it down and not a dime was missing. If that doesn't prove my point I don't know what will!?
ITEM #4 - SUICA OR PASMO CARD
Before picking up any Japanese souvenirs, I highly suggest picking up one of these cards. You can find them at most stations available for purchase. Once you get one charge it up with cash and you are free to quickly and easily swipe your way on and off trains and buses all around town. No need to worry, the machines to charge the cards also have an English option.
To purchase one of these cards you will simply pay a deposit of around $5. At the end of your trip you can return your card for a full refund. Again, make sure to grab one of these cards right away and save yourself time trying to figure out what ticket you need to buy at each station. Leading you to overspend by mistake or pull your hair out in frustration... I have experienced both of these.
ITEM #5 - PORTABLE GARBAGE BAG
Although Tokyo is a very clean city, you will quickly notice there are very few if any garbage cans around. Not even in the bathrooms! So be sure to always have a portable garbage bag with you to store your garbage on the go to free up your hands and keep the rest of your items clean and separated.
ITEM #6 - UMBRELLA
As you will spend lots of time walking in Japan you better be prepared for when it rains. If you ever find yourself stuck without an umbrella on a rainy day you can always find them cheap at stations or convenience stores. I suggest finding a good portable travel umbrella that you can easily tuck away.
When you enter a store or shop look around near the entrance for a place to leave your umbrella. They usually are not carried around stores to keep the floors dry. Don't worry no one will steal your lucky umbrella.
ITEM #7 - PHONE WITH WIFI AND GPS
Not just for taking selfies and photos of all the amazing food you will eat in Japan. Being in a new city allows for many opportunities to get lost. Having wi-fi access on your phone to use a GPS is pretty darn handy, especially when taking trains!
ITEM #8 - WATER BOTTLE, THERMOS
Although Japan has a vending machine on every corner, make sure to always have a full water bottle with you for when you get thirsty. Allowing you to save your precious coins for other fun drinks such as green tea, amazake, coffees, or maybe even some amazing Japanese street food!
ITEM #9 - GOOD BACKPACK
Unless you want to carry all the items mentioned so far in your hands, you will need a good travel backpack. Keep in mind if your traveling in the summertime Japan gets HOT! To minimize back sweat get something that's comfortable and breathable to wear. Whatever travel bag you choose, if it's in the summertime make sure to throw in a dry shirt to change into later. You can thank me later.
ITEM #10 - SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE
Adventure is out there! Japan is safe, fun, unique, and full of so many wonderful things and places to discover. Make sure you take the time to aimlessly wander around and explore. There is a good chance you may quickly stumble upon somewhere or something that may just become the highlight of your trip.
There you have it! My list of the 10 essential items to bring to Japan. If you manage to check off all the items on this list you can be confident you are prepared for all your upcoming adventures. If you have any other recommended items that I had not mentioned, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below so we can let others know. If you enjoyed this article or video please share it with others so you can help them prepare for their trip to Japan as well.
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Arigatou Gozaimasu for reading!