Japan is a remarkable country because of it’s continual innovation in fashion, transportation, and technology. It is a place where one holds his or her craft seriously; a place where you are treated with the highest respect no matter who you are. While traveling in a foreign country with a completely different alphabet can be entirely beguiling, I encourage you to think of Japan as a puzzle waiting to be unlocked. One of the main things to note about preparing for travel to this country is that it is a compact place. Having a massive suitcase will only slow you down in the numerous train stations, tiny staircases, and take up precious space in your lodgings. On this particular trip, I had only two weeks to prepare because I had decided to buy my ticket on a whim. I planned on traveling solo for a few days before meeting up with my brother to explore Kyushu. I spent 12 days total in Japan, visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, and Kobe.
Travel with a carry on suitcase and backpack.
Having a carry-on suitcase will help alleviate weight stress on your back. Most streets and establishments are well paved or tiled so you won’t have to worry about dragging it across cobblestone. Do note that certain train stations are built way underground with only stairway access. Make sure you can carry the weight of your bag up multiple flights if you have to.
Save room by wearing your bulkiest items on the flight
Yes, you might look a little odd by dressing unusually warm to the airport. But, it will save valuable room in your luggage for important base layer items. Wear your winter coat, boots, scarf, and thickest sweater to the airport. Once you are on board, it’s easy to store your coat in the overhead storage bin with your other belongings. Check with the flight attendants if they might have slippers available so you can change out of your boots. You’d be surprised to learn the type of items airlines will offer if you just ask for it!
Add variety with accessories
Let’s face it– there is only so much room you have to pack essential items so you’re going to have to get creative with sprucing up your outfit each day. Bring functional accessories such as printed or colorful scarves, hats, or gloves that will introduce a different element to your daily attire.
Japan Winter Packing List
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- 1 Blue Skinny Jean
- 1 Gray Skinny Jean
- 2 Fleece Lined Leggings **I wore tights underneath my pants every day**
- Wool Coat
- The North Face Denali Jacket (Black)
- 2 Sweaters, Orange and Gray
- 2 Long-Sleeve Shirts, White and Red
- 1 Thick 3/4 Sleeve Shirt
- Black Fitted Jacket
- Black Sleeveless Top
- 3 Camisoles