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Spring in Kyoto is nothing short of magical, with cherry blossoms to enjoy and the amazing sights. Find out what to pack for Japan in spring!

 


What to Pack for a Trip to Japan in Spring


 

 

Table Of Contents

 

 

Spring in Kyoto means fairly sunny skies, bustling streets, and, of course, Japan’s beloved “Sakura” (cherry blossoms). Drawing visitors from all around the world, cherry blossom season in Kyoto is truly breathtaking.

Aside from Kyoto, there are so many other gorgeous cities you can visit to see cherry blossoms! Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, and Tottori are particularly popular destinations to witness Japan’s magical cherry blossoms.

If you’re looking for packing help for Tokyo, read our entire year round guide here. Now find out what to pack for a Japan trip during cherry blossom season in Kyoto!

 

Start by reading these general tips on packing for spring travel:

 

 

Japan Travel Packing List for Kyoto

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

All Saints Ridley Cowl Neck Wool Sweater | Sizes XS-L

 

Tops

 

Most cities in Japan have warmer afternoons and cold evenings, so layers are key. For tops, readers suggest layering with sweaters and long-sleeve t-shirts.

While I was in Japan in March, I saw many locals wearing beige and black. According to readers, you could add a few colored accents to your Kyoto capsule wardrobe, such as in the neutral color family, like green, red, or blue.

Also, relaxed and oversized silhouettes are very popular in Japan, so embrace the trend with a cute, slouchy sweater. This All Saints wool cowl neck sweater is great for exploring Kyoto. It’s cozy yet elevated and looks really cute layered under jackets. I bought it last year and wear it on repeat!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

L.L. Pima Cotton Long Sleeve Tee
Sizes: XS-XL Regular, Petite, & Tall | 1X-3X Plus

 

Long-sleeve tees are perfect for warmer spring days. My L.L. Bean long-sleeve tee was perfect on my trip to Tokyo in March. It’s one of the most reader-recommended long-sleeve tops for travel! It can be layered under sweaters, added as a layer on the flight, or just worn alone with jeans.

Thermals are also highly recommended for chillier evenings or if you’ll be there in early spring when the temperatures are a bit lower.

If you’re figuring out what to pack for Japan in May, many readers who traveled there in late spring shared that they mainly wore t-shirts, so add a few tees to your packing list!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Anthropologie The Colette Cropped Wide-Leg Pants: Sizes 23-34 | 16W-26W

 

Bottoms

 

In Japan, you’ll likely want to dress a bit more elevated, but you still need to be comfortable and mobile, as you’ll be walking a lot. So, when discussing what to wear in Kyoto, readers suggest comfortable travel pants that are made from quality fabric but are versatile. I saw wide leg pants everywhere, and they’re great because they have a more polished look.

If I were only going to pack one pair of pants on a trip to Japan in the spring, it would be these Anthropologie wide leg pants! They’re super comfy and wearable.

 

We’ve found the best travel pants for women, and our readers agree! Check it out!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

KUT from the Kloth Meg Wide Leg Jeans | Sizes 00-18

 

Comfortable jeans are a great go-to for Kyoto, and many readers have reported only wearing jeans during their trips to Japan in the spring. They always look great and work for so many different activities and occasions, too.

These Kut From the Kloth wide leg jeans have a sleek but wide look that’s on trend, and they’re also super comfortable–a perfect springtime option for Kyoto. They’re flattering and evoke an effortlessly cool vibe and would go with chunky boots really well!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Quince Cashmere Midi Sweater Dress | Sizes XS-XL

 

Dresses

 

Midi dresses are perfect for wearing under a jacket on warmer days. Opt for a dress that’s breathable and still keeps you feeling fresh. And you can add tights beneath if you’re feeling chilly.

This midi sweater dress from Quince is made of fine-gauge Mongolian cashmere to envelop you in luxe softness without the added bulkiness. It has a flattering silhouette and looks great with long boots or chunky mid calf boots.

If you prefer a long skirt to a dress, this cashmere midi skirt from the same brand is a good option!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Eddie Bauer Girl On The Go Trench Coat
Sizes: XS-XXL Regular | XS-XL Petite | S-XL Tall | 1X-3X Plus

 

Jacket

 

While spring isn’t the rainy season in Japan, you still might see a bit of rain here and there when in Kyoto, so you’ll want to have a waterproof jacket packed.

Trench coats are a staple among Japanese locals, so they’re a great option for spring in Kyoto. Plus, they’re stylish and functional on non-rainy days. However, be sure to pack sweaters and thermals in case the temperatures do drop, and they can!

But if you want a robust, waterproof jacket, a great trench coat is the Eddie Bauer Girl On the Go jacket. elevated. It’s also lightweight and comfortable, whether worn over a t-shirt or a chunky sweater.

 

See our readers’ picks for the best packable down jacket for travel so you can stay warm on your next trip!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Columbia Carson Pass Ii Jacket | Sizes XS-3X

 

While the days can be mild and even warm, mornings and evenings in the spring are typically quite brisk and chilly. And if you’ll be out and about from morning to night, you’ll need to dress accordingly for the mixed weather. A winter jacket is still wise, and you can always change it to something lighter, like a faux leather jacket.

My go-to for cold weather is the Columbia Carson Pass 2 because it’s really warm, not too bulky, and cute. Overall, a good waterproof jacket is a must in spring. I was going to bring a lighter jacket to Japan but went against recommendations that said a thinner jacket would do, and I was right, as it was “colder than expected.”

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Adidas Gazelle Shoes

 

Shoes

 

Traveling to Kyoto during cherry blossom season means you’ll be spending most of the day on your feet as you walk around and admire the beautiful Sakura. That means when it comes to shoes, comfort is the priority.

Locals in Japan keep their footwear comfortable and sensible yet still elevated and fashionable. Rather than athletic shoes, you may want to go for fashionable sneakers or neutral tennis shoes.

Some of the best cherry blossom sightings are on temple grounds, so if you also plan on visiting various temples and shrines, slip on shoes will be the most convenient, as you’ll need to remove your shoes before entering.

The most popular shoes in Japan seemed to be the Adidas Gazelle (pictured above) and the Adidas Samba. Basically, bold and even chunky sneakers are seen on the streets. Whatever you choose, ensure it has tons of cushioning and support for your feet!

 

These are our tried and tested reader recommendations for the world’s best travel shoes!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Shop Sorel Joan Now Boots: Amazon | Nordstrom

 

Elevated yet practical, leather boots are another great option for chilly spring weather. If rain is in the forecast for your trip or you want to be fully prepared for any unexpected showers, pack a pair of waterproof boots. Either way, make sure they’re not too heavy and will give your feet plenty of support. During my time in Japan, I saw a lot of chunky soled and combat boots

These funky Sorel Joan Now boots are super supportive and will take you from a long day of sightseeing to a fun night out. They’re also waterproof, resilient, and easy to care for — all very important factors! 

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Monos Water Resistant Carry-On Pro

 

Best Luggage for Kyoto

 

I traveled carryon only with the Monos Carry-On Pro and it worked out great for Japan. It’s lightweight at 7 lbs. Its 22” size means it’ll fit in the overhead bins of all major airlines (including international flights), and its sleek, streamlined design gives it a stylish look.

Just remember to always prioritize packing lightweight clothing and shoes and avoiding any items (including beauty products) that are heavy to keep your baggage as light as possible.

If you want a softside option, the ultimate reader favorite brand is Travelpro. Their Platinum Elite soft luggage 20” has spinner wheels, organizational pockets on the front, has a USB port, can even hold a laptop, and is expandable.  Read these tips on how to pick a suitcase and consider one of these top brands.

 

To help you avoid overweight baggage fees, we’ve rounded up the best lightweight luggage!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

WANDF 18″ Foldable Travel Duffle Bag

 

A travel tip for souvenir shopping is to bring a packable duffle bag to store all your goodies. Readers swear by the Wandf packable duffle and say it’s so easy to transport and is useful for other things like hauling laundry, not just gifts or souvenirs.

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Compass Rose Compression Packing Cubes

 

Depending on how many days or weeks you’re traveling, you may want to use luggage organizers such as packing cubes, which allow optimum use of the space in your luggage, keeping everything organized and in place during your travels, and making the task of unpacking and repacking simple and stress-free. Check out this video on how to organize using packing cubes, it’s incredibly easy!

 

If you want more resources on what type of suitcase to choose, start here:

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Rebecca Minkoff Classic Julian Backpack

 

If you’ll be exploring the city for the whole day and want to bring a jacket or other travel essentials with you, definitely bring a compact backpack to stay comfy and hands-free. Many TFG readers have shared that backpacks are their day bag of choice in Japan and are handy for souvenir shopping, too!

I brought the Rebecca Minkoff Julian backpack as my personal item and purse on a recent trip to Japan, and it was perfect! This backpack is cute, comfortable, and holds a lot.

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Shop Bandolier Emma Phone Case: Bandolier | Amazon

 

From vibrant food markets to cherry blossom trees to historic architecture, there is SO much beauty to capture in Kyoto! You’ll no doubt want to be snapping photos all day long, so rather than having to dig out your phone each time you spot a great photo op, bring a crossbody phone case! You’ll be able to grab your phone in an instant to get a photo, plus you won’t have to worry about dropping it or losing it.

The stylish Bandolier Emma phone case is incredibly popular with readers. It’s cute, high quality, and even has a built-in card slot.

 

We’ve rounded up the best anti theft travel bags for women, and our readers have voted for their favorite styles!

 

 

what-to-pack-for-japan

Compass Rose Secret Bra Wallet

 

Safety in Kyoto

 

While safety is not a big concern in Japan, it’s sitll wise to take a few safety precautions so you feel less stressed during your travels.

Be cautious about where you stash your cash. Make your clothing theft-proof and choose items with strong zippers. Jeans are handy for this reason: you can put important items, like your wallet and phone, in your front pockets, where it’s very difficult for a wandering hand to snatch it. Add items like the Secret Bra Pocket and Underwear with Pockets to your packing list. You could also buy clothing with hidden pockets to hide valuables even deeper!

Wear your purse strap across your body and the zipper towards the front. For extra security, check out the “theft-proof” bags featured in this post about crossbody purses.

 

 


What are the essentials on your Kyoto packing list? Please comment below!


 

For more Asia packing lists, please read:

 

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