Packing guide for Winter in Japan

Packing can seem like a daunting task, so I like to provide little guides to help you remember all the necessities and maybe even give you a few NEW ideas for your travel plans.

Backpacking all over Japan for 21-days meant I needed to be organized and practical with my choices. I also had to pack for a variety of temperatures because for half of the time I was in Tokyo where it averaged 30-50*F and the other half of my trip I was snowboarding in Niseko where the weather ranged 15-30*F. Since I was snowboarding I also had to pack all my gear, but still keep it as light as possible.

I am here to give you my best packing advice for a winter adventure in Japan.

January 10 - January 31 I set out to explore the cultural explosion of Japan. On my trip I stayed in AirBnbs in Shanghai (layover) and Tokyo, a ryokan in Nagano, and an apartment in Niseko. A ryokan is a Japanese inn that has kept traditional structure and equipment. So think sliding panel doors, pillows around coffee tables, bath houses, and mats to sleep on. It was everything I dreamt.

Through my unforeseen shortcomings and/or life-saver moments I complied a list of things you will DEFINITELY NEED and some travel tips that will help you plan your Japan adventure.



  • Scarf
  • Gloves - mittens, tech fingers
  • Undies
  • Wool socks
  • Sports bras
  • Short sleeve graphic tee
  • Long sleeve thermals
  • Sweaters
  • Dressy top
  • Turtleneck
  • Coat
  • Blue jeans
  • Black jeans
  • Long leggings: cotton & athletic
  • PJ sweats & shorts
  • Belt
  • Walking shoes/workout shoes* - There are so many places to explore, so make sure you bring your most comfortable pair.
  • Boots


  • Chapstick/Aquaphor
  • Moisturizing eye drops
  • Face & Body lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Face wash
  • Deodorant/sample perfume bottles
  • Makeup
  • Q-tips
  • Hairbrush & hairties
  • Toothbrush/Paste/Floss
  • Razor/Tweezer


  • Extra vitamin C
  • Tea
  • Face towel
  • Curling iron
  • Jewelry
  • Laundry tote (I like reusing Free People tote bags)


  • Goggles
  • Beanie
  • Ear warmer headband
  • Gloves
  • Jacket layers (fleece, quilted puffy, windbreaker)
  • Pants
  • Boots
  • Snowboard & bindings
  • Snowboard bag with wheels
  • Onesie by Tipsy Elves - Best idea ever because it is so easy to slip on to run out the door. It is also great because snow doesn't creep down your pants.


So that's my packing list for a chilly trip to Japan. Next read about the best places to explore on your trip!