Tokyo is easily one of my favorite cities on the planet. The lights, culture, and food are among the most unique and interesting across the globe and there is always something to do. Temperatures and weather differ greatly between seasons, however, so it is extremely important to make sure you are packing for the time of year your plan to travel there.

Tokyo Essentials

Good Walking Shoes

While there are many items listed below that you shouldn’t leave home without, the single most important item that you must bring are good walking shoes. I am putting a double emphasis on this (sturdy shoes are in the essentials list) as Japan in general requires a ton of walking and Tokyo is no exception. The train stations are large, things are far apart, and it is a great city for a stroll. A good pair of walking shoes is going to save you a lot of trouble and achey feet.

Decent Socks

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have fancy socks, but you will want ones without holes or stains as you often have to take off your shoes in many establishments. Some restaurants and many hotels require you to take off your shoes and you want to be prepared by having socks on.

Cash, Not Credit Cards

For being as technologically advanced as Japan is, credit cards haven’t caught on quite like the US or Europe. Most chains like McDonalds will take credit cards, but don’t expect many places to. It is best to carry a decent amount of cash.

Pro Tip: Take out money from ATMs as it is where you will get the best exchange rate. There are a bunch in Narita Airport when you land and in the middle of Tokyo there are some American banks that I’ve found are easier to navigate and get cash from. Here is a link to the Citibank Shinjuku branch as an example.

Power Adapter / Converter

The power in Japan is likely not the same as back home. Make sure you have an adapter or converter so you can charge your electronics. Most modern electronics, like iPhones and Computers, have converts built into their charges but you still need to make sure you have the right plug in your adapter.

Here is the Tokyo essentials list:

  • Good walking shoes
  • Decent Socks
  • Cash, Not Credit Cards
  • Power Adapter / Converter

 

View image | gettyimages.com

Tokyo Packing List by Season

Tokyo’s climate has been compared to Washington DC as there are 4 complete seasons will varying levels of humidity and temperature. Summers tend to be very hot and sticky and the Winters are quite cool, yet snow isn’t a regular occurrence.

Tokyo in Summer

If you are traveling in Summer, expect it to be very hot and humid. Average temperatures in the summer are around 78° F / 25° C and the humidity can make it very sticky. June is one of the rainiest months so packing a rain jacket will help you stay dry if you are outside for most of the day.

Tokyo in summer extras:

  • Lightweight, breathable tops
  • Shorts
  • Handkerchief
  • Rain Jacket

Tokyo in Winter

Winter is one of my favorite times to travel to Tokyo as it is one of the least rainy times of the year. It can be a bit blustery, but wearing a jacket can quickly overcome the lower temperatures. Average temperatures in the winter are around 42° F / 7° C.

Tokyo in winter extras:

  • Medium/Heavy Jacket
  • Winter accessories (gloves, hats, etc.)
  • Heavy socks (if your feet get cold)

Tokyo in Spring

Spring is a very popular time to travel to Tokyo as it is cherry blossom season. Average temperatures in the spring are around 67° F / 14° C and the nights can be quite cool. You will likely be in short sleeves during the day and need a long sleeve at night.

Tokyo in spring extras:

  • Rain jacket
  • Sweater or light coat

Tokyo in Fall

Fall tends to be warmer than the Tokyo spring and the cooler temperatures don’t often happen until late October or early November. Average temperatures in the fall are around 64° F / 18° C . The additional items are much like the spring items, but note that in early fall you won’t likely need the jacket at night.

Tokyo in summer extras:

  • Rain jacket
  • Sweater or light coat

 

Overall, Tokyo is a wonderful place to visit no matter what the season. It is extremely safe, lively, and an overall great place to enjoy. If you pack accordingly, your trip should be just fine and if there is anything you miss, you can likely pick it up once you get there.


Austin Grandt

Austin is an avid traveler who amasses hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles a year. His favorite destination is Tokyo and he currently resides in Chicago.

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