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Thread: How do you pack for a year?

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    Default How do you pack for a year?

    I have no idea what to bring with me! Any suggestions? I am thinking a couple of skirts, jeans and shoes but what else do I bring my own cooking utensils

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    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pack for a year?

    Just bring your favorite things and as much money as you can. You can get most everything you will ever need in Japan - clothes, shoes, cookware, bedding, games, etc...
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    Senior Moment Antonath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie View Post
    I have no idea what to bring with me! Any suggestions? I am thinking a couple of skirts, jeans and shoes but what else do I bring my own cooking utensils
    Erm... you're not moving to a third-world country. You can quite easily buy cooking utensils in any 100-yen shop, department store, or specialist retailer, depending on the quality you want.

    Clothing is usually the main thing to focus on, especially if your figure / size doesn't fit within what the Japanese consider "normal", or you're posted in some tiny village with nowhere to buy clothes. A couple of outfits won't be enough, especially as you have to cope with both hot, humid summers and cold, damp winters (unless you're posted in northern-most or southern-most areas).

    Entertainment is also a good thing to pack: books (kindle or other e-book reader recommended), movies, etc.
    ...because Japan.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antonath View Post
    Erm... you're not moving to a third-world country. You can quite easily buy cooking utensils in any 100-yen shop, department store, or specialist retailer, depending on the quality you want.

    Clothing is usually the main thing to focus on, especially if your figure / size doesn't fit within what the Japanese consider "normal", or you're posted in some tiny village with nowhere to buy clothes. A couple of outfits won't be enough, especially as you have to cope with both hot, humid summers and cold, damp winters (unless you're posted in northern-most or southern-most areas).

    Entertainment is also a good thing to pack: books (kindle or other e-book reader recommended), movies, etc.

    cool thanks

  5. #5

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    Yes, you will buy a lot of stuff here, but it's essential that you bring enough clothes with you because Japanese clothes can be hard to fit into. The weather can also be extreme here, depending on where you live, with either hot hot summers or super frigid winters, or both! So be prepared.

    And then the only other things you really need are toiletries, a first aid kit is very handy (but some over the counter and prescription drugs from back home are illegal here so be careful), a laptop, a reading tablet, bringing an ample supply of make up is a good idea, personal mementos, pictures of family... that's all I can really think of.

    I wound up bringing too much with me, so don't obsess over it. One big bag of luggage and a decent sized carry-on will do.
    Last edited by akanemukade; November 11th, 2012 at 22:21.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How do you pack for a year?

    I've been thinking about the same thing . What has been suggested so far seems right on target. I'm a book lover so...no kindle/tablet for me. Definitely want to bring some DVD's, thought about bringing a gaming console but I am not sure about that . I haven't looked into the electric situation yet, so I don't know if I'll be needing a converter (s) or not. I've heard to definitely bring your own toothpaste and deodorant.

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    Member Laevatienn's Avatar
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    US and Japanese plugs are pretty close so you generally don't need a converter. Just note that for the most part you are limited to non-polarized plugs. Most electronics in the US use 120 volts whereas in Japan they use 100 volts. Your power adapter/block on your device should have a range of tolerable input values. For pictures and a quick guide see below. Just check any power blocks you have to see if they'll work. Note, you can use an electronic that requires more power with the Japanese plugs but the output goes down. Main example would be hair dryers and irons. Anywho, the link explains it better than I can.

    Electricity in Japan | JAPAN DELUXE TOUR

    @Konnichiwayuki
    Game consoles... if it's a PS3 then sure (the massive beast it is) but the Wii and Xbox have region locking and it's harder to find USA or PAL coded games in Japan. You can but generally don't expect it. Handhelds hold a bit better. All handhelds besides the 3DS are region free. There are plenty of used game shops filled to the brim with great gems if you care to look. International versions of games will have English as an option if you can't read Japanese. DVD's are region locked, you'll need a special DVD player or bring your own (consoles besides the Wii can play DVD's but are also DVD region locked). Ah, region locking, my hated companion. I'm an avid gamer so I need my games. I suggest not bringing a console. Handhelds are good. Consoles take a lot of space and are heavy. My two yen.
    Last edited by Laevatienn; November 16th, 2012 at 07:12.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Konnichiwayuki View Post
    ...I'm a book lover so...no kindle/tablet for me..
    yay another book lover!! no kindle for me either, paper all the way!!
    Last edited by stephiiStephii; November 13th, 2012 at 03:07.
    The mouth speaks what the heart is full of

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephiiStephii View Post
    yay another book lover!! no kindle for me either, paper all the way!!
    i love paper books better. but i may just end up using electronic books

  10. #10

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    I still don't have a kindle yet either, I would love to get one though, because my books were so heavy and I'm not exaggerating when I say that I brought a mini library with me LOL

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    If this is the packing thread, I think I'm in the right place? If not just let me know haha.

    Hey! ok so the seminar went well!...or at least I think it did haha. So here's hoping. That said, need some advice from the lady front out there.
    I'm around 5'8", and wear a us 2, but while I have no bum (think athletic body type), I do have some figure on top. I've heard a few things which I'm worried about...
    Is it true that any bra size over 34A is hard to find? Also, I hate padded bras, and I keep hearing that almost all bras in Japan are padded. I don't want to be hoarding bras and bringing them over if I can possibly buy them over there.
    I think I should be ok in maybe a ...medium japanese size? The only issue is that I was debating whether or not to buy my pants over here since the whole 5'8" issue makes me look comical when normal pants fit like pedal pushers.
    Also, my regular wardrobe consists of bootleg or boyfriend jeans, black tank top, and flats. I've heard that while mini skirts are ok, anything showing any semblance of cleavage is just a big no. Can anyone confirm this? I'm not talking about 'all out on display', more a nice v-neck worn on a casual day. I don't really do skirts haha.
    Oh! and has anyone had trouble with makeup staying on in the extremely humid Japanese summers? I'm thinking of maybe doing the perma-straight thing when I get to Japan to keep the hair under control, but I'm wondering if I should even try to bring my makeup stuff if it's just going to slide off...
    I guess I'm wondering because anything I can cut out I will haha
    Last edited by Thamsuong; November 13th, 2012 at 08:18.

  12. #12

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    LOL so happy to have book ppl here I'll try not to pack my bookshelf x.x

    Tham there's a hair and makeup rants thread in the general section so if you use the search option I think. You'll be able to find what you wanto know, although generally your research sounds on point. I know I'll have to buy stuff online a lot cus at size 12/14 I'm sure shopping in stores will be a pain. Packing-wise I'm gonna bring work stuff and whatever I'll need for the season

    Haha thought I'd share something funny and kind of related. My mom just walked into my room and gave me a pack of stuff - 2 toothbrushes and 3 bars of soap for the move lolol I'm so gonna miss her
    Last edited by stephiiStephii; November 13th, 2012 at 08:52.
    The mouth speaks what the heart is full of

  13. #13

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    lol you are tiny you should be fine. but I'm a size 8-10! and a size 7 shoe. I'm a 36b and i hate padded bras as well. I'm just going to buy clothes online i guess.






    QUOTE=Thamsuong;799434]If this is the packing thread, I think I'm in the right place? If not just let me know haha.

    Hey! ok so the seminar went well!...or at least I think it did haha. So here's hoping. That said, need some advice from the lady front out there.
    I'm around 5'8", and wear a us 2, but while I have no bum (think athletic body type), I do have some figure on top. I've heard a few things which I'm worried about...
    Is it true that any bra size over 34A is hard to find? Also, I hate padded bras, and I keep hearing that almost all bras in Japan are padded. I don't want to be hoarding bras and bringing them over if I can possibly buy them over there.
    I think I should be ok in maybe a ...medium japanese size? The only issue is that I was debating whether or not to buy my pants over here since the whole 5'8" issue makes me look comical when normal pants fit like pedal pushers.
    Also, my regular wardrobe consists of bootleg or boyfriend jeans, black tank top, and flats. I've heard that while mini skirts are ok, anything showing any semblance of cleavage is just a big no. Can anyone confirm this? I'm not talking about 'all out on display', more a nice v-neck worn on a casual day. I don't really do skirts haha.
    Oh! and has anyone had trouble with makeup staying on in the extremely humid Japanese summers? I'm thinking of maybe doing the perma-straight thing when I get to Japan to keep the hair under control, but I'm wondering if I should even try to bring my makeup stuff if it's just going to slide off...
    I guess I'm wondering because anything I can cut out I will haha[/QUOTE]

  14. #14

    Default Re: How do you pack for a year?

    You want to bring enough clothes. More if you are a bigger person. Still don't know why so many people think they need to "pack for a year."

    You don't want to bring any kind of household items like sheets or kitchen utensils or ANYTHING like that. You can get it all there. Your house will likely have a lot, and you can decide after arriving what you need to buy.

    You'll want something to keep you occupied the first few weeks without internet. So, load up your computer or bring dvds. Reading material.

    +1 for first aid kit stuff. You probably can't read/ won't like some of what they have at the store there. Don't want to open up this whole tireddebate, but I'd skip the gifts except for maybe something to give to people who help you out at beginning like a supervisor.

    It's hot and sweaty and you want to keep luggage light. Remember to send what you don't need right away ahead too.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thamsuong View Post
    Is it true that any bra size over 34A is hard to find? Also, I hate padded bras, and I keep hearing that almost all bras in Japan are padded. I don't want to be hoarding bras and bringing them over if I can possibly buy them over there.

    ...

    whether or not to buy my pants over here since the whole 5'8" issue makes me look comical when normal pants fit like pedal pushers.

    ...

    I've heard that while mini skirts are ok, anything showing any semblance of cleavage is just a big no. Can anyone confirm this? I'm not talking about 'all out on display', more a nice v-neck worn on a casual day.

    ...


    Oh! and has anyone had trouble with makeup staying on in the extremely humid Japanese summers? I'm thinking of maybe doing the perma-straight thing when I get to Japan to keep the hair under control, but I'm wondering if I should even try to bring my makeup stuff if it's just going to slide off...
    The sizes exist--I'm a 34/6 C and I find bras fine. They ARE padded but if you buy higher quality ones you can usually take them out. The biggest thing will be if you're used to the kind back in the US that usually vary in print and colors rather than lace and designs. There's lot of frills, ribbons, lace, pearls and stuff here. It's not completely horrible (especially if you find a nice shop) but it's different than what I was used to. But you should know that a high quality shop will start you around 4000 or so for a bra.. on up to a man!


    I'm 5'8" and don't have any trouble now, but that's because I know what stores to go to. Uniqlo and ZARA are usually fine for my height. I'd bring enough for work and a pair or two for fun but I don't think you need to bring ALL your pants. If worse comes to worse someone can send you your stuff but there's definitely ways to get your size over here. (Just maybe not at your local AEON, though I've had luck there too.)

    Cleavage is pretty much a no-no. I pranced around and did it anyway because "I am gaikoku" but you'll get self-conscious anyway with all the people staring (hello children who aren't used to this). You'll get passive-aggressive comments about being cold and the lady teachers may think you're a slut bag. That said, it doesn't mean your wardrobe is trash. Just invest in high-rising undershirts. They sell tons here!

    I've never had any problems in the humidity for makeup, you should be fine. My hair isn't completely crazy (but I grew up on a peninsula) but you might want to bring a straightener and grooming creme with you to keep the flys away. Or learn how to do fancy updos/braids--that's pretty much all I did in the summer so I wouldn't have to deal with it.





    As for packing for Japan, like other people said Japan is not a third-world country. The basics should be clothes, undergarments, and any toiletries you can't leave behind. Plus shoes and winter jackets. I actually shipped my box of toiletries (face wash, toothpaste, deodorant, nail polish, hair products, etc.) to myself before I left so it wouldn't take up space. Unless you have to have whatever it is, you don't really need anything else. I marked my 2 suitcases for clothes, "yoroshiku" goods from home, and immediate need toiletry stuff only. My carry-ons could be my fun stuff--books, PS3, laptop. I would definitely recommend keeping a file of all your JET paperwork and any student loans you may be paying off and bringing it with you, as well.

    As for books--take your favorite or one(s) to read on the plane but, imo, if you're moving back afterwards it's kind of silly to bring a bunch of books with you. You're going to accumulate a bunch of stuff in Japan and regret bringing things like books and DVDs (imo, unless you're OK with giving them away before you go back home). I burned all of my DVDs and ended up getting a kindle after being here for a year. Not as fun as a book but easier when moving back.
    Last edited by Page; November 13th, 2012 at 11:42.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini
    If you are a empty husk of a man with no ambition come on jet, stay forever, drink yourself into a stupor every night, hurl abuse at people on itil like a roided up chimp at the feces olympics and die of thyroid cancer in your early 40s.

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    Well it's good to hear my research isn't completely off haha. It's also good to hear that I won't have to pack my life into a suitcase ^^. Also, thanks for the tip about the makeup thread - it really was helpful, and definitely answered quite a few questions I had! In fact, I think a good amount of my suitcase will end up filled to the brim with books and my 4 suits <3 lol.
    Thank you guys so much again!!
    Oh, and about those frilly, lacey bras being everywhere....turns out after asking a few Japanese friends it's true haha. Looks like I might be buying a few of the T-shirt variety in the states before I head out :P.

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    Default Re: How do you pack for a year?

    If you are trying to measure in US measurements, by all means, bring measuring cups and spoons. If you measure in metric, it is not a problem. I could absolutely not find any women's shoes or clothes, even where I lived (Kyoto). However, I wear 34-36 D bras, size 9 pants, medium American shirts, and size 9 US shoes. If you are smaller, you may be okay.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How do you pack for a year?

    They sell US measurement stuff everywhere nowadays. I just picked up a new set of cups and tbsp at Daiso after I lost my LOFT stuff.

    That may have been your experience, abbajen, but I know a lot bigger people that have no problems. Probably impossible to find stuff at most boutique style places but AEON, Uniqlo, ZARA, H&M, etc. should fit that size. Even when I was a fatty mcfat here 6 years ago (read: a lot bigger than that) I had no problems (but it took time to find places near me to shop). Though I never had the boobs (which I can only imagine is pretty much impossible to fit into most Japanese bras (if you stick to the stores above you should be OK for shirts though!).
    Last edited by Page; November 25th, 2012 at 23:03.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini
    If you are a empty husk of a man with no ambition come on jet, stay forever, drink yourself into a stupor every night, hurl abuse at people on itil like a roided up chimp at the feces olympics and die of thyroid cancer in your early 40s.

  19. #19
    Gizmoduck - blatherskite Gizmotech's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pack for a year?

    Uniqlo and aeon are the only reason I can wear clothes in Japan. Being a tall fatty mcphaterson clothes shopping is difficult, but once I embarrassed the 80's and the flood pants, and belly button T's life became great

    (Seriously though, Aeon and Uniqlo are great especially if you're big).
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    chill yo coop52's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pack for a year?

    Nthing the rec for Aeon and Uniqlo. I'm short enough to fit into a lot of Japanese boutique clothes as well, such as Lowry's Farm and Earth Music & Ecology; I could find stuff even when I was a fatty-boom-boom. My problem is that most clothes aren't cut with boobs and butt in mind. For tops, baggy is the in thing right now, so it's not hard to find stuff that will stretch over the boobs, but there's a lot out there that looks horrible if you're bigger than a 34B or so. Jeans either are too tight or do that stupid gappy thing in the back.

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