What should I take to Japan?

Hey there!

As my next Japan holiday approaches, I’ve been thinking carefully about the essentials I need to pack to have an easier time in Japan. Indeed, a lot of these are applicable to travelling anywhere, but I just wanted to share a few things that I’ve learnt make life a little easier when abroad.

Carry a Power Bank

Like most people these days, I rely heavily on my mobile phone to get around, take pictures, look up train times, check reviews etc. so it becomes an essential item when on holiday. Also, when I buy tickets for certain attractions such as Ghibli, Disneyland/Disneysea etc. they always come with a scannable QR code these days, so it’s important that I have that ready to go if I lose my print out for some reason. Therefore, I really advise buying a power bank that can plug into your phone, camera or tablet to give it some extra juice if you find yourself in a pinch.

These are readily available and cheap these days, you can check out this list for help if you’re unsure what to buy.

Attach a Pass Case to your bag/belt

You’ll likely be doing a lot of travel via rail, subway, bus etc. and instead of having to get your purse or wallet out each time to scan through the ticket barriers, a pass case just makes everything much more accessible and handy. Since Japan’s crime rates are pretty low, you don’t have to worry as much about someone pinching it, plus the kind of pass cases I’m talking about come on an extendable string that snaps back into place after you’ve used it. Just grab your pass, boop it on the scanner and let it snap back into place. Easy! If you want to know more about the rail passes, check out my post on Travel Tips, and the Japan Rail Pass! 

Bring cash with you

I know that bloggers always tell you that Japan is a cash society and to bring cash with you, and that’s still true in a lot of places, although credit and debit cards are becoming a lot more widely accepted especially in department stores and chains. Still, it’s always a good idea to keep some cash handy and I’d also recommend a coin purse, because you’ll certainly end up with a fat stack of 1円 coins by the end of your trip. (Btw, it’s good to get rid of 1円 coins if you go to a restaurant as you will have time to count the change properly instead of fumbling around in a konbini with a queue behind you.)

Small towel & hand sanitiser 

If you’ve been to Japan before, you’ll have noticed that there are many pocket towels for sale to dry your hands on after you’ve been to the restroom. A lot of the toilets in Japan don’t have paper towels or hand dryers so it’s very useful to purchase one of these when you get to Japan. Or, you could bring a gel-based hand sanitiser if you prefer. It’s especially useful if you need to use the loo at parks, temples etc. as outdoor toilets don’t always have the hand drying facilities you’d need.

Reasonably sized bag/backpack

This is useful when travelling anywhere, but one thing I’ve noticed in Japan is that despite there being very few bins around, the place is spotless! The only bins you see commonly are around vending machines and outside konbini – the reason for this is that it’s considered rude to walk around eating in Japan, so people will stand outside and then dispose of their rubbish. However, if you find you need to dispose of rubbish elsewhere it’s usually a good idea to have an empty carrier bag that you can put the rubbish in and tie it up in your backpack, especially if the backpack has a separate pocket. I know some people find carrying their trash around quite cumbersome but it’s worth the effort, don’t be a litterbug!


Okay, this might seem odd, but I’ve seen many people state that the deodorant in Japan is not really as strong as you might expect in comparison to other countries. I think this is down to each individual as I have not had many issues with Japanese deodorants, but then again I always try to avoid the height of Japanese summer so it really depends on how much it gets tested. I do usually take my own toiletries regardless though, and I also take a stick of solid deodorant as well to avoid any spills.


  • Travel adaptor
  • Rental Wi-fi Box/Sim Card
  • Good quality walking shoes

What are you Japan essentials? Did I miss something vital!? Let me know in the comments!

Ganbatte Girl x

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