What I Packed for Japan in the Fall | Men’s Edition

I love to travel in the Fall and Winter months. I’m what you would consider a “pleasantly plump” traveler, and I feel more comfortable wearing a sweater and jeans than letting my belly hang-out in swim trunks. I’m still working on getting fit, so my six-pack is a work in progress. Right now I only have one ab, and it’s a big one. Anyway, I digress. Even though I love the change in weather, traveling in the Fall presents a whole new set of challenges when packing.

Bulky sweaters and jeans can quickly add unwanted pounds to your luggage. When you’re traveling on a budget, the extra weight can easily translate to additional fees. To avoid the hassles of checked baggage, I stick to carry-on only. Below is what I packed for our 9 day trip to Japan and helpful tips.

What I Packed

On this trip, I’ll be using our Tortuga Setout backpack. It meets carry-on measurements for our airline and doesn’t make me look like I’m about to summit Everest.

Fall Clothing
It is ok to travel with jeans. Try to limit yourself to only 1 pair. The weight adds up. My wife packed 3 pairs…she did not read my post.


2 Cotton long sleeve T-shirts
Moisture Pullover
Quick-Dry T-Shirt
Quick-Dry Golf Polo
Athletic Shorts
Pair of Zip-Off Pants
Pair of Travel Jeans
Pocketable Parka
Arcade Belt


7 Pair of Cool Comfort, Fresh IQ Underwear (I’d rather be safe than sorry, and besides a quick change of underwear and you feel like a new man.)
4 Pair of Ankle Socks


Laptop & Cover
Laptop Charger
Portable Power Bank
2 Phone Chargers
2 Pair of Headphones
Universal Adapter (Not a must for Japan but just in case)

Health and Care

Clear Quart Plastic Bag with all of my Toiletries (Travel toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and hair gel. I only bring enough to be able to freshen up at the airport. The rest I can purchase when I land.)
First Aid Travel Kit
7 Day Pill Case with Over the Counter Medicine for diarrhea, gas, muscle pains, headaches, flu, and allergies.
18 Emergen C Packets
Pack of 20+ Disinfectant Wipes
Travel Size Pack of Kleenex


Microfiber Towel
2 Pair of Travel/Luggage Locks
Pair of Flip Flops
Travel Pillow
Packable Daybag
Sling Bag (Perfect wandering the city streets)
Travel Wallet
Running Belt Wallet
Envelope with Printed Copies of Important Documents (i.e., passport, itineraries)
2 Pens (For completing customs & immigration forms)
Laundry Bag
Water Bottle
Russell from Up (He comes with us everywhere. We are helping him get his “Wilderness Explorer Badge.)

Travel Day Clothes
Allbirds are my favorite travel shoes…No…my favorite shoe.

Travel Day Outfit

Sweater Hoodie (This can double as a blanket since we’re sleeping overnight at the airport)
Zip-Off Cargo Pants
Quick Dry T-Shirt
Cool Comfort-Fresh IQ Underwear
Pair of Socks
Allbirds Wool Runners
Wallet & Passport

Helpful Tips & Lessons Learned

Make Sure You Know Your Airlines Carry On Restrictions

Remember that carry-on restrictions vary by airline. It’s important to do a quick check before booking your flight, so there are no surprises. There have been quite a few times when we thought we were getting a great deal only to find out the luggage requirements and fees were ridiculous. It may be tempting to grab the lowest rate, but this could end up costing you in the long run.

A little bit of research goes a long way. We start with Skyscanner then visit the airline’s webpage for fees and fine details.

Find a Packing Style That Works For You And Your Adventure

Some people have mastered minimalist packing and only need a 30L Backpack for months of travel. As you can see from the packing list about, I’m not quite there yet and don’t think I will ever be. I’m okay with that. Sometimes you may have to check your bag, and there is just no way around it.

The most important lesson I’ve learned about packing is that you have to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if you really need the different items you are packing or if you can do without it. If you can justify packing it, then bring it. It’s okay to have a little luxury but remember to keep it within reason. You can still be assessed extra fees for checked bags over a certain weight.

Pack Clothes That Work For Any Occasion

Versatility is key. After traveling through Southeast Asia, we made a stopover in Seoul. Since most of the clothes I packed were t-shirts and shorts, I felt really out of place when we visited a nice restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I had no trouble eating I just felt even more socially awkward than usual. Now I always try to pack a nice polo & pair of jeans or slacks. It’s worth the peace of mind.

Check The Weather Before You Pack

About two weeks before traveling, I add my travel destinations to the Weather App on my iPhone. I do this to get a feeling for what the weather will be like and what I should pack. For example, even though we’re heading into the colder months, it will still be mild while visiting Tokyo. At night the temp will dip to the low 50s and on a few days the upper 40s. Since we’ll probably be out late to soak in all the sites, it makes sense to only pack a lite sweater jacket. It’s also easier to put on and take off when squeezing in and out of any Izakayas.

Practice Makes Perfect

Each time we travel, we get a little wiser and more efficient. In December we’ll be visiting Europe. That trip will bring a whole new set of packing challenges coming from the mild winters in Dallas, Texas. The more we travel, the more we learn.

We would love to hear from you and how your packing style has evolved. Are you full blown Minimalist or do you still check your luggage?

Interested in getting another perspective on packing, be sure to check out What I Packed for Japan in the Fall | Women’s Edition

5 thoughts on “What I Packed for Japan in the Fall | Men’s Edition

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  1. The first time I went to Japan in autumn I had boots and pull overs with me and it was 25 degrees. Shops were selling warm clothes so I had to look everywhere for t shirts. Since shopping is great in Japan I now take less clothes because I buy a lot from Uniqlo or Gu! Except shoes and bras you can find everything. This year I didn’t take shampoo or shower gel because I knew all my hotels or sentos gave some.


    1. Thank you for sharing! We’re looking forward to visiting Uniqlo’s Flagship store. Just in case we go overboard with shopping, we’re prepared to leave some of our old clothes behind 🤗.


  2. I can’t be minimalist in Japan because if I could I’d buy everything . I divide stuff into presents to take with me on the plane / suitcase stuff ( mine was stolen 2h ago in Roissy 😱) and stuff I send back by boat. I take off all the packaging of things I buy, saves space and it’s less heavy.


    1. Great packing tip! Thank you so much for the comments. We really appreciate you sharing! I’m so sorry to hear about your luggage getting stolen.


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