Japan Packing List: The Ultimate Guide From CabinZero

Japan is a popular destination for travellers all over the world. For first-time visitors, there might be a lot of questions. What should you put in your Japan packing list? What to expect from the local weather? Depending on what time of year you plan to go to Japan, the weather can be cold or very hot.

Being one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Japan has many stunning destinations to visit and interesting activities for travellers to enjoy. Remember to consider the planned activities in your trip when packing. Whether you plan to dive in Okinawa or attend the colourful summer festivals in Tokyo, consider which items you should bring and which items you can buy or rent in Japan for lighter travel.

Minimise your stress before travelling by planning in advance and having a comprehensive list for packing as well as unexpected situations. Worry not, as CabinZero will offer you packing tips and a guide on what to add to your Japan packing list.

Japan Packing List: Travel Essentials



Japan is a popular destination for many reasons, most notably its natural beauty.

Japan has diverse climates due to the country's geographical location. Some items, such as winter clothes or raincoats and umbrellas, are weather-specific. You can easily adapt these to your packing list based on the season that you plan to visit.

On the other hand, travel essentials such as travel documents and local currency are necessary for every traveller regardless of travel preferences and time of visit. To have a smooth trip in Japan, be sure to check out these essentials and pack accordingly.

Travel Documents

Passport: For international travel, your passport is an essential document. It is important to make sure that your passport has at least six months of validity from your intended return date. 

Visa: Before planning your exciting trip, check the visa requirement for visiting Japan for your specific nationality. Currently, travellers with U.S. passports or British citizen passports must have visas for short-term visits, up to 90 days.

Flight tickets: Keeping a copy of your flight details and flight tickets is a good practice for air travel in general. Sometimes, you might be asked to provide your boarding pass at border control. For this, you can keep a printed boarding pass, use a mobile boarding pass or take a photo of your boarding pass.

Travel insurance: Purchasing appropriate travel insurance before every international trip is highly recommended. In the unexpected events that require medical treatment, Japan has excellent medical facilities, but they come with expensive medical expenses. You should check the insurance policy carefully to choose the best option for your travel needs.

Emergency contacts: Every trip is subjected to a certain level of risk. You should keep important contacts, including emergency services in Japan, your emergency contact person and your travel insurer, in an accessible list for unexpected situations.

For emergency services in Japan:

  • The number of ambulances is 119
  • The number of fire departments is 119
  • And the number of local police is 110.

Money And Cards

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Yen is the local currency in Japan, which is made up of paper notes and coins. Photo by Shisu_ka on stock.adobe.com

Japan's local currency is called "yen'' and Japanese Yen (JPY) is available in both paper bills and coins. Using cash is more convenient in Japan than using foreign-issued credit cards and debit cards, especially in rural areas and small establishments.

Travellers can use cash machines to withdraw cash in Japan. However, it is always important to check with your bank beforehand. There are applicable fees for international withdrawals and transactions. Mobile payment methods such as Google Pay and Apply Pay are becoming more widely accepted in large cities.

How much money should I bring to Japan for 1 week? The amount of money that one should bring is greatly different between travellers. Depending on your travel style, spending habits and planned activities, you can plan a reasonable budget in advance. 

The big costs that you should take into consideration are flights, accommodations and ground transportation. If you are a budget traveller, you can aim for $60 to $145 per day, whilst others can aim for about $150 to $270 per day if they are a mid-range traveller.

Cultural sensitivity: When making payments, you should receive and hand out money with both hands. This is a sign of respect in Japan. There are often trays available for you to place your money or cards in instead of giving it directly to the cashiers. For American travellers, it is useful to note that tipping is not a common practice in Japan.

For Staying Safe

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Japan is safe, but be mindful of what you pack in your packing list. Photo by masahiro - stock.adobe.com

Medications: Before every trip, it is important to consider packing your necessary medications and including a basic first-aid kit for personal use. You should carry medications in original packaging and bring along a copy of your doctor's prescription for your prescription drugs. As Japan has strict regulations regarding medication bans and anti-stimulant drugs, travellers should always check if their specific medications are allowed (we’ll talk more about this later).

Anti-theft crossbody bags: You should have a secure and portable way to secure your valuables such as travel documents, cash and credit cards. Keep your valuables close to you and stay organised with a practical crossbody bag. Keeping the design simple and smart, CabinZero's Crossbody Bag not only gives you peace of mind with RFID-blocking technology but also travels in style with eight different colours to choose from. It is worry-free with our built-in tracking tags.

Face masks: It is a common practice to wear face masks in Japan. Wearing a mask is not only a good health precaution for yourself in crowded places and public transportation; it is a sign of consideration towards other people and public health. On your trip to Japan, especially in cold seasons, protect yourself and others from the risk of respiratory infection by wearing a face mask.

Hand sanitiser: Using portable hand sanitisers is a convenient way to maintain your personal hygiene on the go. As you will be using public transportation frequently when travelling in Japan, be sure to use hand sanitiser often to minimise the risk of germs and potential contaminants.

For Staying Connected

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Major airports in Japan often have wireless hotspots and kiosks where you can get travel sim or pocket Wi-Fi rental. Photo by May_Chanikran on stock.adobe.com

Travel sim and Wi-Fi rental: It is easy to stay connected in Japan. The country has many wireless hotspots available in urban areas. However, for guaranteed connection, you should use a travel sim or pocket Wi-Fi rental. This is highly recommended when travelling in rural areas, where Wi-Fi availability is not always guaranteed. 

  • For travel sim, you can get different data plans in major airports and electronic stores.
  • For pocket Wi-Fi rental, there are rental kiosks available in major airports, and a quick search online can provide different options that can be delivered directly to your hotel.

Adapters: With various plug types and voltage uses in different countries, travellers should pack conversion plugs for convenience during international trips. For Japan, most electrical outlets are Type A and Type B with a uniform 100 voltage. Be sure to pack a universal travel adapter with you. This plug is a convenient power accessory that contains four international plugs and a built-in surge protector.

Portable chargers: Depending on your usage and travel style, you can opt for a balance between capacity (usually measured in mAh) and weight. Before your trip to Japan, be sure to look for a portable charger to keep your devices powered on the go. Consider the portable charger and the compatibility of your devices. You can carry portable chargers in your carry-on luggage; however, be sure to check with your airline regarding specific restrictions on capacity. 

Japan Packing List: Clothing Items

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Wearing layers is a practical way to dress while travelling to Japan during cold seasons. Photo by Andriy Blokhin on stock.adobe.com

By researching Japan and its local weather at the time of your trip, you can choose appropriate clothing and refine your Japan packing list.

Multi-functional clothing is always a good item to bring to any destination. CabinZero's favourite tip for packing clothes is rolling instead of folding. This will save you a lot of space and reduce wrinkles. 

When it comes to travelling in Japan, three important aspects to consider are:

  • Packing according to the local weather
  • Prioritising comfortable footwear over fashion
  • Packing your clothes based on planned activities.

Weather-Appropriate Clothing

Japan has four distinct seasons, including Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Packing layers is the best way to pack for any weather as you can choose to mix-and-match or add and remove layers based on the temperature. 

  • Spring (March to May): Long-sleeved shirts paired with a light sweater or jacket are ideal for cool evenings. A comfortable pair of walking shoes will definitely make your trip more enjoyable. Be aware of the occasional rain and bring an umbrella.
  • Summer (June to August): For hot summer days, be sure to opt for lightweight clothing and breathable fabrics when packing. If you plan to visit hot springs or spend time by the beach, remember to pack your swimsuit and a hat.
  • Autumn (September to November): Layering is the key when it comes to dressing for autumn in Japan. You can have a light long-sleeved shirt as a base layer, then add on a sweater or a light jacket to add warmth when needed.
  • Winter (December to February): You will need extra warmth when visiting Japan during winter. A heavy jacket or coat with thermal layers is an essential clothing item to pack. Waterproof and insulated boots are good choices of footwear to consider.

During the rainy season, consider having a pocket umbrella or using a backpack rain cover to stay dry. During hot summer, prioritise breathable fabrics and protect yourself from the sun with a hat and a pair of sunglasses.

Suitable Footwear

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Expect to walk 5-7 miles (more than 10,000 steps) per day. Photo by ake1150 - stock.adobe.com

Travellers are expected to walk a lot in Japan. From using public transportation to visiting sightseeing destinations, wearing a comfortable pair of shoes is essential.

When choosing your footwear, look for breathable materials to keep your feet cool and opt for a style that is versatile to fit various activities. Remember to make sure that your shoes are comfortable if you decide to wear something new.

CabinZero tip: As a friendly reminder, when visiting certain places in Japan, you should respect local customs and remove your shoes indoors.

Activity-Based Clothing

You don’t have to pack anything overly formal go unless you're attending a formal event. Casual and comfortable attire is perfectly acceptable in most situations. It is practical to choose clothes based on planned activities.

  • For outdoor activities such as hiking in Mount Fuji or taking multi-day treks through beautiful national parks, choose moisture-wicking fabrics and sturdy footwear.
  • For urban exploration like city sightseeing or visiting cultural sites, wear lightweight layers that can adapt to the changing weather and remember to wear modest clothing to visit religious sites.
  • If you plan to participate in adventurous sports, be sure to use sun-protective clothing and consider renting the necessary gear to keep your luggage lighter.

Packing Tips For Japan Travel

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Be sure to leave space in your luggage to shop for beautiful handmade crafts from Japan. Credit: Peter Z.

Pack light

Public transportation in Japan is often crowded and compact. Most travellers use public transportation frequently when visiting Japan, from taking buses to trains and Shinkansen (Bullet Trains). Therefore, opting for a carry-on or a smaller backpack is always a better idea than lugging heavy bags around. 

Whether you are exploring the busy streets of urban Japan or hiking on beautiful trails in rural areas, having a military backpack is a hassle-free solution to carry everything that you might need. CabinZero's Military Backpack is comfortable to wear with an airflow system in both shoulder straps and rear panels.


It is your responsibility to check beforehand which substances are prohibited by the Japanese Government. Visiting the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan is a direct and easy way for travellers to learn more about prohibited medications and substances. Basically, you need to get a Yunyu Kakunin-sho (import certificate) if you want to carry any medicines in your Japan packing list. 

Some drugs that are prohibited in Japan are marijuana (including medical use and CBD oil), medication with amphetamines, and some over-the-counter and prescription medications for pain, depression and ADHD. It is a good practice to bring a copy of your doctor's prescription when travelling to Japan with prescription drugs.

Note that it is very difficult to buy emergency contraceptives/plan B pills in Japan due to the requirement of a prescription (which is even harder to get due to the language barrier). They began prescription-free trial sales in late 2023. However, all travellers, both ladies and gentlemen, should bring the 

Custom Rules

Japan has strict regulations regarding imported and exported goods. You must declare items that might be prohibited or subjected to tax when going through customs. Some goods that travellers are prohibited from bringing to Japan are cocaine, firearms and counterfeit money. Meat products, including bacon, ham and sausages, are illegal to bring into Japan without the approval of the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service.

Shopping in Japan

Japan offers travellers a diverse shopping experience. From handmade goods in traditional markets to electronics in modern shopping districts, be sure to leave space in your luggage to bring home gifts and souvenirs.

Japan has beautiful handmade arts and crafts that are made from traditional paper as well as decorative cloth. Tea plays a significant part in Japanese culture with popular products such as matcha tea and tea sets. If you love unique gadgets, the tech-focused Akihabara district in Tokyo is a perfect place for you to shop for electronics.

What Should I Pack For 3 Weeks In Japan?

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Packing for Japan is simpler than you think. Photo by Kristin Wilson on Unsplash

For a three-week trip, you should have a comprehensive packing list to help you organise and not miss out on any travel essentials. Here is a packing list for a three-week trip for your reference.

Travel Essentials

  • Passport
  • travel documents
  • Boarding passes and hotel information
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Emergency Contact
  • Travel insurance.

Travel documents such as passports, flight tickets, travel insurance, and accommodation reservations should be prioritised in your packing list. Having Japanese Yen and bank cards is essential.


  • Tops: Shirts x 5
  • Bottoms: Pants/shorts/skirts x 4
  • Outerwear: A lightweight jacket x 1
  • Dresses x 2
  • Underwear for 7 days
  • Socks for 7 days
  • A day bag or a crossbody bag.
  • Swimwear (optional)
  • Comfortable walking shoes (you'll likely do a lot of walking)

For Winter:

  • Puffer jacket x 2
  • Gloves, scarf, and beanie
  • Thermal layers
  • Waterproof boots.

*For this Japan packing list, expect to visit the laundromat a few times.

Depending on the season, you can bring several T-shirts or long-sleeved shirts for rotation and layering. A few pairs of jeans or comfortable pants are ideal for mix-and-match and being practical on the go.

A lightweight jacket is good for keeping warm. One with a waterproof layer is useful during the rainy season. If your travel plan includes beach visits or hot springs, bring your favourite swimwear to have a great time.

  • Spring: Rain jacket, light scarf, cardigan, long-sleeve shirts
  • Summer: Breathable fabrics, shorts, swimsuits, sandals, portable fan
  • Autumn: Layering options, lightweight jacket, comfortable sweater, umbrella
  • Winter: Warm coat, gloves, hat, thermal layers, waterproof boots

Be sure to bring comfortable footwear that is good for standing for long hours, as you will spend a lot of time walking when visiting Japan. Do not forget to pack enough undergarments and socks for your trip.

For women travellers: Casual dresses are good for versatility, and they are light to pack, so it is ideal to include two dresses or so in your packing list. 

Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Pack in layer is one secret trick to a Japan packing list. Credit: Jacky Tong


  • Sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen (for any season)
  • TSA locks for your carry-on
  • A travel adapter for type A plugs with two flat pins
  • Portable charger
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Eye mask and earplugs
  • Translation and direction apps.

For summer days, having a hat to protect you from the burning hot sun is a must. Consider wearing a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun as well. For colder days, bringing a warm hat and a scarf is not only good for keeping you warm, but they are also great items for styling. A pair of lightweight gloves can also bring you extra warmth.

To stay connected and have access to useful apps such as Google Maps for navigation and translation tools, bring a power bank to keep your devices juiced.

Personal Care Items

  • A travel toiletry bag
  • Toothbrush and pastes
  • Your personal hygiene kit
  • Shampoo
  • First aid kit
  • Hand towels
  • Insect repellent
  • Prescription medicines along with a doctor’s note.

A travel-sized toiletry bag with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, as well as a toothbrush and toothpaste, is good for staying refreshed wherever you go.

Make sure to bring one or two quick-drying travel towels. Soap or hand towels may not be readily available in Japan's public restrooms. 

Remember to bring your prescription medicines, and if you plan to spend time outdoors, sunscreen and insect repellent are must-haves.


Japan Packing List - CabinZero

Using cash is a convenient way to shop in Japan, even in small shops and rural areas. Photo by bobby hendry on Unsplash

1. What Not To Bring When Travelling To Japan?

Japan has strict rules regarding prohibited goods to bring to the country. Travellers should be aware of prohibited drugs, even prescription medications, to avoid legal risks at Japan’s border control. Meat products are not allowed in Japan without permission from the Japanese Animal Quarantine Service.

Here are some pointers for what you should avoid bringing into Japan:

  • Narcotics and illegal drugs
  • Prescription drugs (Some medications that are legal in other countries may be banned in Japan.)
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Firearms, explosives, gunpowder, and chemical weapon materials
  • Anything sharp or blunt (a pocket knife may be fine elsewhere but could get you in trouble in Japan)
  • Pornographic materials
  • Food items with restricted ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat products
  • Animals such as cats and dogs require inspections
  • Pepper spray and other self-defence items 
  • Drones.

2. What Do You Need To Travel To Japan?

Travellers must travel to Japan with valid passports and possibly travel visas. Japan has distinctive seasons. Therefore, you should pack your clothes according to the local weather and planned activities. Cash (local yen) is the main form of payment that is available even in rural areas and small establishments. You should have Japanese Yen with you for a smooth shopping experience while visiting Japan.

3. What Should A Tourist Wear In Japan?

Choosing the right clothing is essential to ensure your own comfort while showing respect for the local customs in Japan. You should opt for casual and modest clothing, especially when visiting religious places such as temples, shrines and traditional places. 

Wearing a comfortable pair of shoes is highly recommended as Japan is a destination that requires a lot of walking. Depending on the season that you plan to visit, be sure to wear sun-protecting clothes or have a rain jacket for the rainy season.

For reference, here’s a Japan packing list in winter for a female traveller (7 days) - expect to do some laundry on your journey:

  • Jacket/Coat x 2
  • Sweater x 2
  • Hoodies x 2
  • Base layer (top and bottoms)
  • Pants (jeans & sweatpants) x 3
  • Socks 
  • Hat & ear warmer.

Japan Packing List: The Ultimate Guide From CabinZero

Japan is a world-renowned destination with distinctive seasons. For the Japan packing list, travellers should pack according to the season and personal travel styles.

As Japan is a country with cultural complexities, you should pack with cultural sensitivity, such as wearing modest clothing when visiting religious places. Consider planned activities in Japan to refine your packing list and have a wonderful time in the "Land of the Rising Sun''.

Find this article helpful. Share it with your travel companions to better prepare for your upcoming trip! And don’t forget to leave a comment below detailing your experience in this far East country.

Chau Dao

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