We flew into Tokyo from Chiang Mai Thailand in early December. We’d spent the last four months in warm and tropical South East Asia, and realized very quickly that we needed to go buy some warmer clothes.
This packing list is perfect for visiting central Japan in the winter months, and even early spring or fall. If you plan to go north to the snow, check with rental shops for snow clothes so you don’t have to pack bulky jackets and pants.
1.Gloves // 2. Smartwool Socks // 3. Beanie // 4. Scarf // 5. Bandana // 6. Baselayer // 7. Camisole // 8. Tee Shirt // 9. Long Sleeve Blouse // 10. Short-Sleeve Blouse // 11. Oatmeal Sweater // 12. Gray Sweater // 13. Puffy Jacket // 14. Leggings // 15. Jeans // 16. Oxfords // 17. Converse // 18. Booties
Winter temperatures in Japan will vary depending on where you are, the southern islands will be drier and temperate while the center and northern area will be much colder, getting into snowy conditions the farther north you go.
In Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto (central Japan) the temperature was in the 40’s and 50’s, definitely cool, but by no means freezing. And we did get some rain while in Osaka. My puffy jacket, base layer, scarf, and beanie were all essentials while we explored temples, pagodas, and ran around the cities.
When we ventured further north to the island of Hokkaido, I was layering on all the clothes I had because it was in the 20’s and snowing. We’d gone to Hokkaido to snowboard, and the shop (Rhythm Japan) where we rented gear was also able to rent us snow clothes as well so we didn’t have to bring our own, or snowboard in jeans.
After going through my photos from Japan I realized I wore essentially the same outfit every day. Jeans, baselayer, sweater, puffy jacket, beanie, and scarf. It’s a pretty good formula for staying warm while running around a city and I could easily shed layers when we were inside somewhere.
Japan is an amazing and beautiful country and a ton of fun to explore during winter. Layering is key for dressing for the cold here, being able to add or shed layers depending on where you are is easy and makes for some cute outfits!
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