Unique things to carry in Japan

Before you head out your hotel door to explore Japan, there are a few things to pack with you before you leave and they are quite unique to Japan. Here are some I recommend to have on you. 

Handkerchief – More times than not you will find yourself without a paper towel or a hand dryer (those are awful by the way) when you use a Japanese restroom. So having something to dry your hands with is a good idea to have, so add a handkerchief to your backpocket and you should be set. They can also help if you are sweltering during the hot summer months, so keep one on hand at all times. 

Cash – Even though the world is going more digital every day, cash is still king in Japan. Many small restaurants, cabs, and other small shops are cash only so make sure you have plenty on hand before you head out the door. You can find ATMs that work on US debit cards inside the 7-11s and other shops.

Trash bag – Japan and more specifically, the large cities, lack convenient trash cans in public areas. This may mean you have to carry your trash with you while out exploring before you can find one at a konbini or a train station, so having a trash bag can be helpful. Do you really want a bunch of loose items rolling around in your bag for half a day or would having them in one nice package be a better way to go about it? Make sure to check out my blog post on dealing with trash in Japan for more information.

IC card – IC cards are a must for anyone wanting to explore the major cities in Japan. They make life easier navigating the subways and save you time from buying individual tickets (and trying to figure the maps before each leg of the trip). So make sure you have that piece of plastic on you at all times (and make sure it has funds on it). 

Pocket Wi-Fi – Public Wi-Fi is not common in Japan outside of hotels or large stores like Starbucks or other spots. So having that pocket Wi-Fi is a tourists’ best friend while you are out exploring. They are reliable and give you a good and strong connection so make sure to rent one before you explore Japan. 

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