Japan 2019: Planning and Packing

June 15, 2019

So I’m off to Tokyo (and probably other bits of Japan) next week. I’m planning on blogging about the trip but I also thought I’d blog about the process of figuring the trip out!

Figuring Out What To Do

When I originally booked the trip I didn’t have a lot in mind, as is evident from my blog post from the time. Fortunately, plenty of people at Limejump had already been ahead of me and had plenty of tips to share.

My teammate Alex recommended picking up a Japan Rail Pass which gives tourists access to any trains for a given window of time at a typically reduced rate. Whilst it doesn’t always pay to get the pass it offers flexibility, and for heavy users it’s a no-brainer. She also let us know that we had to book our Studio Ghibli tour a month in advance!

I also picked up suggestions to check out Tokyo Sea Life, the Akihabara tech district, Mount Takao, and a huge Buddha at Kotoku-in Temple.

I knew I wanted to pick up some clothing in Japan - particularly a Loopwheeler sweatshirt so I did a little digging and found (with the help of Reddit) that the Shibuya district is basically the hot spot for Japanese fashion so there’s definitely a trip planned there.

Whilst a lot of it will be decided on the day, I’ve definitely amassed enough suggestions to easily fill out the skeleton of the trip. As we’re connecting with Dan and his girlfriend Alice, who is staying in Tokyo as part of her degree, during our visit I’ve shoved all of our plans into a shared Google Doc.

Packing

I’m strictly opposed to the idea of checking luggage on an aeroplane since my luggage got damaged in a trip to the states a few years back. The way I prefer to travel is with a single carry-on, a phenomenon known as ‘one bagging’ after the popular onebag.com.

Typically I travel with a Tatonka Flightcase1 however this trip I offered to lend the Flightcase to Joel who graciously agreed to not check his luggage. This of course meant, I had an excuse to purchase new luggage for myself. I’m a huge fan of Tom Bihn’s bags - I already have a daylight backpack and packing cube shoulder bag of theirs and I’ve had my eye on their Aeronaut 30 for a while. After realising I’d left my bag purchase a little too late to get something directly from Tom Bihn’s website, which delivers from Seattle, I decided to turn my eye to eBay and I was lucky enough to spot a barely used Tri-Star2!

Tom Bihn Tri-Star front pocket showing Tom Bihn Packing Cube Shoulder bag, travel toothbrush case, and an Eagle Creek Pack-It packing cube
Tom Bihn Tri-Star front pocket showing Tom Bihn Packing Cube Shoulder bag, travel toothbrush case, and an Eagle Creek Pack-It packing cube

So what am I packing?

Bags

Clothes

  • Buzz Rickson Sweatshirt
  • H&M Navy Shorts
  • GAP Olive Chinos
  • Black Vans
  • 6x T-shirts
  • 6x Underwear
  • ASOS Sandals
  • Sainsburys Sunglasses 🕶

Toiletries

  • Electric toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Hair wax
  • Moisturiser
  • Stick deodorant

Power and Cables

  • Flight-001 4-in-1 Universal Travel Adapter
  • A cheap off-brand US-UK travel adapter
  • Anker PowerCore 2500 PowerBank & USB-A to USB-C Cable
  • Google USB-C Plug & USB-C to USB-C cable
  • 3x Aiun USB-C male to USB-C female adapters
  • 2x Anker USB-C male to USB-Micro B female adapters
  • USB-C to UK Mains adapter

Entertainment

  • Amazon Kindle Basic 2
  • Bose Quiet Comfort 25 headphones, for surviving the plane
  • Dell XPS 13, for working and planning
  • iPad, for watching things on planes and at airports

Miscellaneous

  • Bedtime Bliss sleep mask
  • A ton of Moldex Spark ear plugs
  • Thermos water bottle
  • Ecoart Silicone collapsible cup
  • Summit to Sea spork

Documents

  • Passport
  • Copies of passports, board passes, AirBnB info, emergency numbers, etc.
  • Studio Ghibli Museum ticket
  • Japan Rail Pass exchange voucher

  1. This blog post does a decent job of describing and reviewing a similar model, mine is the 2015 variant [return]
  2. I got the Black 1050 ballistic nylon with Wasabi 200 Halycon inners. [return]

See Also

Last Updated: 2019-06-19 02:48