The Japan Packing List

Packing is most certainly a complicated task requiring strategy and diplomacy.

Due to Japan’s location and unique makeup, Edward and I will be travelling together for a month in a country where we will experience beaches and mountains, summer-like sun and winter-like cold (and maybe even snow).

And yet, as mentioned earlier, we are going to try getting all of our stuff in 2 carry-ons (we’re looking into if we can also have a personal item for the flights) and 1 fairly big suitcase.

So what’s on our list to cover it all?

We actually did a fair bit of shopping at Japanese label Uniqlo. After realizing the range of clothing we were going to need, we came to understand how very Japan-ready the clothing was. They had this amazing set of layer-able outerwear and we were able to get a breathable wind-resistant and water-resistant windbreaker (I don’t think I can officially say waterproof, but we’ve warn it in the rain here and water does not seem to get in at all) and a skinny down coat (which can shove into a pencil-case sized baggie) that layer perfectly with each other. Depending on the weather, we can wear one or the other or both and be different levels of warm/protected. We plan on wearing the windbreakers on the plane and packing the down jackets, which will take up a few square inches of the bag.

We did have to give up some space for shoes. We both have hiking shoes that have some level of water resistance and breath-ability, and they take up some space. Ed has a pair of walking shoes that are black and look slightly formal, I have a casual slip-on pair and a ‘formal’ (black) slip on pair – slip on because they’ll need to keep coming off for temples, a formal one for when we want to eat at nicer restaurants in cities like Nara and Kyoto.

We bought socks that were breathable, sweat-absorbing, and/or insulating. We packed enough of all unmentionables to last a little over a week knowing that we’d have to give up time at every major city in order to do some laundry. With the laundry in mind, we kept pants and tops minimal – packing a set of tops that were layer-able to adapt to changing weather, and pants that were comfortable (I went for all yoga pants) and varied from casual to could-be-considered-formal-ish.

Ed and I are hiking-exploring type people, so for us it was easy to let go of fashion and make sure we could dress ‘nice’ but not necessarily ‘fashionable’ for formal events but otherwise dress acceptably casual.

So far, the bag is easily fitting anything. One carry-on will hold all the photography gear and tech, and we’re hoping a personal item is allowed and the Ed and I will each have a small bag to hold what we want access to on the plane.

Our day count to the trip is now under the big 2-0! We’re EXCITED!

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