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[Soshi] How do you pack for a one year trip?

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Especially, when that one year trip is in Japan.

Truth is, I have no idea.


How much is too much? How little is too little? Am I bringing enough toilet paper!?

Just joking about the toilet paper.

Yet, the thing that troubles me the most about Japan is how cosmopolitan it is — there is almost no chance that I won’t find my favourite toothpaste brand (I don’t have a favourite though), socks (Mighty Soxer ftw!), or even clothes there.

Sidenote: If you are a size UK 10/12 and above, be prepared to have a harder time finding clothes there. I am sadly not a svelte shojo so most of my suitcase is filled with all important clothes. Because really, what else can I bring to a country which has nearly everything and anything? Besides maybe, pandan leaves.


(I need pandan leaves to cook chicken rice. It’s not some random exotic Singaporean thing I named.) Honestly, I don’t see the need to bring ‘comfort food’ because all my comfort food can be found there!? Hello NISSIN cup noodles! The only problem is that they might not have my favourite Tom Yum flavour. That’s where Tom Yum stock-cubes come in handy.

There’s no point bringing any figures — okay, I’m bringing Yotsuba along because she’s small — because bringing them back is a hassle.

Then there’s the problem of books. Do I bring/ship the books that I already own and need for class, or just leave them all here and buy new copies over there? I save money on shipping and/or space in my suitcase, but I have to waste possibly more money procuring copies of books I already have. Which I have to bring back in the end or sell them before I leave.

Packing is one hell of a puzzle that I’m struggling to win!

Still, my packing’s nearly done and I just need to throw in my toiletries and voila. Off to Japan in 2 days!

(P.S. Photos are taking with my spankin’ new EOS 500D. Care to suggest a name for it?)

EDIT: I realized that my attempt to be MYSTERIOUS and VAGUE failed badly. (I wasn’t really trying to be mysterious or vague anyway!) But for the misinformed and uninformed, I’ll be RIUVA’s Japan slave for a year!

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18 Responses to “[Soshi] How do you pack for a one year trip?”  

  1. 1 berz 6 comments

    hm for starters, u`re moving to japan for?
    nowadays its limited up to 40kg in 2 ‘bags’(or whatever just forgot the right naming for it)
    as for me i went with 32kg each, which left me with a lot of free space to bring home some junks from japan =p

    i just got interested on the topic that popped up in my rss XD

    it seems u`ll be studying overseas but is it a homestay?
    or by yourself?

    it rly depends on how you will be living in japan too.

    but since its just for one year i can say just that:
    (i lived alone, rented out a leopalace21 apt., was around 55k at the time)
    -dont worry about food, since its only one year, somehow its not enough, you need time to find the right ramen-ya =p(ah btw lol, the nissin stuff taste different @_@, in my country, every taste just SUCKS)
    -dont forget your camera XDDD, i didnt take mine, so i had to buy one a couple of months before coming home(missed the hanami and stuff T_T

    hmmm this is just me but, 10months in japan, i had too much stuff with me, so just pack just enough for you and you will be fine. bringing over more than necessary will only make you think about throwing them away because you want to buy new stuff from there

  2. 2 berz 6 comments

    ugh double reply since it ate away half of my post T_T

    i will just continue to flood on it tomorrow but, it rly depends on how you will be spending your time in japan
    like… budget x (homestay/living alone/whatsoever)
    e.g. my expenses while in lets say, nagoya was like 55-60k rent, 20k basic market stuff, 70k for food? (yeah i did waste a lot?)
    as for my sister, the expenses went down to hmm 10-15k rent. same on the rest.
    homestays are even more cheaper XDD

    so i got to ask, what you will be doing in those 12 months?

  3. 3 Soshi 93 comments

    @berz: Wow you’re fast! Um, I think I mentioned it somewhere on this blog so I kind of forgot to mention it here, but in anycase, it adds to the air of MYSTERY and SUSPENSE. WHAT IS SOSHI DOING IN JAPAN? IS SHE GOING TO BE A MAMASAN?

    Well actually no, I’m going for a one year exchange in Waseda University so rent is expensive — more than your LeoPalace21 rent. :\ Then again it is Tokyo so I can’t complain about absurdly high rent. I can”t afford a homestay — there are annoying financial schematics that somehow only the homestay plans have — so I’m stuck in a dormitory. Which is fine by me because my future dorm-mates seem pretty cool.

    So yes, I’ll mainly be studying?

  4. 4 Faust721 11 comments

    heh, what a coincidence. I’ll be leaving for Japan myself for a year in 3 days. I haven’t even started packing yet lol xD.

    What I’m planning on bringing are about 2 weeks worth of clothes, laptop, camera, DS with games, school stuff, and a travel medical kit.

    But yeah, I’m with you here. I’m planning on buying whatever else I need/forget to bring over there.

  5. 5 Faust721 11 comments

    lol, you got a post in before me. I’ll be studying at Waseda myself as well, but with a homestay. We should meet up sometime.

  6. 6 berz 6 comments

    well books take up a lot of space and weight, being able to re-print it would be awesome @_@

    since its for study, keep a basic set of clothes, being a foreigner is enough for japanese people, since they will know you`re a foreigner anyway.

    i didnt pay attention to the ’she’ on the post, so yeah this could be a problem since well, girls have to be pretty =p, meaning=more stuff in the suitcase.

    and since its a full year.. .hm you will be getting there by the end* of summer? not rly sure about the weather, but by mid-november it WILL be cold. by xmas, maybe snowing T_T. (its pretty on photos ONLY)

    so that leaves you 2 choices. 1-bring your winter clothing or 2-buy them at some random store.
    i find 2 to be more interesting since they have a lot of interesting winter coats in there XD
    which gives you a lot more space to pack stuff.

    so, since its the packing the biggest problem. just balance it with your ‘future’ budget. enough to use/wash/dry/use again, and some space for new stuff. (theres a lot of coin laundry shops around, with hmmm 500yen or so, you can wash/dry all your stuff, so bring stuff that you can put in a dryer)

    aside from that… hm a laptop and the camera. (maybe its a bad influence that i have, i had too many backpackers hosted here.)

    not rly an useful thing but prolly you can order used stuff from amazon, might be cheaper than shipping it over.
    and hmm well, theres a lot of arubaitos in there, you can save some money by heating some bentos working in a 7eleven *LOL*

    i think once i finish up my graphic design university i`ll be applying for monbugakusho and maybe i can visit japan again =ppppp

    i hope they give you the basic stuff, like futon and such =p
    oh well, i hope the basic info i gave you is somehow useful XD

    enjoy your trip =p

  7. 7 LianYL 778 comments

    Need the RIUVA team to send you off?

  8. 8 Soshi 93 comments

    @Faust721: Yeah definitely! We’ll probably bump into each other during orientation! Are you on the SILS exchange or Bekka?

    @berz: I wish I could digitize all my books ;__; Yeah, I’m mainly bringing clothes I can wear for the fall, winter and spring because I’m fine with a couple of t-shirts for summer… I have to go through everything again before I leave though.

    @LianYL: No need lah! You all stay on the other side of the island!!!

  9. 9 Faust721 11 comments

    Right, orientation. We probably will. I’m on the SILS exchange.

    Did you make any plans yet? or are you gonna wait and settle in first?

  10. 10 V2 74 comments

    for study/semi long term stay: bring lots of clothes. the clothes there are so freakin’ expensive - 20k yen for shoes, 40k yen for a cheap-looking business suit.

    for shopping vacation: get two bags: one 75cm and one 60cm. pack all your clothes in the 60cm and put it inside the 75cm so you’ll end up with one piece of check-in luggage. the 75cm can later be packed with all the stuff you’ll buy.

  11. 11 tj_han 1439 comments

    Actually, Soshi, the Lians and Kokanadens live in the East.

    The laundry machine in the dorm costs 100 yen a pop. Dryer is 100 yen as well but totally unnecessary becaues the air con compressor blows hot air towards your hanging clothes. I recommend buying/bringing lots of clothes hangers, since they don’t provide any. You can just bring a lot of hangers, and leave them there.

    Get the pdf versions of your textbooks! If possible. Or just go to the photocopy shop and request they make copies of the books you already have, then you bring those and dump them after you’re done.

    Don’t bring or buy figures. They take up way too much room. Shipping is expensive and makes them not worthwhile.

  12. 12 Soshi 93 comments

    @Faust271: Plans for…?

    @V2: Naw, clothes are cheap/reasonable if you look for them. I know that for a fact. But the lower price also comes with the problem of sizes. I’m a fairly typical fujoshi size (despite not being a fujoshi) so finding clothes that fit me and my budget would be unnecessary time and money. I can get a pair of Adidas sneaker for US$30, which is far cheaper than what I can get in Singapore. So yeah. You just need to look for good buys.

    @tjhan: Ohhh! Haha, up to you guys lah. I definitely don’t mind. XD I’m going to buy el cheapo hangers from Daiso and just leave them behind when I come back.

    ;___; Lit texts don’t really come in PDF format often….

    Oh! I’m only bringing Yotsuba? Because she barely weighs a thing and she’s going in my hand-carry. LOL. Probably not buying any figures there because I will cry if they’re damage when I bring them back via shipping or hand-carry, and I’ve got better things to spend my money on.

  13. 13 berz 6 comments

    lol dorms laundry machine is cheap XD

    clothes dry easily in japan, as long as its not raining or during winter.
    you will only see severe rain during taifu anyway.

    for the hangers you could buy them at a 100y shop too.
    they come in a set of 3 or 6 maybe.
    kinda crappy but the ones that fold in/out to dry clothes are the best, but not that cheap though. you can buy all those stuff in department stores OR find an used stuff shop. since japanese do not like used, or even used onetime stuff.

    clothes are not that expensive unless u`re buying brand stuff. cheap random stuff ranges from 5k to yeah sometimes 50k?
    if you can talk in japanese you wont have problems finding good shops.

    i remember that when i was coming home, i stoped by aoki, they had a one-evening discount stand in front of the shop
    got stuff that is just acceptable to spend the day at home or using like pjs for hmm 1k-2k each piece.

    then, a month later, some gap autumn sweater for 1k (which is also just random clothing, but well i dont rly care about brand anyway)

    hanging stuff in your bedroom makes it look ‘favela’-like heh, works in winter. but well, heating up your room makes the gas bill go up like crazy XDD

    ah yeah, if you have space to take the hangers and other stuff, fill your stuff to the weight limit, but only with stuff you wanna throw away later.

    hmm maybe a set or two of good clothes isnt a bad choice if you intend to hangout from time to time, although theres women who dress up weirdly, some also dress up rly well XD

    i mean… a lot of difference when they set a day for nomikai or something like that heh /o/

  14. 14 Faust721 11 comments

    Plans for what you are gonna do in Japan besides go to school. For me, while I nothing concrete yet, the first big thing I’m gonna try to do is go to the Tokyo Game Show.

  15. 15 V2 74 comments

    oh… i guess i was looking at the expensive places to go… oh well i was more focused on the anime merchandise anyway.

    nonetheless, have fun! im sure you will.

  16. 16 Soshi 93 comments

    @Faust271: Definitely hitting the Tokyo Game Show. Actually I’ve got a bunch of things lined up like going for a few exhibitions and stuff… Too many things to do in Tokyo!

    @V2: LOL. Most people are, anyway.

  17. 17 TP 15 comments

    Holy crap. I missed your post, Soshi! 気を付けてね~!

    [cues in “Falling Down” by Oasis. Enter Soshi, the “damsel-in-distress?”]

  18. 18 Leefe 119 comments

    That’s gonna be one year of insane spending, but hey it’s Japan :D

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