To celebrate the start of the Cherry Blossom season and the release of our Japanese-inspired, Sakura custom print ‘Watson’, this month we’ve paying tribute to all things Japan! Here at Carry On Watson we are all about helping you be travel smart and fashion forward, so we’ve put together a quick list of packing tips for anyone planning a trip to the land of the rising sun.

Pack light
Navigating through the world’s most densely populated city can be tricky. Add a huge suitcase into the mix and it can be a recipe for disaster. As you’ll soon find out, the crowded trains and train stations certainly don’t cater to travelers with a lot of luggage. To save yourself from having to hurl your suitcase over the subway turnstiles, we recommend packing as light as possible. Bringing anything more than a small rolling suitcase is going to make things difficult for yourself, so we suggest opting for carry-on size suitcases and duffle bags instead.  If you are looking to avoid bringing any luggage onto the trains with you, coin lockers are another great option. These can be found in most major train stations throughout Japan and for a couple hundred Yen, can house your superfluous bags for an entire day.

Be shoe smart
Packing shoes can be a little tricky when you’re planning a trip to Japan. Not only do they need to be comfortable, they also need to slip on an off easily.  Many places in Japan –ryokans (traditional inns), temples, and restaurants – require you to remove your shoes before entering. So to save yourself from untying and lacing your shoes every few minutes, we recommend packing a pair of slip on shoes or sandals. In the cooler months this can be a bit more challenging. We suggest bringing warm, low-cut sneakers and perhaps leaving the thigh-high lace up boots at home.

Layer up
The weather in Japan can be quite temperamental. During Spring and Autumn, you can find yourself wearing shorts one day and a heavy coat the next. Your best option is to bring clothes that you can easily layer. This will give you more options of clothes to wear, and will save you from having to lug around a heavy coat your entire trip. Thinner clothes are much easier to condense in a suitcase compared to heavily padded jackets. If visiting in the Winter months, thermals are also a must. 

Be fashion forward
Japan is at the epicenter of world fashion. While you don’t have to own the latest season designer labels to fit in, we do recommend being a bit adventurous in you clothing choices and what you pack. Pick clothes that you’re going to feel comfortable in but are also going to help you express yourself. A quick trip down Takeshita Dori in Harajuku will definitely inspire you. Customising your outfits and accessories is definitely the right way to go about it. Custom print carryon luggage is an easy way to turn heads and stand out in a crowded subway or airport.

Anticipate purchases
Japan is home to some of the most bizarre and incredible clothing and knickknacks you will ever find. There are going to be a lot of cool things you’ll want to buy, and there’s nothing sadder than turning down a purchase because you don’t have enough room to bring it home with you. While the easiest way to free up room in your luggage is to pack light, shipping home some unnecessary clothing items may be a more efficient option. You can check international shipping prices from Japan here. A lot of the time it can work out quite cheap, especially if you’re splitting costs with a couple of people.

Photo credits: Abigail Coton.