Ten Things You Don’t Have to Pack for Japan Travel

Travel light to Japan
Travel light to Japan

I ignored the guidebook advice, but you don’t have to!

We are just back from a three-week trip to Japan, where we stayed in a variety of hotels ranging from 2.5 star to 5 star properties.

Each of the hotels generously provided a number of travel essentials free of charge.

I can confirm that more likely than not, you don’t need to pack these ten items for a trip to Japan.

How to Lighten Your Load on a Trip to Japan

We stayed in nine different hotels over the course of our three-week trip to Japan.  They all provided a standard set of amenities.

Do yourself a favor and leave these items at home:

Pajamas and Bathrobe:  Hotels routinely provide fresh pajamas and/or yukatas (cotton kimono-like robes).  In hotels with spas, it is de rigueur to walk to the public bath in the yukata and slippers.

Slippers:  The Japanese custom is to remove your shoes upon entering a home.  The same is true when entering a hotel room.  Every hotel on our itinerary provided disposable slippers.

Toothbrush and toothpaste:  American hotels don’t generally supply toothbrushes and toothpaste, but we found these items were available in Japanese hotels.

Disposable razor:  Not having to pack a razor will shave a few ounces off your load.

Hairbrush and comb:  You don’t need to bring a hairbrush or comb, as these are routinely supplied in Japan.

Standard toiletries:  As you would expect, hotels provide soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and often body wash.

Sundries:  Q-tips, cotton pads, nail files were offered everywhere.

Sewing kit:  I came home with at least half a dozen sewing kits.  I love these kits because the needles are pre-threaded.

Umbrella:  Several hotels offered umbrellas to borrow.  Don’t bother packing an umbrella because if it rains, you can buy one at a subway station for about $5.00 and they may be even cheaper at a convenience store.  With amazing Japanese efficiency, the coin operated umbrella dispensers in the subway stations are replenished frequently on rainy days.

Flashlight:  All hotels provide a flashlight in case of emergencies such as an earthquake.

Other hotel room amenities that we enjoyed included water bottles, a refrigerator, coffee maker, and hot water heater for making tea.

Do you tend to overpack?  Even if you forget a few critical items like sunscreen — or run short — most everything you might need is is readily available in Japan.

Darn Tough Socks Make My Day

Darn Tough Vermont Socks
Darn Tough Vermont Socks

Experienced travelers know that the key to a pleasant journey is comfortable footwear.

When we were in Vermont last fall, I discovered some great Merino wool socks at a local outfitter — Sam’s in Brattleboro.

Sam’s occupies at least three buildings in downtown Brattleboro, across the street from the Latchis Hotel where we stayed.

It is one of those stores with an endless selection of hats, gloves, coats, boots, sweaters, and of course socks.

The socks — Darn Tough Vermont — are manufactured in the Green Mountain State.

I bought a couple of pairs, and now I am a convert.

There are a variety of styles for men, women, and children:  socks for hiking; socks for skiing; socks for running; and socks for everyday wear.

The socks come in different weights, sizes, lengths, and colors, and they all have an unconditional lifetime guarantee.

If our socks are not the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair, or your money back.

Vermont Country Store
Vermont Country Store

These socks are expensive, but sometimes you can find bargains on last year’s styles.  I wear mine around the house, for walking the dog, and when I know I’ll have to take my shoes off  at airport security.

You can purchase the Darn Tough socks directly from the manufacturer.

They are also available from outfitters like REI or on Amazon.com.

We found a huge display of Darn Tough Vermont socks at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham.  This is a really fun store that sells all kinds of old fashioned candies, toiletries, toys, and everything else made in Vermont, from cheese to maple sugar candies, to rugged clothing.  Be sure to check out the upstairs loft for discounted merchandise!

This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks if you choose to use them.

My Go To Women’s Travel Vest — $10 off @ Duluth Trading

Travel Vest from Duluth TradingI needed a lightweight travel vest with lots of pockets to hold my iPhone, tickets, passport, etc.

After surveying the options, I chose this utility vest from Duluth Trading.

It’s marketed as a gardening vest but I think it makes a great travel vest.

It would also work for bike riding, dog training, horseback riding, hiking, etc.

It’s not perfect, but it serves the purpose.

What I like:

Women's Travel Vest
Women’s Travel Vest from Duluth Trading
  • plenty of pockets, 12 to be exact:  2 zipped pockets on the inside (lower); inside slip pocket with velcro fastener for a cell phone; 2 zipped chest pockets on the outside; 2 deep front pockets with snaps, and a few smaller pockets
  • the large lower pockets are elasticized to keep items secure
  • you can unzip the vest from the top and the bottom
  • there is a bit of shape to the vest

What I don’t like:

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