While studying abroad in Japan with other students from Texas State University, there were a few things I’ve learned that you should never leave your hotel without!  

Your Umbrella

Making the best out of a rainy day. Photo Credit: Tyra Williams

You may or may not know but, in Japan, rainy season starts in June and ends midJuly. So, it is important that you do not leave your hotel without a rain jacket or umbrella to keep you dry. When we were in Japan, it rained all day on our first excursion to Meiji Shrine. I even bought an umbrella the night
before and still left my room
without it. This was a big mistake. Luckily, I was able to stay a little dry underneath Michael’s umbrella. Do not be like me and get soaked in the rain because you forgot your umbrella in the room.  

Suica Card

What is a Suica card, you might ask? It is the key to your transportation. Suica is a prepaid smart card used for most public transportation like metro, trains and buses. This card can also be used at vending machines and convenience stores found around Japan. Money is deducted from the card after every trip or purchase when scanned on the card reader. We were given these cards once we arrived to Japan and did not stop using them until we departed.  

Your Suica card is super important when you are traveling from place to place in Japan, especially with a group. If you do forget your card, no worries. You can always purchase a ticket once you make it to a station, but it’ll take a lot longer and can be an inconvenience to your plans.

Coin pouch

If you don’t have a coin pouch, it is time to invest in one. In America, we pay with a debit card or credit card basically everywhere we go. While in Japan, a lot of things are paid for with cash or coins. You can get yen at your local 7-Eleven convenience store if you have your card with you. 

It is important to have a coin pouch so you can stash your cash. You will receive a lot of change throughout your shopping and eating in Japan. Most of the time you will be receiving coins because the Japanese culture uses coins for 100 yen (about $1 USD). They even have 500 yen coins (about $5 USD)!

You wouldn’t want to misplace those coins. Not only are coin pouches a secure way to keep your coins, they can also be very fashion friendly. I had a coin pouch during my trip, and it kept all of my yen together along with my Suica card. It was very convenient. 

These are just a few things that I found important to having when traveling in Japan. Hopefully, this will prepare you for a trip to Japan. Also, don’t forget to double check your bags! 

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