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What to put in your suitcase when travelling in Japan

A trip to Japan is one of the most exciting and exotic destinations of a stay in Asia. The country is mostly quite developed so you can find anything that you may have forgotten to pack before leaving.

It is very complicated to give you accurate advice on the clothes that you should take with you. Everything depends on the season in which you are going and the region of Japan to which you wish to go. It can be incredibly warm on the coast in summer and temperatures can descend to -30°C at the coldest time of the year on Hokkaido. It's up to you to adapt your wardrobe accordingly.

In Japan's cities, you will find standard medicine that will help you to deal with the little ailments of everyday life. So don't needlessly overload your first-aid kit. Remember, however, that it is difficult to explain on the spot that you have a throat infection or that you're looking for medicine that does not contain penicillin. It's not that simple to express in Japanese.

Japan is a unique and sumptuous destination. To bring back magnificent memories, you will need a camera and enough memory cards to store your images. If your equipment is starting to become obsolete, this stay in Japan could be an opportunity for you to go shopping. The prices here are often very good. If you have decided to explore the country at your own pace and in complete freedom, you will need your international driver's licence, translated officially into Japanese, in order to hire a vehicle. A photocopy of your passport slipped into your suitcase could be very useful to you in the event that you lose the original. Careful! Life in Japan can quickly become costly. Don't leave without taking your debit card with you for making withdrawals and other payments.

Cultural shock is still strong in Japan. Think about taking a good dose of open-mindedness with you.

What to pack in your suitcase

  1. Your international driver's licence, officially translated into Japanese, so that you can drive there (this can only be done in Japan, at the Japan Automobile Federation)
  2. A camera, as well as memory cards, so you can bring back beautiful images of your stay
  3. A debit card for withdrawals and other transactions
  4. An English-Japanese dictionary so you can try to communicate
  5. A photocopy of your passport—very useful if you lose the original
  6. A first-aid kit to address little everyday ailments
  7. Warm clothes if you are going in winter or if you are intending to travel to areas of high altitude.
  8. Lightweight clothes for summer
David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018
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