This is a very random post. More for my benefit than for any of my readers. We have travelled to Japan a few times now and for such epic trips, I always, always over pack. I need a pair of walking shoes because we are going into the mountains. I need a pair of trainers because I don’t want to look too outdoor-y when I’m in the city. I want a pair of slippers for evenings indoors. Oh and also a pair of flipflops for showers. Etc etc.
I really hated the me that packed two pairs of jeans instead of one, one whole tube of toothpaste instead of half and all the shoes mentioned above, especially when we had to walk 15mins from the closest subway station to our accommodation, when we had to pay more for big luggage lockers and when one of the wheels fell off my suitcase!!
So, a couple of things that could have stayed at home:
Clothes steamer! I know I was mad to carry that brick. It’s heavy for a start. But the most frustrating and exasperating thing is that it does not even turn on when it’s plugged into a socket in Japan because of the voltage difference! However, I do feel that a clothes steamer is necessary because if I remember this correctly, I didn’t see any irons or ironing broads in any of the accommodation. Just need to invest in a smaller steamer next time! (Just a side note, I was envious of Japanese mini irons!)
Hairdryer. For the same reason above, my UK hairdryer does not do much either. However, a hairdryer is provided in almost all accommodation in Japan. The voltage difference is really a bit of an issue.
Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. They are provided in all accommodation including hostels, guesthouses, chain hotels and onsen resorts. And the shampoo and conditioner are proper nice branded stuff rather than the cheap stuff you’ve never heard of that you often get in UK B&Bs. Even for that 1% chance that you end up in toiletry-less accommodation, there are convenience stores on practically every street corner. There really isn’t any need to carry bottles of toiletries even if you are travelling for a long time.
DSLR. Unless I’m doing a wedding job, there’s no way I’m going to carry a DSLR anymore. My iPhone does an amazing job. All the photos from my 2018 autumn Japan trip were taken with my iPhone. I consider it a separate issue if my husband wants to carry a DSLR because he never complains he can’t carry it anymore. So maybe the rule should be, we’ll pack one DSLR instead of two…
Umbrella. Outside a tourist temple building for example, there are always shelves and shelves of shoes and stands and stands of umbrellas. On our first trip, we bought a beautiful transparent white umbrella when it first rained. Two hours later, we entered a samurai house and parted with our new umbrella (and our shoes) outside the door. We never saw our umbrella again. We believe someone took it by mistake because they all looked the same. So that’s reason one – you might lose it. (Fortunately, we didn’t lose our shoes.) Reason two, most accommodation provides it anyway, just inside the front door, there is usually a bucket of umbrellas.
Things that I nearly didn’t bring but glad I did:
Laptop! I never travelled with my laptop before and found it surprisingly useful for blogging on the move.
An irrelevant paragraph.
I did some shopping in a huge Uniqlo store in Osaka and experienced this amazing check-out machine. There were a few self-checkout desks. I’ve never done that with clothes shopping before. Even better, you don’t need to scan the barcode on each item to get the items onto the till screen! You just dump the whole shopping basket on the shelf and the computer knows what’s inside! Amazing!