The Ultimate Japan travel Checklist & japan packing list
Japan , Japan Travel Tips
by Coco Tran On September 20, 2023
The Ultimate Japan travel Checklist & japan packing list
Heading to Japan for the first time? Minimize your pre-trip stress with my comprehensive packing list for Japan. You want to make sure you have everything you need while still traveling light. Use this ultimate packing checklist so you don’t forget any critical items for your upcoming Japan trip.
Japan travel requirements 2023
As of 2023, Japan has reopened to tourism and relaxed the majority of its COVID-19 restrictions. However, there are still some procedures travelers must complete to visit Japan:
The rest of the section remains the same, focusing on the current Visit Japan online process, visa requirements by nationality, and the postponed e-Visa program.
In This Article: Table of Contents
Japan Travel Checklist | Travel To Japan Checklist
Before Going To japan travel checklist
Book Flights and Accommodation
Research and Planning For Japan Trip
Other Japan Articles
Just Before Departure Travel Checklist Japan
This checklist covers all the key steps you need to take. Go through it methodically over the next months leading up to your trip date. With thorough preparation, your journey exploring Japan for the first time will be an absolutely incredible life experience!
Travel Documents Japan Trip Checklist
Japan Travel requirements & entry requirements for Visiting Japan
Japan has a streamlined entry process that foreign nationals must now complete online in advance through the Visit Japan web service. This replaces the old paper disembarkation card.
Through Visit Japan, you fill out details like your passport info, trip itinerary, and contact information. It generates a QR code that you should screenshot to your phone. When you arrive at the airport in Japan, you can show this digital confirmation to smoothly pass through immigration lines.
I recommend completing the Visit Japan process on your phone shortly before departure. This allows you to have the digital approval handy if the airport has connectivity issues. It really speeds up the entry experience compared to filling out paperwork.
Citizens from 68 countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and many European nations can enter Japan without a tourist visa for short-term stays. However, other nationalities like China, India, and Russia still need to apply for a tourist visa through their local Japanese embassy or consulate before traveling to Japan.
The Japanese government had planned to launch an e-Visa program in 2020, but this was postponed due to COVID-19 impeding international travel. Check the official embassy website for your country to find the most up-to-date visa requirements for visiting Japan as a tourist.
Things to bring to japan
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MY RECOMMENDED ITEMS
japan packing list
packing list for japan
- Tennis Shoes/ Sneakers/ Walking shoes – Well- AZsx, comfy sneakers or sandals. You’ll walk a lot! I recommend New Balances and Adiddas
- Lightweight raincoat/poncho – Essential during Japan’s rainy season.
- Sweater/fleece – For cool mountain regions, air-conditioned buses/trains.
- Jacket/ Blazer – Spring and fall can be chilly, especially at night. I’m bringing a few of my Frankie Shop blazers that can be dressed up or down
- Baeball Hat / Bucket Hat – Sun protection. Baseball caps are ubiquitous in Japan.
- Smart casual clothes – Jeans, trousers, modest tops and dresses work well.
- Socks – Breathable, moisture wicking pairs.
- Swimsuit – If you plan to visit an onsen hot spring.
Japan packing list( What to pack for Japan) – What to Wear Based on Region
Japan is a massive country with diverse climates across its regions, from sub-tropical islands to freezing mountain villages. Packing based on the season alone doesn’t work for a Japan trip. You need to pack for the weather conditions at each specific location on your itinerary.
For example, Hokkaido in northern Japan still sees freezing temperatures in April, while Okinawa in the south can be hot and humid. The weather in Tokyo in July is drastically different from mountain areas like Nagano.
Check the long-term weather forecast for every destination you’ll visit. Then use this location-focused packing checklist to ensure you have the proper clothing and gear for each area:
If Visiting Subtropical Southern Islands like Okinawa Japan Packing List :
- Light, breezy clothing – shorts, t-shirts, tanks, sundresses
- Swimsuit and cover up
- Sun hat and sunglasses
- Sunscreen and aloe gel
- Lightweight raincoat or poncho
If Visiting Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo in Summer Japan Packing List (June-August):
- Light tops and dresses – opt for breathable fabrics like linen or cotton
- Shorts and skirts – keep length modest for temples
- Lightweight trousers like chinos
- Flat, walkable sandals or sneakers
- Sweat-wicking socks
- Sturdy raincoat and/or umbrella
- Light scarf or shawl to cover skin from sun
If Visiting Northern Areas Like Hokkaido in Summer Japan Packing List :
- T-shirts, short sleeves for mild days
- Light sweaters and cardigans for cool evenings
- Light jacket
- Trousers or jeans
- Closed-toed shoes and socks
If Visiting Anywhere in Japan in June-July Rainy Season Japan Packing List :
- Waterproof jacket with hood or foldable umbrella
- Water-resistant shoes with good traction
- Quick-dry travel towels and swimwear
- Extra socks and underwear
- Plastic ponchos to keep daypacks/bags dry
If Visiting Most Main Islands During Spring (March-May) or Fall (September-November) What To Pack for japan :
- Light layers – mix short and long sleeve tops
- Lightweight scarf or wrap
- Jacket or hoodie for variable weather
- Trousers and jeans
- Comfortable walking shoes
If Visiting Northern Areas Like Hokkaido in Late Fall What To Pack for japan:
- Warm coat, water-resistant if possible
- Sweaters and long sleeve shirts
- Scarf, hat, gloves
- Thermal base layers
- Trousers or jeans
- Warm socks and closed-toed shoes
If Visiting Mountain Areas During Winter What To Pack for japan:
- Heavy winter coat and snow pants
- Multiple sweaters and long underwear
- Two pairs warm gloves
- Wool socks, snow boots
- Balaclava face mask
- Hand and toe warmers
Pick and choose what you need to pack based on your specific Japan itinerary. Focus on versatile pieces that work across multiple outfits. Most importantly, check the weather forecast often as your trip dates approach to finetune your packing list!
What To bring To Japan
Toiletries & Medications
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss (for flights) most hotels will have these for you so don’t bring them!
- Makeup, moisturizer
- Glasses, contacts, solution
- DON’T bring Shampoo, conditioner all hotels will have these toileteries for you
- Feminine products
- Hand sanitizer, wipes
- Prescriptions – Bring extra supply in carry-on bag.
- OTC meds – Pain relievers, antihistamines, antacids, etc. (Some RX drugs are illegal in Japan so make sure you don’t bring those without the proper documentation
japan travel essentials
- Cell phone & chargers
- Camera & extra batteries
- Power bank/portable charger
- Japan Electrical adapter – Japan uses Type A and B outlets.
- Headphones or Airpod earbuds
- Memory cards & external storage
- Laptop/tablet (optional)
Other japan Travel Essentials
- Sunglasses & case
- Umbrella – Lightweight travel foldable type.
- Water bottle – Refillable to reduce waste.
- Small Washcloth – Many Japanese restrooms lack towels.
- Tissues/handkerchief – Public restrooms often lack paper towels.
- Hand sanitizing wipes/gel – Helpful when out and about.
- Pens & small notebook
- Daypack/tote bag – For essentials needed while sightseeing.
- Coin purse – Japan is still largely a cash society.
- Extra plastic bags – To separate clean/dirty items.
Nice-to-Haves packing list japan
- Travel guidebook
- Portable fan – For hot, humid summer months.
- Travel towel/sarong – For impromptu swimming, hot springs.
- Travel cutlery – Chopsticks are provided but nice to have fork/spoon option.
- Compression sacks – To compact bulky items and optimize space.
- Mini sewing kit – For clothing repairs on the go.
- Travel games, cards, books – For leisure time.
- Earplugs & sleep mask – Helpful for light sleepers.
Use this ultimate checklist to ensure you don’t forget to pack any critical items for your Japan trip. With the essentials covered, you can focus on planning an amazing itinerary! Have a wonderful journey in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Planning a trip to japan:
Ultimate japan travel planning Guide
find these helpful japan articles and resources to plan your ultimate trip to Japan: