Yen, Debit Card, Passport
These are your obvious items to bring. Just in case it's not obvious to some I'll explain in detail and give tips. Yen is the currency of Japan. I recommend getting $500 dollars worth of Japanese yen to go over with. Here's where the debit card comes into play. When you finally get to Japan, to go a convenience store like a 7/11 and take out more yen with your debit card as you see fit. Remember to also call your bank and let them know you'll be going out the country so they won't stop your card. If you can't get cash out then you'll have a big problem on your hands because Japan is still a cash based country even though some places do take credit cards now. And finally your passport. If you have an existing passport make sure in advance that it is not expiring soon. If you don't even have a passport you will be needing one. You can obtain a passport through the post office. Once you have filled out all the paperwork they'll mail you your passport in about 6 to 8 weeks, so don't wait last minute for this!
Your Own Pillow
This sounds silly but it's really good advice. especially for those who are sensitive sleepers. Not all, but many hotels I stayed at in Japan had pillows with beans inside them. I don't know about everyone else but I can't sleep on bean pillows. They're just not comfortable in my opinion and it makes me lose sleep. I suggest bringing your own pillow so you won't have to worry about losing sleep. We want to make sure you have enough energy to explore Japan!
Another obvious item but it needs to be mentioned. If you are on any medication prescribed by your doctor please bring it with you. A hospital visit in a different country with a different language doesn't sound ideal. Not only prescribed medicines, but bring everyday medicines just in case. What happens if you get heartburn, a fever, sore throat, or an allergic reaction? You need to consider bringing other medicines for these circumstances. And if you think that you'll be able to get medicine from a store in Japan you may be facing a bigger problem. If your Japanese isn't good to where you don't know Kanji, then you won't be able to buy medicine because you won't be able to understand what the containers are saying. Make it easier on yourself by bringing your own medicine. But make sure the medicine is allowed in Japan because Japan has strict laws in drugs.
English to Japanese Dictionary
This item is for those unfamiliar with Japanese. Now, you can always just speak English the whole time and it might work out for you depending on what parts of Japan you'll be visiting. But for those actually wanting to make the effort should have a dictionary on hand. You will most likely want to say something to someone. You'll know what you want to say but not the Japanese word for it. An English to Japanese dictionary will help you. You'll look up what you want to say and it'll have it's Japanese meaning. Even if you don't know how to speak in full sentences just saying a word will get your point across.
Now when I say maps, I'm not talking about those boring maps you see of the country that just has a bunch a lines and arrows. I mean maps that are detailed and have pictures of landmarks. I don't know about you but I'm the kind of person that gets around by using landmarks, not street names. Using a map that shows where all the landmarks are in the city is very helpful. I usually use the city's bus map to do this and then I get double use out of it. Bus maps are super easy to read than those maps in guide books.
I can't stress this one enough. Bring comfortable shoes to walk in! You will be walking a lot while in Japan. Yes, you can use public transportation but you will still be doing a lot of walking if you plan to do some shopping, visit temples, or climbing mountains. As cute as boots, heels, and flats are they are not reliable. Tennis shoes are the way to go. You'll thank me later.
This also seems obvious but you may think because you're going in the summer you won't need sweaters but I'm here to tell you that you will, and here's why. Some parts of Japan has crazy weather. The sun could be blazing one minute and in the next it could be raining. Not only that, but if it's hot outside stores may blast their air conditioning, making it freezing cold. The key to dressing in Japan is to dress in layers.
Bring your own toiletries that you love and are used to because they most likely won't be in Japan. That means pack your shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, and anything else you can think of. Definitely bring deodorant because Japan is a big fan of the spray and roll on types.
This is for my fellow geeks out there. Bring your Nintendo 3DS with you! If you bring it to Japan you'll be getting a ton of regions in Japan completed for your streetpass maps. It's super fun to see all the people you'll pass on the streets with your 3DS. My friends and I call them "green people." This is because when you have people at your streetpass plaza waiting for you your 3DS lights up green. So have fun collecting your green people!
And that's everything I recommend you bring for your trip to Japan. I hope I helped in making your trip easier for you. You'll be hear from me soon on here but until then you can check me out on my social media pages.
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Thank for the support!