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What to Bring Before Traveling to Japan

What to Bring Before Traveling to Japan

By Donna Rhae | 2017-06-29 | 3.8k views
When traveling to Japan your first thoughts are obviously what to bring. You might wonder how Japanese products might differ from American products, and if you can spare not bringing some things if you can buy it at a Japanese connivence store. I personally have never been to Japan but I've done plenty of research into what can be spared and what is absolutely essential to bring.
Feminine Care
Men, you can skip this section since this won't really pertain to you, unless you're buying for someone else.
Generally there really isn't a difference between Japanese and American feminine hygiene products besides brand names and labeling. I will describe each feminine hygiene product and what would be best for your light and heavy days. 
Pads/Panty Liners
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Pads in Japan are called  ナプキン(napukin) or sanitary napkin. They are labeled according to size in cm and whether they have wings, hanetsuki (羽根つき)or not (羽なし)hanenashi.
There is a lot of variety in pads in Japan. There are long pads that can be worn at night during your heavy days (as pictured above) and pads that can be worn during your regular days. Pads can range from thin to really fluffy. If you can't read kanji the pictures on the packaging give you a good idea of what the pad looks like. Usually the packaging has a little picture of a sun or a moon to symbolize if they're for nighttime or daytime use.
If you're really concerned about how heavy your days are and need a specific pad here are some quick kanji. Underneath the picture of the sun on the right of the package is for what type of flow the pad is intended for.
多い日用 - heavy day
軽い日用 - light day
昼用 - day use
夜用 - night use
ふつう用 - regular day use
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Panty liners are called ライナー  (liner) or rainaa. These are used for your really light days, or for discharge. There really isn't a difference between liners in America and Japan, these will be labeled with having wings or no wings just like pads.
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If you don't want to deal with the hassle of reading and remembering all this and you're staying for a short time in Japan I would suggest just bringing your own. When packing just take the pads out of the box and put them in a ziploc bag to save space.
Tampons
Tampons in Japan are called タンポン (tampon) and are labeled as follows
レギュラー - regular
スーパー - super
スーパープラス - super plus
ライト - light
ソフト - soft
コンパクト - compact
https://healthytokyo.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Sanitary-Napkins-and-Tampons-in-Japan.jpg

Generally, there really isn't a difference between and American and Japanese tampons. The only real difference is the applicator type.
There are compact, regular and finger type applicators. Compact means that the applicators are small, regular means they are regular size applicators (about the same as America tampons) and finger applicators mean that there are no applicators. The package has a picture of what the tampon looks like so you can get a good idea of what it looks like if you can't remember kanji.
Deodorant
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Alright, heres where it gets to the point where you might want to bring your own stuff. Japan has a weird selection of deodorant, they sell it, but it's really different than America.
Japanese people don't sweat a lot like westerners do, they have less sweat glands that produce smelly smells so they don't really need strong deodorants.  
Women
Deodorant types consist of water roll ons, powder sprays, and rarely powder roll ons that are similar to what we have here, but these generally cost around 8$ and are really tiny. I would suggest brining your own deodorant from home if you don't want to smell and spend 8$ for something that won't last a month.
Men
For men the selection is also really small. However, Japan does sell a deontaulle crystal stone that works really well as a deodorant. However, this is also kinda expensive as far as deodorant goes and it would be better to bring something from home.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61CtYiLk7vL._SL1000_.jpg

Shampoo and Conditioner
If you don't really care about what you use on your hair you will be fine in Japan in terms of shampoo and conditioner. They have some popular brands here , and some unique Japanese brands. The prices don't differ too much from America so it's not a big deal if you forget a travel size shampoo.
Japan also have bags full of shampoo and conditioner that is used to refill bottles after you run out.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e0/04/2b/e0042b80eb91381fde080664a95a34d5.jpg

Side Note: conditioner can either be labeled コンヂしょなー (conditioner) or リンス (rinse) and shampoo is labeled as シャンプー (shampoo)
So for most of your journey you can get away with buying a majority of products from Japan, but it's always better to bring things your body is used to if you can fit it into your suitcase. Happy traveling :)

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17 Comments

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    this is japan
    2017-04-23 10:25:37

    I also love that a lot of hotels here have a bunch of amenities in the rooms, like shampoo/conditioner/body wash and even things like toothpaste/toothbrush kits! :) Gotta love Japan for thinking of all that stuff!

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    Joe R
    2017-04-24 03:01:40

    The deodorant part is so true. I left my stick of old spice at my airbnb in Tokyo and was super semiconscious the rest of my trip because the Japanese stuff just isn't very good. It doesn't mask smell very well and certainly is not an antiperspirant which is much needed in the Japanese humidity.

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    Chok Ying Yao
    2017-04-24 04:10:19

    ???

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    Joelle SeeToh
    2017-04-24 13:19:42

    Thanks for sharing!

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    thyna vu
    2017-04-24 18:51:06

    I would definitely say deodorant is a big one for the reasons you mentioned! I've never packed shampoo/conditioner because all the hotels I've stayed in provide it, but that's because I'm not too particular about it and I've found what hotels provide work for me. I would also suggest bringing some antibiotics, just in case.

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    Donna Rhae
    2017-04-24 21:16:23

    I'll be covering what medicine to bring in future articles, but thank you for the comment :) glad i'm providing good information!

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    絵里奈 八木
    2017-04-25 02:40:00

    thanks for sharing, exactly helpful!

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    Fran Japani
    2017-04-26 02:48:48

    Yes! Deodorant is a big one. Thanks for the great information.

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    BOB Okumura
    2017-04-26 14:02:11

    Don't forget what not to bring!! Don't be a Julie Hamp an executive with Toyota. Over-The-Counter Medicines It is illegal to bring into Japan some over-the-counter medicines commonly used in the United States, including some inhalers and some allergy and sinus medications. Specifically, products that contain stimulants (medicines that contain Pseudoephedrine, such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers), or Codeine are prohibited if it contains more than allowed quantity of stimulant raw materials. According to Japanese law, up to a two-months’ supply of allowable over-the-counter medication and up to a two-months’ supply of allowable vitamins can be brought into Japan duty-free. Prescription Medications Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis (marijuana), stimulant drugs including some prescription medications such as Adderall, and including some medications available over-the-counter in the U.S. are prohibited in Japan. There are no exceptions in bringing these prohibited medications into Japan, even if the medication is legally obtained outside of Japan. The import of stimulant drugs such as methamphetamines and amphetamines in particular are strictly prohibited, even when accompanied by a customs declaration and a copy of the prescription. Japanese customs officials or police can detain travelers importing prohibited items. Japanese customs officials do not make on-the-spot “humanitarian” exceptions for medicines that are prohibited in Japan. Up to one month’s supply of allowable prescription medicine (by Japanese law) can be brought into Japan. Travelers should bring a copy of their doctor’s prescription as well as a letter stating the purpose of the drug. Travelers who must carry more than one month’s supply (except prohibited drugs and controlled drugs), or are carrying syringes (pumps) or a CPAP machine, are required to obtain a so-called “Yakkan Shoumei”, or an import certificate in advance, and show the “Yakkan Shoumei” certificate with your prescription medicines at the Customs. For more information about bringing medicines into Japan and how to obtain a “Yakkan Shoumei” Certificate, please visit the website of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare where you can also find an application form. When you make an inquiry to the Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau, please do not forget to provide your fax number or your E-mail address.

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    Joanne Wildheart
    2017-04-26 16:26:41

    omg so true ^^ plus medicines thanks for the article

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    Donna Rhae
    2017-04-26 22:28:45

    I was actually going to write and article about this, but I didn't have enough information. Thank you, this is really helpful! :)

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    Dr Nozman & Lilly
    2017-04-26 22:29:51

    Thanks for those tips ! :)

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    Sheau Ni Chong
    2017-04-27 04:18:42

    thanks for sharing

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    Angie Tse
    2017-04-27 14:01:59

    this look really great!

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    Jeff Chong
    2017-04-29 02:50:17

    thanks for sharing, exactly helpful!

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    Nibai にばい
    2017-04-29 15:37:17

    Good to know about these things, although I don't need that much as a man when travelling to a different country. Thanks for the article^^

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    Pei Leng Liew
    2017-04-30 05:38:48

    this is great..

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