|Japan and Tokyo Guide - What to Pack?||
2nd Gen Hayabusa
Last Updated : 02 July 2012
What to pack for your Japan holiday or any holiday overseas.
Japan and Tokyo Tourist Guide
Many over pack and it is quite visible when you get to the airport. Personally I recommend 1 largish suit case with sturdy wheels. Hard or soft case is entirely up to you. Make sure that you can carry it without too much effort.
I have Samsonite branded luggage because they are generally better made than the others. Besides you wonít be exactly be buying a new suit case every other week. Unless you have a luggage fetishÖso we wonít go there. The checked luggage limit for Qantas is only 20 kilograms. I have seen a bag tagged as 32 kilos Ė which was eyebrow raising.
Always pack one set of going out clothing and shoes for night club or bar Ė for the more expensive entertainment establishments otherwise make sure you have comfortable clothing. Sports shoes I recommend or other nice casual ones. Most importantly make sure these shoes have already been worn in already and are VERY comfortable.
Why comfy shoes? You will be doing A LOT of WALKING and STANDING. Your feet will grow in size as they take the toll of constant pavement punishment. An average day I covered at least 8 km and stood for around 6 hours. This is a lot for a generally office chair bound worker like myself.
As for clothing pack for the usual socks, jocks, shirts for the appropriate number of days but remember you can wear them more than once you are on holidays and no one but you will notice. Remember some after-shave and deodorant after all if youíre not changing everyday you need something to cover up any staleness! Donít forget the comb or hair brush, toothbrush and most of all shampoo. Dandruff is a traveler's curse. Strong breath mints are also a useful item to have. All these things are so easy to forget.
These days youíll need a stack of power adapters for your camera, iPod and phone. Japan mostly uses 100 Volts at the least so make sure your charger can do the 100-240Volts. The plug is two vertical points so you'll need an adapter.
A mobile phone is a really useful thing in Japan. They have a variety of networks which Australian users of Telstra and Optus and Vodaphone have roaming agreements. GSM roaming does not work in Japan anymore so your phone must be 3G/UTMS 2100Mhz capable at the very least. If your mobile has Wi-Fi connectivity even better because there are plenty of free Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to the internet. I've used my Australian mobile and SIM many times. However when I get the bill it is quite expensive. SMS however is the same price.
Also ensure that your mobile phone account has international roaming activated. No, you canít buy a mobile phone in Japan because their phones donít work with Aussie mobile phone SIM cards and their phones are exclusively Japanese language. The only familiar model I saw was the Motorola V3XX but only in Japanese otherwise they were all pretty much unique. They donít have pre-paid accounts either (for international visitors). That said you can rent phones - but I don't see the point.
Do not pack too full because youíll probably want some souvenirs and lots of tourists maps and information. Oh and donít forget a little towel. Very handy.
As for hand luggage I am a satchel convert. For years I used backpacks and then bum bags but nothing beats a decent satchel. Get one you can easily open and can be secured at the same time. Not too big and not too small either because youíll probably use it to stash your shopping, camera, drinks, breath mints brochures and so forth.
Nothing beats a pen and small pad! which you'll need for filling in immigration forms for departure and entry into both countries.
How much cash or credit cards do I need for Japan?
The currency for Japan is the • Yen. How much money to bring again is up to you but I recommend at least • 100,000-200,000 Yen in cash for 10 days. Many shops in Japan do not have EFT or credit card facilities. It is still very much a cash based society for day to day and even expensive purchases. The larger department stores have credit card facilities so use it there if you need to. The bank will have a currency conversion charge on each transaction though - ouch! Check with your bank on how much they charge.
It is interesting that despite the cost of items in the thousands or millions the smallest coin is the 1 Yen. Even more interesting is that things regular items do cost in the solo Yen Ie. 197 and so forth which you can pay exactly for! Mind you I find it interesting because Australia has forgone the 1 cent and rounds everything to the nearest 5 or 10.
You can convert your currency at a number of places, banks tend to have the highest conversion fee by lowering the value of official conversion rates. Avoid airport currency counters and checking your local outlets. Compare the currency conversion rates first!
One last thing: I will inevitably refer to something as cheap which you may disagree with! However remember my point of view is based on living in Australia and that clearly is different to anywhere else. Japan clearly has different values on certain items. Why? I don't know.
Is there Internet access in Japan?
Of course, if you pick a decent hotel they usually have free wired network internet access. So you can bring a laptop if you really must. Otherwise there are a few internet cafes and coin operated operated machines. If you have a mobile phone or computer even iPod with Wi-Fi quite a few cafes including McDonalds have free internet Wi-Fi hotspots. Personally there are better things to do than surf the Net when you're on holidays!
Read the other pages for more details on how much things costs.
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