Packing for a trip is probably one of the most exciting part of the preparation, because it means that I’ll be flying off really soon! As it will be my first time going to another country during winter, it’ll be also my first time packing for winter. I usually pack light, for a week’s trip my check-in luggage usually never goes over 7-8kg, but that’s when I pack for summer or a country with a tropical climate. However, this time I’ll be packing lots of sweaters and jackets, so it’ll definitely be heavier.
The winter in Tokyo in mid to late December is said to be averaged between 4-10 degrees Celsius (not sure what it’ll be like this year, will have to check with people who have been there). I am SUPER WEAK with cold. In 2008 I went to Hong Kong during autumn, and the weather was really good (between 18-21 degrees Celsius), but once the wind blew, THAT’S IT. I remembered squatting down and shivering at one corner one night in Disneyland because it was so damn chilly, I was wearing only a sweater and a jacket. This time, I’m going to be kiasu and pack lots of stuff that’ll keep me warm. It’s better to be overprepared than underprepared…
Edit: 2 days after this post was published, Tokyo experienced its first snow in November in 54 years. Temperatures ranged between -2 to 5 degrees celcius.
NEED TO PACK MORE CLOTHES.
(Some) Stuff I packed for winter
One of the things I definitely will include in my packing list are heat packs. As a pianist, I do buy a few packets to keep at home so I can use them before a performance or exam, as when I’m nervous, my hands freeze up, and when they do, I can’t play anything (*yay*). I always get them from Daiso because a few heat packs in one packet only costs $2! Also, they come as hand warmers to be placed in your pockets, or the stick-on kinds to be stuck on clothing (I got both). My biggest advice is that if you’re travelling in winter and you wanna get Daiso heat packs, get them early. As in, before everyone starts preparing for their trip early. I got my heat packs in April and there were lots of them on the shelves of major Daiso outlets. By September, they’re already all gone. If you still wanna get them, you’ll have to look for them at smaller outlets like Chinatown Point, and even then, they’ll be selling like hot cakes.
Another item I got were thermals. I got mine from Uniqlo (Heattech). One tip I can give, which is something I learnt while shopping at Uniqlo (I am obsessed with Uniqlo), is to look out for their items on Limited Offer, or those having limited-time discounts when you download their mobile app. Sometimes, the discounts are really worth it. I got my Heattech for $14.90 at a mobile app discount (I think the original price is $19.90). So yeah, it was quite a steal. The tops come in different designs (scoop neck, crew neck, turtleneck). I heard this guy telling his wife to get the scoop neck, so when she layers her clothes on top the neckline of the Heattech shirt will be hidden inside. Whaaaaat, that was some fashion tip!
And of course, one thing we definitely cannot miss out is the winter jacket/coat. Took a long time to get mine, as I was quite picky about it. I am relatively petite, so I can never wear down jackets that look like Michelin fats. You know, those kind that have pockets of….stuff. As good as they are in keeping me warm, they are really bulky and unflattering on me. In my case, I usually go for parkas or coats. I got two for my trip, one down jacket parka with a detachable coat and another fleece coat. The fleece coat was so warm it made me perspire the moment I put it on. Can’t wait to wear both in Tokyo! Of course, if bulky down jackets are your thing, go for it. You can get them in several designs at Uniqlo (the Ultra Light Down series are really compact, but they can really keep you warm).
For my coats and sweaters, I pack them in vacuum bags, as they really suck out any air from the bags and flatten all my clothes till the bags look wrinkled like prunes. Again, those can be bought from Daiso 🙂
Other stuff I can’t live without
Medicine because I fall sick super easily. I went to Hong Kong last year June and I caught a cold in the plane. It was hell and the hot summer weather in HK didn’t help at all. Had to buy lozenges from the pharmacy which weren’t strong at all, but thankfully I had some flu medicine. I still enjoyed my trip, but ugh I couldn’t eat as much as I would have liked and got tired more easily. This time, I am going to Tokyo in winter so I ain’t gonna take any chances.
Definitely have to bring a travel adapter with me, but one great tip I picked up on recently (and I can’t believe I haven’t done it earlier) is to bring a multi-plug socket/powerboard. Just plug it to the travel adapter, plug that to the wall, and I can charge all my devices at one go! I have my camera and phone to charge, so this is definitely gonna come in useful. Gosh, I am so slow with things…
Everytime I travel, I always pack a foldable duffel bag into my luggage. That’s in case for when I do quite a bit of shopping, and/or I am lazy to pack my clothes back properly and I need extra space for my stuff. I also prepare an extra set of lock and keys, in case I need to check in that extra bag. You probably can buy those bags, but I got mine for free haha.
So…these are some stuff I packed for my trip to Tokyo. I obviously won’t list down everything, especially those that are obvious. I haven’t finished packing my stuff, so I’m gonna take my time and pack slowly. If you have more tips, do share them with me, I would love to read them 🙂
The next time I’ll be posting about Japan will probably be about the trip itself. Looking forward to writing about that! 🙂