Tips and Guide to Wear in Japan

Tips and Guide to Wear in Japan

Japan is famous all over the world for its unique style, especially fashionistas from Harajuku to Tokyo. That said, before going to Japan, I forgot to consider that not everyone, everywhere, is into the bright and quirky Harajuku style, so with that in mind, we combined the quirky and the practical for these packing lists.

Quick Tips:

  • Japanese women tend to dress relatively conservatively, so showing too much skin is unusual and frowned upon, even when it’s hot.
  • Japan is a walkable country, so expect to walk a lot. You will also spend a lot of time getting around using the extensive public transport system. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes.
  • You will climb a lot of stairs and still walk a lot. A backpack will be a better idea than a suitcase (I learned it the hard way).
  • Take clothes with you for a week and do your laundry – laundries are numerous and inexpensive. This way you can pack much lighter too!
  • Leave room in your luggage-Japan is great for shopping!

Summer

The temperature and humidity in Japan are starting to rise as it welcomes summer from June to August. Locals tend to dress in light and airy clothes that keep things nice and fresh without exposing the skin too much. Short skirts and pants are totally fine, but you might want to avoid showing off your cleavage! That said, feel free to adopt your personal style in Japan-I’ve seen some of the hottest people on the streets of Tokyo, and it’s so cool to see everyone getting creative and inspired! You’ll see what I mean when you get there. Expect lots of fun, outdoor festivals, more rain in May and June, and the hottest months of the year in July and August. With that in mind, here’s a summer packing list for a week in Japan:

Fall

Autumn is the perfect time to visit Japan. It is a little less crowded than the popular spring, you will see beautiful autumn leaves in the parks and in the countryside, and the weather is pleasant all around, if not slightly cool, which makes walking outdoors a pleasant experience.

Especially in early autumn, the weather can be quite confusing – one day it’s almost too hot and sunny, the next it’s cool enough to wear a jacket. As with spring, layering is key, so bring clothes that work well with each other. This is a good time to rent a kimono set, which can be too hot in the summer, and immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture for the day, especially if you are in places like Kyoto. I also noticed that many local women wear a lot of wide trousers in bright colors at this time of year and thought they looked appropriate, stylish and comfortable! Here’s a fall packing list for a week in Japan:

Winter

Depending on which part of Japan you are traveling, winter in Japan can get quite cold. Temperatures can drop below freezing in the north, while in Tokyo you can expect 40°F-55°F, with a slight chance of snow. Most indoor places and public transport have heating systems in place to keep warm, which means that you will have to deal with the constant fluctuations in temperatures.

Again, layering is essential if you want to be able to keep your body temperature at a comfortable state to avoid getting sick. I wouldn’t sweat too much over packing for a winter trip to Japan-Uniqlo has some really great but affordable options, and their stores are everywhere! Here’s what to pack for a week in Japan during the winter:

Spring

If you are visiting Japan during the cherry blossom season, layering is important, because the inside is warm, but it can still be a little cold outside. You will enjoy visiting the shrines, walking around the beautiful local neighborhoods and tasting authentic local cuisine in restaurants and cafes, so expect a lot of walking.

You are also likely to participate in Hanami (cherry blossom viewing), so when it comes to clothes, I recommend planning a light, fashionable and pastel wardrobe. It will go well with cherry blossoms and spring colors. As mentioned above, leave room in your luggage because you can find cool stuff at local malls and thrift stores. With that in mind, here’s a spring packing list for a week in Japan:

I hope these lists help you worry less about what to wear in Japan and spend more time enjoying it! Although my style tends to be more colorful and original than most, these lists are a great place to start, regardless of your personal style.

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