Things to take to Japan 日本でバッグに入れるべきもの
For a short journey or for a long vacation, prepare your bag properly to have a successful trip!
Here is a list of the essentials to have in your bag in Japan.
So, it’s finally the big day! Only a few more hours and you'll be flying off on the trip of your dreams. To make the most of your long-awaited trip, don’t forget to slip these useful things into your bag:
1- The passport
A valid passport is THE thing to have when you go to Japan. To avoid having to turn back at the airport, remember to put it in your bag and check it several times before leaving! Don't forget to bring a photocopy of your passport or to take a picture of it, it could be useful.
2- Documents related to COVID-19
The recent reopening of the borders (October 11, 2022) does not mean the end of sanitary measures. If you are triple vaccinated, do not forget to bring your vaccination certificate in English. If you are not vaccinated or do not have a complete vaccination scheme (3 doses), a PCR test will be mandatory within 72 hours before your arrival in Japan. You will be asked to present your negative PCR test in English.
3- The address of stay on the spot
Having a local address is one of the conditions to enter Japan. You must provide an address in Japan, to be completed on the customs declaration upon arrival. You only have to enter the address of your first accommodation in Japan, whether it is a hotel, a ryokan, or a rental house. To save time, you should prepare it in advance.
4- A pen
Anodyne...but not that much. It will save time upon arrival as you can fill in the entry documents directly on the plane.
5- An adapter for Japanese plugs
As for most of your trips outside of France, remember to bring an adapter for Japanese plugs! The voltage used in Japan is only 100 volts, so depending on the voltage of your appliances, an adapter may not be enough.
Please note: in Japan, the plug and socket are type A: two parallel flat pins. Be careful not to make a mistake when purchasing! To make things easier, consider bringing a power strip! You will only have to plug all your appliances into it, and use only one adapter.
Although it is possible to withdraw money in Japan, leaving with yens, the Japanese currency, will save you time and avoid you to look for ATMs and exchange stores as soon as you arrive.
You will also leave more serenely.
Useful: in Japan, you will find an ATM in each konbini (supermarkets 7 days a week). A fee is charged for each withdrawal, so use large denominations.
In Paris, many exchange offices are located in the Bourse district (2nd arrondissement). Otherwise, the Comptoir Change Opéra (CCO) located in the 9th arrondissement offers some of the best rates on the market.
7- An international payment card without fees
Apart from small daily expenses that you can pay in cash, you will most likely use your bank card often, but the fees for using it abroad can be restrictive. We advise you to use an international payment card with no fees: revolut, fortuneo, N26...you have the choice!
8- Clothes and shoes adapted to the climate and habits
The climate in Japan can be surprising. Summer, for example, is a particularly hot and humid period...marked by the rainy season. Therefore, remember to bring light clothes, umbrellas (foldable if possible, to save space), and raincoats in your suitcase!
In general, check the weather forecast before leaving, and plan clothes for all types of weather!
The same goes for shoes: in Japan, shoes are often taken off when you go inside. Shoes without laces will be more practical. Don't forget to bring spare socks (in good condition) to be able to move around inside!
Please note: sizes may vary slightly in Japan, and small sizes are more easily found there. A good stock of clothes will prevent you from having to find the perfect fit.
9- The pocket Wi-Fi
For a connection in all circumstances, bring a pocket Wi-Fi in your bag! It will make your trip easier by allowing you to follow your itineraries, and your favorite applications to find your way or to share your daily life with the rest of the world.
10- The external battery
Another useful item is the external battery. To avoid finding yourself without a battery in the middle of your activities, taking an external battery in your bag will help you more than once!
11- Sleeping balls and mask
In Japan, the sun rises very early and it can happen that some accommodations are not equipped with enough blackout curtains. For a full good night, remember to bring a mask!
In the same way, it can happen that Japanese buildings are poorly isolated and that the outside noises are a nuisance to sleep. Think of bringing earplugs! They can also be useful on the plane.
12- Essential applications to download
During a trip to Japan, several applications can be useful if you have a smartphone.
MySOS is the essential application to download: used for the "Fast Track" entry to Japan, this application also manages the arrival and departure procedures in Japan. It allows you to enter your Covid-related documents (vaccination certificates or PCR tests). Discover more about how it works here (in English). From November 14th, the Visit Japan Web service will take over! It will be used for all procedures related to entering and leaving Japan (customs, immigration, and quarantine (if necessary)).
We also advise you to download translation applications, which will save you from having to use a lexicon: Google, iTranslate or Imiwa for the dictionary in mobile version. For travel, Jorudan will provide you with all the information you need about trains and City Rail Map for transportation in general!
13- A list of emergency numbers
Even if it is very unlikely that you will need it, it is better to be safe than sorry! Here are some numbers to have on you before leaving:
The number of the French embassy in Japan: 03-5798-6000
Japan Helpline, a 24-hour telephone service that provides information in English for various questions: 0570-000-911
If you are going to Tokyo:
Police service in English: 03-3501-0110
Himawari Tokyo, free bilingual medical information service: 03-5285-8181