Japan packing list & travel preparation

Tokyo Disneyland castle
Tokyo Disneyland

Being an Australian travel influencer family we travel quite a bit – particularly to Japan! As a result we have a fairly streamlined system to ensure that we don’t forget the essentials and that things run smoothly during our trip!

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These are my personal Japan Disney trip preparation and packing list notes. They won’t suit everyone and every situation, but there may be some things in there that you can cherry-pick to apply to your own Japanese adventure!

So, here we go…my

Tokyo Disney trip preparation & packing list!

Some obvious Tokyo Disney preparations

Book your flights!

Check if you should apply for a Visa (Australian passport holders and several other countries don’t need one)

5 months in advance – book your Disney Vacation Package

4 months in advance – book your Disney hotel single room booking

2 months in advance – buy your Disney tickets if you aren’t staying at a Disney hotel

Book your Tokyo or Osaka hotels, etc.

Book the popular attractions that require long-term pre-booking like the Ghibli Museum or The Warner Bros Making of Harry Potter, Team Lab, etc.

3 months in advance

Check your passport’s expiry date is at least 6 months from your Japan holiday return date – replace it if not.

Don’t forget to also do these in advance…

  • Book or organise pet care if applicable
  • Organise airport parking if applicable & consider if airport parking shuttle times are active if/when you need to transfer to the airport.
  • Arrange travel Insurance – read the fine print & check for your essential inclusions such as:
    • Unlimited medical
    • Pre exisiting conditions (1Cover is a good travel insurance company for pre-existing conditions, Everyday Rewards will convert to Qantas points)
    • Delayed or cancelled flight coverage
    • Hire car insurance
    • COVID coverage
    • Extreme sports like skiing
Japan Airport Terminal
Get your Japan QR arrival code in advance

Do your Japanese arrival code online

Japanese QR Code for customs when you arrive – you can do it when you arrive but this will cost you time at the airport. Don’t do that if you can help it. Watch my beginner video for how to do your Japanese arrival QR Code. You can do this up to right before you leave.
Screenshot and favourite images of the barcodes for fast access at Customs.

Snap photos on your phone of anything important like PASSPORTS.

Take your Passport.

Prescription medicine

Obtain/order your medical prescriptions so you have enough medication to carry during your journey, and some extra to pack separately in case of baggage loss.

Generally speaking Japan tourist rules allow you to carry up to one month’s prescription supply of personal medicines, but if you lose it when you are over there you may well not be able to replace it until you get home. Some medication may be illegal in Japan and you’ll need to lodge an extra form – research this before you go. You may like to get a Doctor’s letter stating your medication regime too in case of hospitalisation.

How to pack medication

Take your medication including an original box, plus a valid script. I flatten original medication boxes and peel stickers off jars and stick them on ziplock bags with that medication in to save space.
I pack equal full amounts of important medication in one checked bag and one carry on in case of loss.

Take your normal headache/period pain pills (sorry guys) etc. – any generic medication you may need/are used to. Again, if it’s a strong medication, check it isn’t breaking any rules – we found out our period pain pills were not allowed!

Take your glasses/contact lenses (consider carrying a copy/photo of your eye prescription in case of loss, plus Japan do fast, cheap prescription glasses if you feel like a change!)

Take disability documents

Take any (original) disability certificates or documentation such as NDIS, Carer’s Card etc. to qualify for DAS at Tokyo Disneyland , Disability Pass at Universal Studios Japan and other discounted concession entry tickets elsewhere.

Check you have your passport.

Japan vending machine
You’ll need cash for the numerous vending machines

Do I need cash in Japan?

Yes, you really do need cash in Japan.
It’s wise to take at least three forms of money in case one fails:

  • Ideally, two credit cards/eftpos
  • Apple Pay in your phone works in larger stores
  • Consider loading cash as Yen onto an international debit & charge card like WISE
  • Obtain Japanese Yen by exchanging cash at the airport or withdraw it from your credit or travel card using ATM machines in convenience stores etc.- you will need yen cash for sundries like train tickets or cards, vending machines, street shops, etc.

Tell your credit card company you’re in Japan

Notify your bank before you leave so that your credit cards/online accounts don’t get shut down when you make an overseas purchase.

Credit card confirmation codes

Retain some form of access to your Australian mobile number like roaming for bank and credit card confirmation codes. Check roaming is switched to on in your phone settings. etc. Consider buying an eSim which will allow you to continue using your normal phone number or pre-ordering a modem which you can pick up upon arrival at the airport.

Use a travel app to keep your itinerary

Get some kind of app or make a document/excel table to record of your:

  • Flight numbers
  • Any bookings and contact information for hotels, activities, etc. – a vague chronological itinerary.

Right before you go, don’t forget to…

Arrange for your home mail to be held/collected while you are away
Empty fridge/bread/milk anything that will go bad, basically!
Water plants/put pot plants in water containers
Drop off your pet wherever/organise food

Pack for the Japan weather


Winter – Tokyo gets cold, even snows occasionally.
Take three pairs thick pants/jeans, leggings under dresses or skirts for warmth, three long sleeve t-s, enough clean underwear 😄, socks, bras, two jumpers, one puffer jacket or similar heavy warm jacket.

Consider woollen gloves/neck warmer/beanie but keep the bulk down. You probably won’t need these for Autumn/Spring.

Summer – replace the puffer/heavy jacket with a medium thickness jacket and take only one jumper. Change the long sleeve ts to short sleeves. Replace the thick pants with shorts, skirts, lightweight pants or dresses. It gets very hot.

Comfortable shoes x 1 (Take them with you – if you have big feet you may have trouble buying shoes in Japan – Australian size 9 and 10 ladies don’t exist in most stores)
Swimmers/bikini if going in indoor hotel pools or Snow Monkey Onsen!
Pyjamas- use the supplied hotel ones – it’s fun and saves weight!
Less is more.
Remember you will probably buy souvenir T-shirts and jumpers – factor these in!

Can I wear leggings in Japan?

If you wear leggings consider popping a skirt over the top to respect Japanese modesty. Not essential – just considerate of culture. Tight or brief clothing in public isn’t common in Japan.

A quick hotel summary…

Tokyo Resort Toy Story Hotel
Tokyo Resort Toy Story Hotel

What do you usually get in hotel rooms in Japan?

All hotels rooms have a hot water jug. Low to mid range hotels usually supply tea, better quality hotels supply coffee and sugar too.
Most hotels have small fridges in the room. Ice in the hallway. A microwave somewhere accessible.
Mid to high range hotels supply water bottles in your room for free.
Others supply drinking water taps in the hallway
All have vending machines to buy water. You need cash or an IC train card for vending machines.
(Water isn’t considered good for drinking in Tokyo)
Many hotels have guest coin laundries.
Hotels provide basic toiletries (and most provide clean pyjamas).

What don’t I need to bring to Japan?

Slippers, hair dryers, toiletries inc shampoo, conditioner, shower soap, face washers, cotton buds, hair bands, toothbrushes & toothpaste – usually these are supplied at each hotel, even the budget hotels.

A Konbini is a convenience store

A FamilyMart Konbini convenience store in Japan
A FamilyMart Konbini convenience store in Japan

Convenience stores are everywhere in Japan and sell everything cheap inc. toiletries, pads, etc.. Lawson, FamilyMart and 7Eleven are the big chains. Also Seiko in Hokkaido. In Japan it is easy to replace almost everything you forget to pack.

Most mid to large hotels have their own Konbinis attached. This means you have a very cheap meal options too, because Konbinis sell a large range of foods that can be heated up in the store’s microwave – and they’ll usually do it for you. Surprisingly, a lot of it is delicious and cheap!

A Konbini convenience store in Japan

Should I take food to Japan?

If you are like me and have a favourite coffee or tea consider taking a small amount along with a little sugar/coffee whitener powder to tide you over until you have time to go to a convenience store. Larger convenience stores sell Nescafé Gold coffee sachets, English tea, sugar sticks, sweeteners, fresh milk and small uht travel milks. They know what tourists and travellers need! Hotel rooms may only have as little as just green tea. Happily, all Tokyo Disney hotels have a coffee/sugar/whitener packs.

Take some Vegemite, or other foods you consider indispensable (if you or your kids love it!). Don’t pack or take fresh food like meat or fruit. Consider if you may need to declare any food upon arrival. You can get fruit and many other convenience meals from Konbinis.

A 7Eleven Konbini convenience store in Japan
A 7Eleven Konbini convenience store in Japan

Can I buy western food in Tokyo?

You can buy chicken nuggets, pizzas, fries and other western fast foods all over Tokyo and in Ikspiari at Mahaima Station /Uraysu next to Tokyo Disneyland. There’s even a McDonalds at Ikspiari, Tokyo Train Station – many places.

Travel pillows for the plane

A travel pillow being used on a plane

Take a travel pillow – also maybe one for your feet if you’re shorter! (plus something to do in flight like magazine/book/ipad with downloaded movies, games & snacks)
Don’t take inflatable cubes for kids to sleep on, on the plane – many airline policies ban them now as an obstruction.

Check you have your Passport!

Take or buy tech


  • Charge packs
  • phone and watch chargers
  • laptop and other charge cords
  • cameras / GoPro & mounts / tripod / SD cards / hard drive for photo back-ups
  • earbuds with a cord for flight
  • International power converters – take at least one. (Take a normal Aussie plug too if you have a lay over at a connecting Aussie airport).

Japan power convertor tips

Japan power plugs have two flat pins. Similar to US plugs but without the bottom round pin.
Buy cheap power plugs with USB sockets in Japan for a faster charge experience.
Don’t rely on usb ports anywhere – take your own. Airports, even good hotels public USB points rarely work. USB ports are fragile and are often broken before they are very old in a public setting.
Disney hotels – only Toy Story Disney hotel had usb sockets and even they can be broken. There are, however, usually plenty of working power inlets in hotel rooms and airports.
In addition to USB sockets, Japanese Shinkansens, longer distance trains from the airport etc. and often buses/coaches and some taxis may have actual Japan power plug inlets.

Plan to charge your Australian plug appliances

To charge laptops, favourite hair style tools (fun fact – cordless hair straighteners are not allowed in any baggage in Japan if their battery can’t be removed!) or other three prong power plug Australian devices, plan before you go, because it may not be easy to buy a Japanese converter with an Australian inlet plug in Japan!

Before you leave, buy an easily obtainable Australian to USA power convertor, then plug that into USA to Japan converter. You may need to check your voltage is compatible, but usually low voltage appliances are okay.

Jetstar Australia airline’s power converters are also brilliant for everything, and you can buy them onboard. They can convert many country’s plugs including the three pin Australian plug directly to the Japan two prong plug. (Most others only convert Australian 2 prong plugs)

Make sure batteries are in your Carry On luggage

Important: You must pack anything with rechargeable batteries attached or charge packs in your carry on luggage (such as computers, IPads, rechargeable anything).

Travel sized liquids only

On International flights out of Australia don’t pack or check liquids over 100ml – all containers of liquid need to be sealed in a clear Ziplock bag. Liquids over 100ml are a security concern and against government and airline policies. There are more rules which you’ll need to read through when you book and check in to your flight.

Extra packing tips you didn’t ask for!

Take an empty suitcase to bring back purchases. You can pack one smaller suitcase inside another so you’re only carrying one on the way there! (Jetstar Australia don’t limit your luggage count – just overall weight of your travel group/family!).

Check your carry on weight first

Carry on bags being weighed at the airport
Weigh your carry on bags before you check in at the airport

Weigh your carry on bags BEFORE you check your main bags so you can shuffle your weight around if you are overweight – especially on the way home. All airports have weight scales for this.
Your carry on bags may be weighed before boarding if the flight is full. Give yourself an extra kilo under for weight to account for scale variations. You don’t want to have to pay extra because your carry on is too heavy!

Do I have to take of my shoes at airport security?

Yes and no! Every airport is different. If you’re worried about taking shoes on and off, wear slip on shoes like Sketchers to the airport rather than ankle boots/ankle height sneakers which you often must take off at security. Sometimes you need to remove jackets or large jumpers too.
Avoid metal hair clips, belts and wearing your Apple or Samsung watch which may set off metal detectors.

Keep your laptops and ipads handy

You almost always have to remove laptops and ipads from your luggage but not phones.
Avoid taking aerosols on flights. Take roll ons or buy deodorant, hairspray etc when you get toJapan. Otherwise you may need to carry, individually ziplock bag and produce each one at security at the airport. It’s an added hassle you don’t need.

Extra tip!

Transferring luggage from a Disney hotel to another Disney or partner hotel

If you are sending your baggage from Disney hotel to Disney hotel or elsewhere, answer “no” to “is there anything valuable or fragile inside?” (such as jewellery, computers etc.) or they won’t transfer them for you.
Obviously carry anything fragile with you anyhow!

Have you checked you packed your passport?! 😂

That’s all I can think of for now…please do comment below things you’d like to add from your own experiences!

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This page may contain affiliate links. If you book a stay, service or an attraction through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support!

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