There are many things I had noticed about Japan and what the Japanese wore in our month there. One was that pretty much everyone looked good, stylish and well presented, two they were always prepared for the rain and change in weather conditions. We really struggled with what we choose to travel with, so I am here to help you decide what to wear in Japan…
While we did pack shorts we often found that we didn’t feel comfortable wearing them. As we stayed in areas that weren’t in the centre where many tourists were staying we were more often than not mingling in with locals.
- Top Tips:
- Japanese Fashion
- What To Wear In Japan In Summer
- What To Wear In Japan In Spring
- What To Wear In Japan In Autumn
- What To Wear In Japan In Winter
- Though the Japenese dress modestly they don’t hold that against tourists. You are free to dress as you wish.
- Legs VS Cleavage – Legs are okay in Japan as many of the girls wear shorter skirts and shorts… Cleavage, on the other hand, is deemed too much and “too revealing”. You won’t be arrested but might witness awkward stares.
- Remember Japan can get very windy if you plan to wear anything short, maybe wear some shorts or tights under your skirt for modesty.
- If you plan to go shopping try everything on first. The Japanese are a completely different size and shape as a whole and the style and sizing often reflect that.
There is no denying that the Japanese have great taste, fashion is definitely one of them. There are many things I had noticed and learned on our month-long trip.
One of the sweetest things I learned was that couples that are dating and are not yet married go shopping together to buy matching outfits. These outfits are worn on the same day to let people know they are together as a couple.
Another thing I noticed is that the Japanese tend to dress quite modestly and keep covered. The women wore dresses that were knee-length or longer, more often with a t-shirt or long sleeves to cover shoulders.
They also wear lots of loose trousers with cute socks and shoes and a blouse. No matter what they were wearing, whether it for work, school or just for fun they always look good.
What To Wear In Japan In Summer
Japan is summer ranges from June to mid-September and can range from heat of 21 – 32 degrees. We visited in September and found that even though it wasn’t ‘sunny’ it was hot and humid. Here is what to wear in Japan in summer…
Loose T-shirts/ Shirts & Blouses
While we packed quite a few t-shirts I would have loved to pack at least one or two that were baggy, loose or just a little oversized. Many of the girls and young women wear an oversized style t-shirt tucked into some stylish trousers/skirt.
While the weather isn’t sunny it is hot and humid so loose layers on a humid day make all the difference. The heat was something I had not witnessed before while travelling and would have loved looser clothes.
Shirts and blouses were also a popular choice to wear, you could wear a sports style blouse/top that is fit for hot weather and is durable to make exploring easier and more comfortable.
Many young men wore capri pants or chinos with boat shoes as I call them or trainers. These style trousers were very smart looking but the fabric was practical for the weather changes. As it would be hot and humid and then the rain would arrive.
Many women found wearing long skirts from past the knee or floaty loose trousers were great. I think that loose clothing helps keep the body cool on humid days as well as looking smart.
I would look at wearing trousers that are thin but durable for the heat. Walking trousers are great as they breathe with you and are hard-wearing. If you are looking at something more stylish look at linen trousers, thin cotton loose-fitting trousers or skirts. Breathable fabrics are important in humid weather.
We still took a raincoat even though we were hot and sweaty all the time. As the weather can suddenly change you want to have a raincoat or umbrella as a safety net to make sure you don’t spend all day soaked.
I would suggest taking a pack a mac, or small rolled up raincoat. This way it takes up little space in your bag but you have it just in case.
If you are looking to do plenty of exploring around the cities I would look at wearing trainers. Trainers, pumps or walking shoes are great options for when you are doing plenty of walking. They give your feet the best support they need and comfort for long days.
Sandals are also a viable option but I would wear sports sandals such as brands like Merrell and Birkenstocks.
What To Wear In Japan In Spring
Spring in Japan ranges from the months of March to May, with temperatures from 13 – 18 degrees. This means these months are much colder than summer and can be very chilly on a morning especially. This is also the most popular time to visit Japan as it is cherry blossom season.
Long Sleeve T-shirts/ Shirts & Blouses
As the weather is cooler you may want to look at adding layers. If you prefer to have fewer layers while travelling look at wearing items that are long sleeve.
If you prefer layers in case you get warm and like to take off a layer you could look into wearing the shorter sleeve t-shirts with a thin long sleeve layer over the top. Thin cotton jumpers are a great option or jersey style fabrics that are breathable and warm. You can team this up with a scarf for early morning and late evenings when the temperature drops.
Trousers & Jeans
I don’t think trousers need to change all that much as you travel the bulk of your layers are on your top half of the body. Depending on what you generally wear at home in similar temperatures, I would suggest wearing that. Joggers, jeans, khaki style trousers or chinos, all these are great if you wear the right layers with them.
Remember about the sudden rain, this can compromise your day if you wear jeans they take so much longer to dry, etc. Find what you are comfortable in first and then choose your trousers on that basis.
Personally would always choose to wear a rain-style jacket/coat, just as the weather can get a little rainy in Japan. The weather is cooler and would require some kind of jacket. I would advise wearing something that can be packed away smaller or easy to carry around.
Again, much like summer in Japan, you can wear trainers, pumps or some form of a supportive sandal. These are all great options as the weather is fairly dry and enjoyable.
What To Wear In Japan In Autumn
Autumn in Japan ranges from September through to November. In that time though the weather may not dramatically change the temperatures start to drop each month. The average temperatures in Autumn are 23- 28 degrees.
Unlike Spring, Autumn is actually warmer, still following on and gracefully falling temperatures from Summer. The weather can bring beautiful scenes from the trees turning colours of red and yellow.
As the weather is still in the higher 20’s you can get away with t-shirts to help keep you cool. The mornings and evenings tend to drop in temperature so a cardigan or light jacket would be good to have to hand.
Anything that is light, airy and easy to wear is key when deciding what to wear in Japan in Autumn. September is warmer and slowly grows cooler in October and November. If you are going in October/November I would look at taking a coat or thicker jacket for the colder days.
Honestly, we visited in September and the thought of wearing any type of trousers at that time was too much. I found the weather humid and hard to dress for. I then realised everyone wore loose clothing for a reason. If you can wear chinos, khaki style trousers or linen trousers these are great breathable fabrics for humid days.
Going into October/November the weather will be cooling so you could possibly get away with jeans but wouldn’t rely on them being your main pair of trousers.
As the weather cools from September to November you can change the way you pack. If you are heading in November you will want to pack a coat or jacket as it will be colder. September, on the other hand, is still quite warm so you may only feel like you need a cardigan or light jacket for mornings and evenings.
I would advise packing a light jacket/cardigan or jumper for October weather and a top layer such as a raincoat for added protection against the rain.
The weather is still quite warm in September so trainers or light footwear are a great idea. During October and November shoes such as boots are a great choice as they give the foot more coverage from the elements and will also be warmer.
What To Wear In Japan In Winter
Winter runs from December through to February and can range in temperatures from 10ºC – 11ºC and can drop to 3ºC in mornings. Depending on which part of Japan you are travelling to will also depend on what you need to pack. Cities such as Tokyo and Osaka will have shorter winters and less snowfall compared to the more northern areas and mountain regions.
Long Sleeve Top
This can be a stretchy style t-shirt, long sleeve shirt/blouse or even a long sleeve dress. There are so many ways you can build up layers for winter weather. The temperatures have dropped and can often reflect the temperatures of the UK in winter. Though the weather conditions can be different due to rain and snow.
Tip: If like me you don’t like having too many layers as it makes you feel a little claustrophobic look at wearing a simple t-shirt or vest under a thicker layer such as a knitted jumper or hoodie.
When deciding what to wear in Japan in winter I would look at layers as they can be removed for when you are in a restaurant/ cafe and added on for the colder days.
You could also look at adding a thicker layer on top such as a knitted jumper or hoodie style top. This will help keep you feeling warm and snug while out exploring in the snow. Jumpers can be a great way to cover your neck without having to have any additional items such as scarves or buffs.
This could be the time to bring out the jeans, especially if you are looking to stay warm. Jeans can be very warming if worn the right way. Though they may not always be the best option when deciding what to wear in Japan.
If you don’t want to wear jeans you can look into wearing tights with a dress, leggings or joggers. These are all warm alternative that is great for colder weather. If you want to add extra warmth to a pair of chinos or khakis you can also add a pair of thermal trousers underneath.
You are more than likely going to want a coat, this can be any kind of coat you like. I would personally take one that is waterproof or showerproof just as it does rain quite often in Japan and winter is bound to bring snow. This can be a pack a mac, standard rain jacket or anything you have. You can also find great warm coats that have a showerproof coating on to protect them.
As the weather has turned to rain and snow in winter, the best footwear would be something quite covering and waterproof. Boots of any style are probably best as they can be really comfortable, waterproof and warm. Hiking/walking shoes are also a great option if you want to have maximum comfort.
That is everything you need to know about what to wear in Japan. I hope this has helped you pack for the right weather conditions and activities. Of course each region and set of activities you plan to do can completely change how you plan to dress and what you plan to pack.
If you are heading into the mountains or do any specific activities look into those and plan accordingly to be prepared.