Packing List for Japan in Summer: June, July, August
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It can be a bit hard to know what to pack for summer in Japan. The first thing you should know is that it can get quite hot in the midst of summer, and with humidity coming on strong as well, you’ll want to wear as little as possible while still adhering to Japan’s modesty standards.
Like most countries temperatures vary from the north to the south, so this packing list for Japan in summer will give you a general overview on what to pack. However, in general the further north you go the lower the temperatures will be, even if just slightly. Same goes if you are visiting the mountain areas of Japan.
Packing for Japan in summer means you wont struggle so much with airline luggage limits and can probably get away with packing a few more items than mentioned below if you’re checking a bag.
As always with these packing lists I encourage packing light, especially if traveling independently as you’ll have to lug your suitcase or backpack around. This is even more important in summer as heavier luggage will make you sweat faster. The below packing list is aimed at a 2-4 week vacation.
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What you’ll read:
- Short seasonal descriptions and links to other packing lists for Japan
- What to wear in Japan in summer + what else to pack
- A few safety and health tips for traveling in Japan
- Sightseeing + hotel recommendations
When to Visit Japan: Weather and Seasons
Visiting in a different season?
Find the best packing list to fit your trip below.
What to pack in Spring in Japan (March, April, May): Spring is my favorite time to go pretty much anywhere, and Japan is particularly beautiful with a number of flowers coming out to bloom. See the spring Japan packing list here.
What to pack in Summer in Japan (June, July, August): Summer in Japan can get a little hot as I mentioned above so see if you can add some mountain or beach destinations to your list to escape the heat. Scroll down to see more information on packing for summer in Japan.
What to pack in Fall for Japan (September, October, November): Fall is another beautiful time to visit Japan with tempuratures just right. The colors in the trees start to come out and its makes everything that little bit prettier. See the Fall / Autumn packing list for Japan here.
What to pack in Winter in Japan (December, January, February): Winter is cold in Japan however there are a couple of places that shine in Winter. There are ancient villages coated in snow and hot springs full of snow monkeys to visit. See the Japan packing list for winter here.
What to Wear in Japan in Summer
How to dress for Summer in Japan:
- 1x sneakers: If you’re not planning to do any hiking you can leave these out.
- 1-3 pairs of flats / sandals: It’s going to be hot so I’d suggest only taking one pair of enclosed shoes with you, if any. Padding in the shoes is preferred if you’re doing a lot of walking, you’ll just have to search for some cute ones – look at styles here.
- 1 x Flipflops: For showers if you want them
- 1-3 x socks – only if you’re planning on bringing sneakers, however I’d suggest bringing one pair for when you have to take off your shoes at temples if you’re not comfortable going barefoot
- 6-10 pairs of underwear
- 3-5 bras
- 1-2 x Cute floppy hats
- 1 x Cardigan
- 4-7 x Tops: Depending on how much room you have in your luggage, 4-7 tops will be enough to pack for Japan in summer. If you don’t wear dresses consider adding more tops here. Think light fabrics, off the shoulder tops and atleast one top suitable as active-ware. Lowcut tops are not really appropriate, but short skirts and dresses are commonly worn here.
- 2-4 x Dresses: Again, personally choice, switch the number of dresses and tops around as you see fit. Short dresses are fine (although you’ll feel uncomfortable (and will get stared at) when entering certain temples and traditional areas so make sure you have atleast one knee length or longer dress.
- 2-4 x Bottoms: If you’re not packing dresses go for the upper limit. Remember you can hand wash in your sink or use the hotel’s laundry service. It’s best to keep luggage light as you’ll have to lug it around in the heat.
- Leggings x 1-2: 2 if you don’t have any appropriate hiking clothes and plan to be outdoors in nature a lot, and don’t have appropriate shorts.
What to Pack for Japan in Summer: Other Items
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- Phone + charger
- Your camera + lenses. I personally have the Sony a6500 + 19mm f2.8 + 35mm f1.8 combination.
- A charger for your camera and batteries
- An international adapter so you can plug in your appliances in Japan
- Portable charger – these are pretty cheap and come in handy if you need to charge your phone on the go
- 2-3 x 8GB or 16GB memory cards: I always recommend more than one memory card and to spread your photos out (or back up if you have access to a computer). This way if you loose one or it gets damaged, you still have atleast half of your photos.
- Any medicine you need. You’ll want to bring your prescription if you have one too.
- In original packaging, bring some medicine for an upset stomach, hay fever and dehydration (whatever is applicable).
Makeup & Toiletries
- Toothpaste (travel sized) + toothbrush
- Makeup (minimal to normal remembering its going to be hot)
- Travel sized shampoo and conditioner, or solid shampoo (can double as laundry detergent, hand soap)
- 2+ bank cards. I always try to bring one mastercard and one visa as not all bank machines will accept both.
- Photocopies of your passport (leave one with family at home, the other in a separate spot to where you keep your passport). This is helpful if your passport ever gets stolen.
- Lock for your bag or locker.
- Suitcase: suitable for travel in Japan.
- Backpack: keep in mind its summer and will be hot, so you wont want to be walking around with something too big. I’d recommend this 65L backpack.
Where to Stay in Japan in Summer
bigstockphoto.com / supparsorn
- Budget: TheGrids Hostel Lounge Nihombashi East is a good choice for travelers looking for a dormitory. The hostel is open 24 hours so you can check in if you’re arriving late at night, is close to public transport and also has a laundry service. Just to warn you prices in Tokyo are ridiculous, and this is one of the cheaper options. See the latest prices here.
- Mid-range: For a decently priced private room, the Horidome Villa Hotel Tokyo is your best choice. This is one of the cheaper, good value rooms in Tokyo which is known for its high accommodation prices. See prices here.
- Luxury: If you’ve got the money, the Peninsula Hotel Tokyo is a perfect choice in summer as it has its own pool, breakfast and the rooms have their own refrigerator. See more details and prices here.
- Budget: For a cheap but value packed dorm, check out the Roots Hostel Osaka. The hotel is located fairly close to the city and hence is good for sightseeing and getting around on public transport. The hostel also offers laundry facilities and breakfast. See more details here.
- Mid-range: The Mielparque Osaka is a good choice for a moderately priced private room. The hotel is near public transport and the reception (and check in) is open 24 hours a day. There’s also laundry services, a restaurant and a hairdressers here. See the latest prices here.
- Luxury: The Hotel Hankyu International is a good choice if you’re looking for luxury accommodation in Osaka. On the premises is a restaurant and bar, to help with those days where you’re tired after a long day of sightseeing. Some of the rooms have epic views so make sure you pick accordingly if that’s important to you. Find more information here.
- Budget: To meet other travelers and the dorm experience, I recommend Bakpak Hostel Kyoto. There’s a kitchen if you want to make your own meals and a bar and restaurant at the hostel. There is also a train station nearby. Find more details here.
- Mid-range: For a decent, but affordable private room, the Hotel MyStays Kyoto Shijo is your best bet. The hotel is close to transport, and has a 24 hour reception meaning you can check in or get help at any hour. There are also safes in the room to keep your valuables secure and a beauty salon on the premises. See the latest prices here.
- Luxury: The Hotel and Spa Lotus Modern is a great property in Kyoto for a bit of a splurge. There are no children allowed at the hotel making it an adult’s only paradise (aka quiet / no one trying to watch you pee), and it also accepts guests at all hours of the night if you need to check in or ask a question. View the latest prices here.
All other cities in Japan
- For other cities in Japan have a look at the Hotels Combined website. They get the best prices from a number of sites so you can see which is cheapest – visit their website here.
Don’t Forget to Pack Travel Insurance | Japan Packing List for Summer
Traveling without travel insurance is a bit risky, especially considering that if you have an accident overseas costs can rise up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. While its statistically unlikely that you’ll have a major accident, I always travel with travel insurance mostly to protect myself against theft and damage.
In the past I’ve claimed for both of those reasons and found the process to claim straight forward and relatively easy. I recommend World Nomads personally as its the only insurance company I’ve used and I’ve always been happy with the service. You can click here to visit the website to get more information on what is covered and to get a no obligation, instant quote.
Packing List for Japan: Safety and Health
bigstockphoto.com / LeeYiuTung
While Japan is a pretty safe country, as you would anywhere don’t leave your bags unattended or put yourself in unnecessary risky situations. If you find yourself in a bad situation, for instance if something has been stolen, its best to ask your hotel receptionist to help you call the police, otherwise you can get in contact yourself (many Japanese speak English, or will atleast understand a little).
Popular Day Tours in Summer in Japan
There’s so much to see in Tokyo that I’m going to leave a link for more day tour ideas hereand I’ll share my personal favourites below:
- Disneyland or Disneysea pass – I’ve actually never gone to a Disneyland anywhere so I’m definitely doing this one next time I’m in Japan. See the prices here.
- For the two best ways to see the sights in Tokyo I’d recommend either taking a tour with a local, or doing the touristy hop on hop off bus to see as much as possible. They both have their pro’s and con’s, so to find more information for the local guided sights tour click here and for the hop on, hop off pass click here.
- Visit Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi in one easy day trip. If you did it alone it’d be quite hard to see both of these in the same day unless paying for expensive taxis. See the latest prices here.
- A half day bike tour of Kyoto is a great way to get around and see the sights. You’ll cover more ground than you would by walking and get to burn off some of the food you’ve undoubtedly stuffed your face with during this trip – find more details here.
- A short distance from the city the rural town of Miyama allows you to see a different type of traditional Japanese architecture. On this trip you’ll also get to visit the Amanohashidate sandbar so it’s a nice mix of culture and natural beauty. You can hop in this tour from either Kyoto OR Osaka – see more information here.
- The Itsukushima shrine may not be known too well by name but you’ve probably seen a picture of it at some point if you’ve typed Japan into Pinterest – its an orange arch situated over water. You’ll also check out the Hiroshima peace memorial. This tour also leaves from either Kyoto or Osaka, see more details here.
- Sightseeing in Osaka: There are two options here, the first is to get the local experience by being taken around the city with one (tour with a local guide here) or you can do it your own way in your own time with a hop on, hop off bus pass (see prices here).
- If you love Japanese food take a look at this 3 hour food tour – find more details + prices here.
For more day tour ideas in Japan check our the Get Your Guide website.
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