To make the most out of any trip to Tokyo, you want to make sure you have everything you need before you go to the airport. After all, you don’t want to realize too late that you’d forgotten something important. At best, you might end up with fewer souvenirs, added expenses, or other minor inconveniences. At worst, your trip might get ruined, or it could be cut short unceremoniously. This is why you should create a checklist of must-haves in preparation for your trip. Here are what should definitely be on your list:
Having steady and reliable access to the internet is vital if you’re going to a foreign country like Japan. It allows for up-to-date train and bus schedules, lets you look for detailed directions, and gives you many means to stay in touch with folks back home. The easiest way to do this is to activate roaming mode on your device. However, you can also avoid exorbitant service charges by booking a Haneda or Narita WiFi rental in advance. With this done, you can just go and collect the pocket WiFi after landing and even connect multiple devices to the internet—a definite bonus if you’re traveling with a group or on a business trip.
All Your Necessary Identification
Of course, making sure to bring your passport with valid visa goes beyond saying. But just as importantly, you should also bring copies of your travel itinerary in case they’re requested by Japanese officials at the airport immigration counter. In some cases, you can get away with a soft copy on your phone. But to be safe, always have a printout of your flight itinerary, as well as a print-out of your accommodation’s details. Also, don’t forget to bring your valid International Driving Permit if you’re planning on renting a vehicle and driving around Tokyo.
Enough Cash to Last Your Stay
While spending time around Tokyo, you might end up having too much of a good time and overspend on food and souvenirs. Indeed, places like fast food chains and convenience stores often only accept cash. What’s more, you’ll be needing a lot of coins if you want to buy drinks and snacks from the many vending machines scattered around the city. So make sure you don’t underestimate travel costs and be sure you have enough cash on you to last through your trip to Tokyo. But in case you run out, you’ll be happy to learn that most convenience stores also host ATMs. Just remember that local machines charge extra for withdrawals from foreign accounts.
Prescription Medicine (If Needed)
If you take regular medication for any condition, don’t forget to have your prescriptions filled before setting off for the airport. For most types of maintenance medications, you won’t have to worry as you bring only enough for your own consumption, with a maximum of up to a one-month supply. However, if you have a condition that requires specific medical equipment or controlled drugs, you’ll have to apply for special import permission. Make sure to contact your local Japanese embassy at least one month before your trip to Tokyo to avoid encountering problems with customs.
A Lightweight Bag to Carry Everything
Japan has a highly developed rail transport system throughout the entire country, and Tokyo’s is a sprawling system that allows you to go pretty much anywhere in the city. If you end up heading out during rush hour, however, you might have a harder time getting around due to the crowding. This is why you’ll want to leave your duffel bag or rucksack back at your hotel or AirBnB.
Instead, you should bring a lightweight daypack which contains only the essentials. It’s highly recommended that you should bring all the other important personal effects with you wherever you go—in case of emergencies. In addition, it might also be wise to bring along a foldable tote bag in case you end up buying more than your lightweight bag can carry. And with that, you should be set for a trip to Tokyo.
It’s impossible to truly account for everything that might happen during your trip. But if you have a checklist, you can definitely keep unwanted surprises to a minimum, cut down on your travel stress, and enjoy your trip to Tokyo to the fullest.