Ultimate Packing List for Japan

Japan is open for tourism for the second year since COVID.

Last year, people were still nervous about traveling… but this year is different!

Japanese tourism is super hot right now.

Japan’s official tourism site notes that compared to 2019 (i.e. pre-COVID) levels, visits were up 7.1% with 2,788,000 Visits in February alone.

(In fact, I was just there with my family and wrote all about it here!)

While in Japan, I took some notes on what worked (and what didn’t) on our recent trip in order to make your trip a little easier

Here’s the low-down!

What To Pack For Japan

In Your Purse/ Carry-On Bag:

  • A phone case that holds cards
    • Holding your Suica pass in the back of your phone makes it so much easier entering trains, and when you’re traveling as a family of 4 anything that makes traveling easier is a must!
    • Alternatively, download the Suica app for easy train travel all over the country!
  • Your passports
    • Always travel with your passport when in Japan! It’s illegal to travel without it, and you’ll need it when doing tax-free shopping 🙂
  • Printed itinerary, plane tickets, and reservations
    • Better safe than sorry! Especially important to print out or screenshot your JapanWeb QR code to enter the country as the airport wifi isn’t super reliable!
    • Also, print out your Ninja Wifi reservation!
  • Pocket Wifi
    • There are different pocket wifi companies and options, but I always use Ninja Wifi! You can pick it up from the airport once you land (make sure you check where they are located within the airport), and you can just return it to the airport stand before you leave the country.
      • I normally pick it up from Haneda and return it at Kansai!
  • Wallet that can hold coins & currency exchange
    • A lot of places in Japan only take cash! As soon as you arrive, you can use an ATM at any 7/11, but its good to have a little bit of cash beforehand if possible.
    • Make sure your wallet can hold coins as Japan uses coin yen for any money less than 1000yen (~10USD)!
  • Debit card for ATMS and credit cards with no international fees
    • Ask your bank if they have credit cards with no international fees. I use my Amazon credit card, and it’s such a lifesaver!
  • Small items like a pocket first-aid kits, masks, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and tissues
    • These are easy to buy in Japan if you forget though!
  • Laptops, noise-canceling earbuds for plane, battery packs, and other electronic devices
    • These cannot go in checked luggage so make sure they’re in your carry on!
  • Camera
    • I always feel safer bringing my camera because I know how delicate it is!

Download Packing List Checklist

More of a checklist type of traveler? Download our checklist below!

 

In Your Checked Luggage:

  • Medication 
    • (Be sure to look up rules before traveling! Japan has strict drug import policies. Click here for more information).
  • Comfortable travel clothing
    • TravelSmith is one of my favorite sites for vacation wear that is versatile and easy to care for! You will want to include nice socks as some restaurants there require you to take off your shoes.
    • I try to make the most of each piece of clothing by having interchangeable outfits. Don’t pack too much or you’ll regret it when trying to fit all your souvenirs in your luggage!
  • Accessories including hair accessories like hair ties or bobby pins
  • Toiletries including shampoo and conditioner, moisturizer, deodorant, and sunscreen
    • I LOVE Japanese shampoo and sunscreen, but not everyone does! Its always safe bringing things your body is already used to 🙂
  • Compression shorts/chafing underwear
    • Lots of walking means chafed thighs! There are a ton of styles to choose from.
  • A daily bag that can hold passports and wallets and a big, fold-up shopping bag
    • When checking out of any store, they’ll give you the option to buy a bag for cheap! We ended up getting one of the large sized ones that holds a lot and reused it for the whole trip!
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A few other general tips:

  • If you forget anything you’ll be able to buy it from Daiso or a convenience store.
  • Check the weather before you go. The weather is very volatile in Japan and the weather forecast is often wrong, even the one for the same day. But it’s better than nothing. If rain is on the schedule, you should pack a lightweight raincoat and an umbrella. 
  • Leave heavy and thick coats and umbrellas at home! You’ll probably be spending most of your time indoors which is always heated or in crowds which is also heated lol. 

If you have any tips yourself, leave them in the comment section below to help out others (plus, I’d love to read about how your trip went)!

Good luck and happy traveling!

Steph