The Perfect Packing List For Taiwan And Japan In The Winter

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Before I left for Taiwan, I had no idea what to bring.  I had no idea what the weather was going to be like.  Hot and cold.  Helpful, right?  

I also didn’t know I was going to Japan until I was there, which didn’t help either.  One last thing to make it difficult, I was going to the Philippines after, so I needed clothes for pretty much all weather.

Packing in a carry-on for all-weather can be tough, but I managed to find the right things, and buy a few things along the way, to be almost perfectly packed for Taiwan and Japan in the winter followed by the Philippines.

This packing list is for a month and a half in Taiwan and Japan in the winter.  Like usual, I’ll separate it into clothes, toiletries, technology, and other stuff.

Travel Services I Recommend:
AllTrails – This is my favorite hike tracking app.
America the Beautiful – The national park pass is essential. – This is great for finding and booking hotels.
Get Your Guide – I recommend Get Your Guide for booking tours.
National Park Obsessed – This is the best national park planner.
Skyscanner – Skyscanner is great for finding and booking flights.
Enterprise – This is my rental car recommendation.
See all my resources here.


3-5 racerback tank tops – These were mostly for the Philippines, but they worked for layering.

1-3 t-shirts

1 black cardigan

1 fleece zip up jacket

1 maxi skirt

1 pair of athletic shorts

1-2 pairs of jean shorts

1 pair of workout legging capris – I would have rather had long pants.  I didn’t wear these pretty much at all.

1 pair of jeans – These are a bit pricey, but I love them!  I also wish I brought a second pair

Rain jacket – Mine was similar, but pink

1 scarf

Lots of socks

Lots of underwear

2-3 bras

2-3 swimsuits

Flip flops

Fancy sandals – These broke towards the end of my trip so I got rid of them.

Tennis shoes

Fancy-ish not sandals

Fossil cross body purse


Solid shampoo in a square tin – It’s waaaay easier to get out of the square than the little round one.  I got a solid conditioner in Japan and didn’t like it, so I would avoid the light green Lush solid conditioner.  It smells heavenly but didn’t work very well for me.  I would look for another one or just stick to the bottled stuff.

Travel sized conditioner – This was really difficult to find in Taiwan and Japan.  Plus I couldn’t read any of the labels.  I would bring a few more of these if conditioner is necessary for you.



Jojoba oil – I threw this out after maybe a week because it was too leaky.  I used it on my face and in my hair after showering.

Tea tree oil – I also use this on my face, usually mixed with Argan oil (which I didn’t bring) or Jojoba oil.


Roll on perfume



Nail clippers

1-2 nail polishes



iPad Air + charger

iPhone 6 + charger

Polaroid Snap + charge + extra paper (Here’s a version with a screen)

Canon Powershot G10 + charger + batteries

Kindle Paperwhite + charger

Portable Charger + charger

Waterproof Camera + batteries + charger

2-5 Extra memory cards + case

Other Stuff

Dry bag – This was perfect in the Philippines for island hopping and beach days.

Camelbak Groove insulated/filter water bottle – This got too dirty and I couldn’t clean it.  I love it at home, though.

Small notebook

Osprey laptop backpack – I didn’t have my laptop, but it was a good size for a daypack.  It was also super light and I couldn’t fit tons of stuff in it, so I didn’t end up carrying around too much stuff.  There were pros and cons to this.

REI Vagabond Tour 40 Pack – I loooove this backpack.  It’s the perfect size.  Sometimes I wish it had straps on the outside, but I’m also glad it doesn’t because then I’d end up with too much stuff again.  And it works as carry on. This backpack doesn’t exist anymore but here are some other comfortable travel backpacks to consider.

An actual book – I wanted this to trade at book exchanges

2 pairs of sunglasses

Sleeping bag liner – I only used it a couple times, but I’m glad I had it just in case.  It’s light and doesn’t take up much room.

Packing cubes – Like always, I love these and can’t imagine not using them.  I also like the Eagle Creek ones.

Pac Safe Bag Protector – I still haven’t used this and it’s kind of heavy.  I’m not sure I’ll keep using it.  This could be a good alternative to lock your bag to something.

3 luggage locks – I like these because I don’t have to worry about a key.

What I wish I brought

More long sleeved shirts, sweaters, or sweatshirts.  I ended up buying two in Taiwan.

Hat – I finally caved and bought one (and gloves) in Japan and was so happy I did!  I wish I had it sooner.


More conditioner

Warmer socks

Taiwan Guidebook – I had this at home, but left it there.  I figured I could do without it.  I wished I had it once I was there.  Here you go if you prefer Lonely Planet.

Hydro Flask water bottle – I didn’t even know about these at the time.  This one is 40 Ounces, but the size is totally worth the weight.  I can go longer between filling it up.  I would also like to try this one, I’ve heard good things.  It seems better for traveling since it has a filter.

Well, I think that’s it.  This all fit in my 40-liter backpack and smaller daypack.  It got surprisingly cold and was rainy a lot, so keep that in mind if you’ll be moving around a lot and need things to dry fast.  

Most hostels had umbrellas that guests could use, so I didn’t bring one.  Other than not having enough warm stuff, which was probably the most important stuff, I did alright.  

There wasn’t much I didn’t use.  And there you have it the perfect packing list for Taiwan and the perfect Japan winter packing list.

Have you been to Taiwan or Japan in the winter?  What else would you recommend?  

10 thoughts on “The Perfect Packing List For Taiwan And Japan In The Winter

  1. I love both countries. Next time you go, do check out Uniqlo. They are not expensive, will give you everything tax-free after a certain amount purchased, and they have a good selection of everything one might need for winter. Prices are high there but these stores are golden in terms of price vs quality. Wish I saw more of what you were talking about in pictures or outfits.

    1. Ohh that sounds awesome! I did go into one, but didn’t have any extra room in my backpack at the time unfortunately, but I’ll keep that in mind! I realized I didn’t have too many pictures of myself there to show my outfits and I ended up getting rid of a lot of stuff after that trip to move to Utah. And I wrote this like, a year after I went haha. It was a late decision, but I know for next time!

  2. So helpful, thank you! I’m planning on going to Japan in February too and was wondering what to pack. I’ll take your advice about the hat and gloves. And conditioner! 🙂

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