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Ultimate Female Packing List for Japan (in Spring)

spring japan packing list

The following Japan packing list was submitted by Ashley of AshleyAbroad.com. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this site running – thank you!

Cherry blossoms. Spring festivals. Flower-filled parks. Japan is a wonderful place to visit in any season, but is especially alluring in spring when everything’s in bloom.

There’s only one problem — Packing for Japan in the spring can be tricky: Japan is very humid, temperatures vary from north to south, and it rains a lot. And as I learned on my trip this May, spring in Japan can also get surprisingly hot.

All that said, it is possible to pack well for spring in Japan; you just have to layer, bring rain gear, and pack the appropriate footwear. Here’s what I recommend packing for Japan if you’re visiting in spring.

What do I pack for my Japan vacation?

When packing for any trip to Japan, it’s good to reference HPL’s other packing lists for the same destination, even in various seasons. There are little nuggets of packing advice that may be useful for your specific trip.

Also, given that weather can be so variable at any time of the year, researching neighboring season lists is just plain smart.



Clothes: What to Wear in Japan in Spring

Layers are key for spring weather in Japan. In case of cold or rainy days, I recommend bringing a lightweight fleece or hoodie, which you can layer under a rain jacket if necessary.

I also recommend packing some of your most stylish clothes, especially if you plan to visit Tokyo. Women in Tokyo are very creative with fashion, so don’t be afraid to wear a red lip or a fun hair accessory.

Finally, I recommend dressing somewhat modestly for Japan. My sister and I got a lot of disapproving stares if we wore short dresses or skirts. 

Travel style for Japan in the spring
Versatile pieces offer layering options for visiting Japan in the spring.
  • 2 black t-shirts – they go with everything. I like the cotton ones from Everlane.
  • 1 nice blouse – I brought a floral printed blouse that looked good with jeans.
  • 1 skirt – I brought a fun, knee-length leopard-printed skirt.
  • 1 dress – I recommend bringing a dress (or something dressier) if you’re planning on going to a nice restaurant.
  • 1 hoodie – for cold days and flying. 
  • 1 jean jacket 
  • 1 lightweight rain jacket – If it gets cold, you can layer your hoodie under the rain jacket.
  • 1 pair of jeans 
  • 1 pair of black jeans – versatile, and can be dressed up or down.
  • 2 bras – one nude and one black.
  • 5 pairs of underwear – For travel, I love ExOfficio underwear because you can wash it in the sink if necessary, and it dries super-fast.
  • 5 pairs of socks 
  • 1 pair of leggings – for flying or travel days.
  • 1 pair of pajamas – Pajamas are a nice luxury to have after a long travel day.

Shoes: Best Footwear for Japan in Spring

Packing for Japan in the spring
Comfortable walking shoes are a must for sightseeing in Japan.
  • Black sandals – I wore these sandals most days of the trip.
  • Closed-toed walking shoes – You’ll most likely walking a lot, so don’t forget a pair of comfortable tennis shoes. I brought Stan Smiths.
  • Rain boots – I advise bringing rain boots in case of rain. I love these short ones from Sam Edelman – they’re stylish, compact, and easy to pack.
  • Flip flops – if you’re staying in a hostel, you may want to pack flip flops to use in the showers.

Toiletries: Pack Less & Buy There

Don’t overpack your toiletries – you can always buy more once you arrive. Plus, Japan has lots of amazing skincare and makeup products – leave some room in your suitcase to bring a few souvenirs home.

I also advise packing your toiletries in Ziploc bag, in case they explode mid-flight. (Editor’s note: Try some of these ziploc bag alternatives instead!)

  • Shampoo/conditioner/body wash – You can fill these eco-friendly, refillable Go-Toobs with your preferred shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
  • Travel-size face wash
  • Neutrogena face wipes – so handy for makeup-removal and long travel days.
  • Moisturizer – I love this rose one by Dr. Hauschka. Plus, it’s one ounce, so you can carry it on.
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Travel-size dry shampoo – Dry shampoo is a must for me. As I have dark hair, I love the “Divine Dark” shade by Batiste.
  • Deodorant
  • Prescriptions/birth control
  • Razor
  • Lip balm 
  • Brush – I like the Wet Brush for untangling hair.
  • Travel-size detangling spray
  • Chapstick 
  • Feminine hygiene products/DivaCup
  • Hair ties
  • Toiletry case 
  • Makeup case 
  • Curling iron (optional) – I brought mine
  • Makeup (optional) – I brought a pared-down version of my normal makeup, as well as a red lip pencil. This one’s my favorite!

Electronics

  • iPhone – I recommend downloading the Google Translate app (so helpful for reading Japanese) as well as an offline map app such as Maps.Me
  • Chargers – to charge my iPhone, Kindle, and camera
  • Adapter – you can either by a universal adapter plug or a Japan-specific adapter plug.
  • 1 pair headphones
  • Camera (optional) – I brought my lightweight mirrorless camera – a Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with a 35mm lens.
  • Portable battery (optional) – in case your phone dies.
  • Kindle (optional) – I was very glad to have my Kindle on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto. 
What to wear in Japan in spring
Ashley recommends utilizing an offline map app when traveling in Japan.

Miscellaneous Travel Gadgets

  • 1 backpack – Perfect for toting around your valuables on travel days.
  • Water bottle – The tap water in Japan is drinkable, so I recommend bringing a reusable water bottle. It can get hot in Japan, even in May, so it’s important to stay hydrated.
  • Eye mask and ear plugs – so essential!
  • 1 small crossbody purse – I love the Mini Saddle Bag by Cuyana.
  • Costume jewelry – I wouldn’t recommend bringing valuable jewelry, but I enjoyed having a pair of gold earrings and a coin necklace to spruce up my outfits.
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 travel-sized umbrella (optional) – can be handy!

About the author: Since college, Ashley Fleckenstein has backpacked 40+ countries and lived in Paris, Colorado, and Uganda. She started her travel blog, AshleyAbroad.com, in 2012, while working as an au pair in Paris. She has been featured in BuzzFeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and more. When she’s not working as a UX designer or blogging, she can be found reading, hiking, or recreating French baked goods in her kitchen.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

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