Things to Prepare Before Coming to Japan

What should I pack in my suitcase?

There is nothing special that you need just because you are visiting Japan. You can buy most things in Japan even if you forget to bring something. (Especially at 100 yen shops, where you can buy almost anything for 100 yen.)

  • Clothes
    For packing clothes, please refer to the article below.
    What to Wear in Japan for All Seasons – Clothing Tips
  • The skin care products you use every day
    You can buy them in Japan, but I think it’s best to use products that you (and your skin) are familiar with.
  • Pajamas and towels
    When you stay at a hotel or ryokan, pajamas (sometimes yukata) and towels are generally provided, so you don’t need to bring them. If you are staying at a youth hostel or Airbnb, please check if you need them in advance.
  • Outlet adapters or converters
    Japan: Socket/Type-A, Voltage/100V, Frequency/50Hz [East Japan] or 60Hz [West Japan]
    If you need adapters or converters, we recommend buying them in your country. This is because Japan often only sells those products that convert from Japanese ones to overseas ones.
  • Foldable extra travel bags
    It’s not required, but I have several friends who wished they had brought it when they got a lot of souvenirs.

What do I need to check and make reservations for in advance?

Excluding accommodation, the following items can be booked in advance as needed.

Book Japan Rail Pass

(English / Japanese / Chinese [Simple / Traditional] / Korean / Thai / French / German)

This is a great deal when you are traveling to multiple areas in Japan using JR. Pick the cities you want to visit in advance and use HyperDia to simulate your transportation options; if you are traveling mostly by JR or Shinkansen, the Japan Rail Pass is likely to be a good deal.

Check where to exchange your money into Japanese Yen

Japan has a cash culture. There are still many small stores and independent stores that only accept cash. Please read the following article for more information on where you can exchange foreign currency and withdraw the Japanese yen.
Tip – Do not forget to check and enable your card for overseas use before travel.

A Guide to Exchange and Withdraw Cash in Japan

Book a rental Wi-Fi router

Japan may have a high-tech image, but when it comes to public Wi-Fi, it’s not so good! The following article provides our recommended app for using free public Wi-Fi and options for connecting to the Internet in Japan. Take a look!

How about Free Public Wi-Fi in Japan?

Book a volunteer guide

Local volunteer guides will give you detailed explanations of landmarks and historical sites in each area. Depending on the location, guides are also available in languages other than Japanese and English.
I have used this service several times, and it was very interesting to learn information only the locals knew, which could not be found in guidebooks.

List of Volunteer Guides | Travel Japan | JNTO

Useful apps to install in advance


Be careful when you go through the automated immigration gate!

The automated gates are relatively less crowded and more convenient, but they do not stamp your passport. When receiving services for foreigners in Japan (such as the Japan Rail Pass), it is sometimes necessary to show the stamp on your passport at the time of entry. Therefore, when you go through the automated immigration gate, you need to ask the staff after passing through the automated gate. (Be sure to speak to them before going through quarantine [customs examinations].)

Let’s learn about the emergency call system in Japan!

I hope you never have to refer to this article, but it’s a good idea to know about it beforehand.

How to make an emergency call in Japan – “110” Police –

How to make an emergency call in Japan – “119” Fire Department / Ambulance / Rescue –

May your trip to Japan be a wonderful one!

2 thoughts on “Things to Prepare Before Coming to Japan”

  1. Pingback: How about Free Public Wi-Fi in Japan?│JD

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