Here are a pile of packing tips to get you off to a good start in the land of the rising sun.
Unless you’ll be working in a terribly small city, you’ll be able to find almost everything you need.
So don't worry to much about forgetting common things. After walking or driving around a bit, you'll find you can get most of what you need and probably a whole lot that you don't!
Packing Tips for Going to Japan - Things to Bring
If you’re thinking of bringing electric items like stereos, you might want to re-think things. Firstly, the item has to survive getting there. Plus it’ll be even more money to bring it back home. On top of this you’ll face electric current compatibility problems.
Japan operates on 100 volts. Given the competitive pricing of consumer electronics and the fact that you can get cutting edge technology in all their latest gadgets, it makes sense to buy it there. One of the largest complaints is that things like hair dryers or heaters don't have as much kick when forced to run on 100 volts. Akihabara in Tokyo is the best place to buy consumer electronics.
But with Amazon on the scene now you can order anything you want, but keep in mind that if the delivery address is Japan they will force you to buy through Amazon Japan and then jack the way up. No kidding I have scene vitamins - same brand, dosage etc. go for twice what Amazon U.S. charges.
Packing Tips - Health and Beauty Aids
Many products like health and beauty aids etc. you find in the U.S. can be found in Japan. Maybe not the exact brand but something similar. So if any brand will do, it’s unnecessary to bring things like toothpaste, shampoo, lotion etc. Just pack travel size bottles of these items to get you through the first few days. Procucts from Clinique, Procter and Gamble, Pantene, Channel, Shick, you name it, litter the shelves.
One notable exeception in health and beauty aid products is quality deodorant. And regarding health and beauty aid products in general, if you have a brand you can’t live without and don’t know if you can find it in Japan, it’s a good idea to bring a good supply. (We're working on a master list of western produced products that are available in Japan.)
Packing Tips - Pets
Some packing tips are easy, others are not. This one is not. If you want to bring your pet, get ready to face a gauntlet of measures designed to discourage you from bringing one in. On top of quarantining your pet at AQS (Animal Quarantine Service) upon your arrival in Japan, there are loads of procedures and documentation required before you arrive with Rover. What kind?
Furthermore bringing a pet to Japan will make finding accommodations much harder. It’s already tough to find accommodations in Japan as most landlords don’t allow pets. For these reasons, we recommend you don’t bring a pet.
If you've read our
packing tips section and you're ready to go, you're ready to learn some important Japanese etiquette...using chopsticks.
If you'll be heading to Japan, get a head start on basic Japanese at our learn Japanese online page.
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