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Thread: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

  1. #1
    Senior Member aeon's Avatar
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    Default Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    Wanted to start a thread of ideas of things to bring that aren't completely obvious. So we know to bring all the essentials but what are you bringing that maybe someone else hasn't thought to bring?

    I got a lovely suggestion from a friend to contact the tourism boards in my area for random trinkets, pictures, brochures, etc. The trinkets would be good for easy rewards to the kids or small omiyage.
    Most of the boards in my area have told me "because of the economy, we don't have much to share"...but you might have more luck.
    If the items are small like pens or little notepads they won't take up much space.

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    Backwater Blonde Rachel1404's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    The classic deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and shoes which people often mention but aren't completely obvious things to bring great stocks of with you.

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    This is what happens... houk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    im going to be looking for lots of little things with english and pictures that maybe people here wouldnt notice, but foreign speakers might find interesting. restaurant menus were recommended here, and maybe find some cool pamphlets for things like kickboxing or paintball, neat things like that

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    Senior Member Petesmp's Avatar
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    Bring Less... Ship More... Buy in Japan Most... If you can live without something for a month 1st rethink if you really need to bring it 2nd if you can live without it for that long then maybe think about shipping it.
    Genki?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    Not something to pack, but take a lot of photos of things that you take for granted everyday... like grocery stores. My kids loved my grocery store photos (and were especially amazed at the cheap fruit prices).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    Reeses. I can't stress enough how much you will miss these. Bring them, horde them, and never let anyone else touch them because you will want them all for yourself.

    I just saw my gyno today and told her I'd be going abroad, and she told me I should try to bring some of my soap with me if possible. I noticed that a lot of soap in Japan was scented, and apparently sudden changes in scent/fragrance levels can cause infections like BV or YI.

    Pads and tampons. From what I hear, the Japanese brands don't absorb as much. If you're worried about space, try a menstrual cup. It's a big investment (upwards of $50 depending on where you get it), but it will save money and space in the long run.

    Bras if you're a girl. I'm sure there are places in Japan that sell normal bras, but the places I was able to find when I needed bras last year only sold horribly (hard) padded bras that didn't fit right at all. They were also very frilly and stuff so they were noticeable under any clothing I wore, which was irritating. Victoria's Secret ships abroad, but if you think you'll need any new bras soon, stock up now.

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    Senior Member aeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackAttack View Post
    Not something to pack, but take a lot of photos of things that you take for granted everyday... like grocery stores. My kids loved my grocery store photos (and were especially amazed at the cheap fruit prices).
    That's a great idea, I was thinking of more things to take photos of besides the standard house indoors, outdoors and touristy stuff.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    This is based on my study abroad time last year...
    I would at least bring enough shampoo, facewash, and makeup stuff to last a month. A thing of facewash lasts you awhile, too. During the first month, that was a big comfort.
    Quote Originally Posted by wry bread View Post
    Oh God, I wouldn't want a dude on an internet forum to think I'm fat.

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    Senior Member Petesmp's Avatar
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    Condoms... The ones in Japan are a little smaller. Don't worry they are latex so they will stretch, but they will be a bit snug.
    Genki?

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    VIP hige's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    i second the facewash thing. I bought a japanese one last year and it made my face feel real rubbery. mind you i bought it because it was called 'black' and was, of course, black...but yeah, I never liked that stuff.

    Same goes for the condom thing. Japanese ones really are noticeably smaller...and uncomfortable. Though if you go to Condomania you can get ones that glow in the dark.

    Also, toothpaste!
    Japanese toothpaste doesn't have fluoride. It does however, have these nice tiny scrubby bits in it that polish your teeth...

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    Useless cm2jr4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petesmp View Post
    Condoms... The ones in Japan are a little smaller. Don't worry they are latex so they will stretch, but they will be a bit snug.
    ok Mandingo

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    SENIOR MEMBER Neb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    Well he's not the only one that is saying that. In fact, there was a similar thread about condoms last year, and it seemed like most guys on JET said to bring your own condoms, so I'll go with the majority here and bring my own.

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    Senior Member Paladia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eira View Post
    Pads and tampons. From what I hear, the Japanese brands don't absorb as much. If you're worried about space, try a menstrual cup. It's a big investment (upwards of $50 depending on where you get it), but it will save money and space in the long run.

    Bras if you're a girl. I'm sure there are places in Japan that sell normal bras, but the places I was able to find when I needed bras last year only sold horribly (hard) padded bras that didn't fit right at all. They were also very frilly and stuff so they were noticeable under any clothing I wore, which was irritating. Victoria's Secret ships abroad, but if you think you'll need any new bras soon, stock up now.
    Two Advices:
    1. For pads/tampons: I don't know about tampons, but they sell a special brand of heavy-flow pads (if you care, I'll get brand name/picture for you) that are advertised as "overnight" pads. These pads have wings and are long and rather absorbent. Yes, you can buy pads here that are fine. My first few days are heavier than average and I'm fine with these super-heavy pads.

    2. On bras: If you are a small chested woman, do not listen to what others are saying about bras. I'm a 36 A, and this size is rarely carried by Victoria's secret and many other American companies.
    Many Japanese bras are frilly beyond belief, such as those sold at Amo's Style. There are other companies that sell bras, many of which are simple and can be hidden fine under clothes. You just need to shop around. At specialty bra stores, the clerks will measure you to make sure you are sized properly. Be aware that in Japan, you are one cup larger. So while I'm a 36 A in America, I'm a 75 B in Japan. Score one for the ego!
    Be sure to check the cups of the bra. The padding should be in little pockets and are removable. This allows you to take out the padding or put in extra as you see fit.
    The most common sizes in Japan are western AA to 34C. If you fall within this range, you will have a very large selection of bras- from frilly to plain Uniqlo bras. If you are larger than this, definitely bring your bras from home.

    COROLLARY: I have not been able to find sports bras or bras without an underwire in Japan. If you want to have such bras, bring them from home. Pretty much all the bras described above are traditional underwire bras.
    We don't need no insulation!
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    Senior Member twiceinalifetime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    I actually like a lot of the soap/body wash in Japan and didn't have any problems (not saying others wouldn't), so I look forward to that again, but I will bring toothpaste since I like having fluoride in mine. For girl products, the DivaCup was only like $30 or something at Whole Foods - that's a whole other topic I won't get into here (you are so very welcome), but after the learning curve, I'm glad I use it, it's paid for itself already and takes up zero room.

    As mentioned, menus were a hit when I brought them last time, and I'll be getting more. I will do some pictures/videos of something like the grocery store (good tip!), just driving around town, maybe even a tour of my house as a ridiculously typical American home. Pictures of family and pets were always a hit, so each of my cats will be well represented (one was actually born in Japan and came back with me). Small US flags (picked up cheap at WalMart) are small/light and will be good for presentation plus for a flag race kind of game (one flag to the last person of each column, right answer to whatever questions moves flag up, first column to get it to the front wins). So far I've gotten cheap stickers with English on them (like "great job!," etc.) and will come up with more small trinkets, maybe even pennies for prizes plus other general currency just to show since other people's money is always just cool.

    I'll be fine to buy clothes since I'm short enough, so I'm going easy on the winter clothes I bring, but I'll be bringing shoes since my feet are big enough to make it difficult. There is another thread about it, but indoor shoes will be needed. For my own situation, I have to disagree with the idea of shipping stuff instead of bringing it if it's from the States which no longer has the cheap SAL shipping method (see other threads) because it's just gotten too stupid expensive. If it doesn't fit in my luggage, it's not going. Good thing I can keep scads of pictures/videos on my laptop instead of lugging along yearbooks and videotapes of things like graduation as I did last time.

    Once I find out from my predecessor more about the school/teachers/supervisor, I'll know more about what I'm bringing for some of the key people. Oh, and I'm bringing dishtowels (with some very American-ish kind of print on them) for neighbors if it sounds from my predecessor like it's that kind of a building. Or not if it's not that kind of housing or if they don't fit.
    Oklahoma to Okayama

  15. #15

    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    Yea, my problem was that by the time I found my way to Uniqlo I had given up on Japanese bras. The lingerie shop in the mall in my host city last year only sold the frilly crap, and the next few stores I found were the same. I'll definitely keep Uniqlo in mind. Thanks!

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    VIP hige's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cm2jr4 View Post
    ok Mandingo

    what is Mandigo?

  17. #17
    This is what happens... houk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hige View Post
    what is Mandigo?
    unless he's talking about the novel, i have a hunch he's referring to this guy

  18. #18
    let's talk about socks gingerbread's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    I normally use a facewash that Lush makes, and since Lush is in Japan I'm hoping they'll have something similar over there.. anyone shop Lush?? I am trying to find the product I like (aqua marina) on LushJapan.com and doing a really terrible job because I can't read much Japanese.

    Nevermind, found it! Hooray!

    Except now I have to figure out where their locations are. Ugh!
    Last edited by gingerbread; May 6th, 2009 at 10:52.

  19. #19
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by charmed_23 View Post
    For the Australians:
    Once we arrived in Sydney en route to Tokyo, it occurred to all of us that we didn't have a 3-pin adapter for Japan. We all had 2 pin ones, and I got out my laptop and realised it was a 3-pin! You can't buy 3-pin Australia-Japan adapters because they don't use the earth pin in Japan. My Dad is an electrician and he went and bought an Australia 3-pin to America 2 pin adapter and disconnected the earth pin (though only do this if you really know what you're doing.)
    The other alternative is to buy a worldwide adapter for Japan. They fit plugs from several countries, including Australia 3-pin.
    Laura x
    .

  20. #20
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stuff you haven't thought of but should bring anyway

    My local triple AAA had lots of post cards and little trinkets representing my local area. I picked a bunch of those up.
    .

    Quote Originally Posted by schultz View Post
    Good call on AAA. They have a lot of free stuff you can get if you happen to be a member as well (eg. lonely planet style travel books that are fairly in-depth with maps, photos, etc...).

    I'll be doing the local photo/video collection as well. Since I remember being wow'ed by things in Japan that locals surely consider banal, I plan on capturing plenty of everyday stuff as well as things that would be obviously different. Signage, vehicles, stores, malls, farms (comparing rural status?), sports stadiums... I'll probably bind a few small books before I leave so I can pass them around.

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