What to pack for your trip to Japan

The weather in Japan is generally temperate, with four distinct seasons: Japan's weather in Winter, from December to February, is quite dry and sunny along the Pacific coast and the temperatures rarely drop below 0°C. The temperatures drop as you move north, with the Central and Northern regions experiencing snowfall. Hokkaido can experience severe winters.

All-weather gear. Throughout the year, be prepared for rainy and windy conditions. Ideal are lightweight hoodies like the highly weatherproof Arc'teryx Squamish jacket, which is breathable, too – handy for when the weather clears up again. Tuck a good (but compact) umbrella, like Repel's Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating, into your bag, in case of a real downpour.

Functional clothing. If you are planning to visit the North during winter, probably for skiing, functional clothing is key for enjoying and being safe in the outdoors. It can get quite cold on the mountains. In addition, you should pack thermal underwear (preferably wool), breathable layer clothing, plenty of socks (again, preferably wool, rather than cotton or synthetic), and a warm hat. Swedish functional clothing specialist Odlo has a great line of clothing products for the icy outdoors.

Super-comfy walking shoes. If you are planning to do a lot of walking, especially in the cities, the key is to be comfortable. Try to avoid bringing shoes you have not broken in. Tennis shoes (trainers, sneakers), hiking shoes or other types of durable sports shoes are probably your best bet. If you don't want to look like a tourist, dress fashionable! It might be a good idea to pack a not-too-bulky pair of trail runners, such as Saucony’s Peregrine 7 for men or women, that hold up well on wet and dry ground.

Power adapter and charger. In Japan the power sockets are of type A and B. The 2-pin plugs fit into North American sockets, but the voltage is different. The standard voltage is 100 V and the standard frequency is 50/60 Hz. Type A and B adapters are included in this world adapter set from Bestek, and a multiport charger, like Anker’s compact Powerport 4.

Packing cubes. They not only keep your suitcase organized, but also compact your clothes to save space. One of frequent travellers'favorites are Eagle Creek‘s Pack-It cubes, which come in different sizes so you can tailor your setup to your needs.

Lonely Planet has a great Japan travel guide. Explore a bamboo grove in Arashiyama, marvel at Shinto and Buddhist architecture in Kyoto, or relax in the hot springs of Noboribetsu Onsen.

Another great source of information is the official Japan National Tourism Organization website that provides great insider tips to the region.

Check out all our locations in Japan:


Gosyo Gekkoujyu – Communal and Private Onsen

Gekkoujyu is a very special Japanese inn in the famous Kurokawa Onsen spa area.

Hakone Ginyu – Communal and Private Onsen

Overlooking the Hakone Mountains, this refined hot spring hotel is the perfect combination of modern and traditional.

Hilton Tokyo Odaiba – Terrace Suite

Set on the waterfront, with gorgeous views of Tokyo's skyline and the famous Rainbow Bridge.

Konansou – Public Outdoor Onsen

A ryokan at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Kozantei Ubuya – Deluxe Room with Private Bath

A ryokan with views of Mt.Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi from both the bedrooms and the large bathrooms.

Kozantei Ubuya – Suite

A ryokan with views of Mt.Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi from both the bedrooms and the large bathrooms.

Kozantei Ubuya – Suite

A ryokan with views of Mt.Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi from both the bedrooms and the large bathrooms.

Myogaya Honkan – Communal Onsen

This hotel is located in the Shikamatagawa river valley featuring communal onsen with views of the river.

Oniyama Hotel – Communal and Private Onsen

Oniyama hotel is home to Beppu City's most renowned open-air hot springs and offers a selection of bathing facilities steaming with a unique atmosphere reflective of southern Japan.

Tenku no Mori – Villa Onsen

Literally translated as 'the forest in the sky', Tenku No Mori is a luxury hotel and spa which offers stunning panoramic views of the mountains, lush forests and active volcanoes of northern Kagoshima

Zaborin – Villa

Zaborin is a secluded luxury ryokan in the Hanazono woods in Hokkaido.