Minimalist Packing: One Week in Tokyo

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All of my travel dreams have just come true because I am headed to Tokyo with my chef brother, Max, and youngest daughter, Emilie, for a week of eating All Of The Things. Max is the ultimate minimalist (read about that right here) and he always inspires me to pack even lighter than I normally do.

For this trip we are flying direct on the new budget airline ZIPAIR which translates into great-deal-but-only-one-small-carry-on- allowed (15 lbs or less) plus BYO food, snacks, and water. Luckily the weather looks mild and lovely (hello, cherry blossom season!) so packing light will be easier than ever. Read on for my full minimalist packing list…

minimalist packing listLinks: 1 Stylish Sneaker / 2 Lightweight Trench (I also LOVE this one)/ 3 Everyday Jean/ 4 Crossbody Bag / 5 Classic Tee / 6 White Jean/ 7 Casual Sweater / 8 Chambray Shirt / 9 Trucker Hat

Click here for more of my favorite capsule wardrobe essentials.

What I Packed

I always pack based on activity, and since this trip is primarily about walking and eating, I was able to pack versatile (and very casual) staples to mix and match. My uniform for the trip will consist of easy separates (jeans and blouses or t’s) layered with a light sweater or trench when necessary. I typically wear leggings and a cozy sweatshirt for long flights, and I always bring a decent sized tote on the plane as my hand luggage so I can stow all of the essentials including snacks, water bottle, laptop, toiletry bag, and chargers.

In My Handbag

Laptop, headphones, iphone, the best portable charger, and charging cords (no adapters necessary for Tokyo)

Wallet with passport, health card, CC, and Yen (handy to have cash for train and tipping)

Plane snacks gum and water bottle

Vitamins and medications

Toiletry Bag (I used this structured pouch which can hook onto any bag and doubles as a chic clutch)

In My Toiletry bag

I packed only the following items: Dental floss, mini toothpaste, mini toothbrush, deodorant, face wash, SPF, vitamin C moisturizer (I use day and night), mascara, my favorite lip and cheek tint, and a small jar of raw coconut cream for hydrating hair, nails, and skin. I have no problem using hotel shampoo, conditioner, and body wash which helps lighten the load.

In My Suitcase

I use this carry-on bag (with front pocket!) with these packing cubes

Tops (7)

Chambray Shirt (1)

Jeans (2)

Light Trench

Socks and underwear (10 each)



Mini Heated Styling Brush

Compact Travel Umbrella

To ensure the smoothest travel experience possible, I refer to this international travel checklist:

Check Passport Expiration / Pack Travel Plug Adapters (not necessary from US-Japan) / Order Foreign Currency / Alert CC Company of Travel / Check International Data Plan with Phone Company

I also make sure to learn about the place I’m visiting so I can be respectful of cultural values and norms – i.e. the mask mandate has been lifted in Japan, but the vast majority of people continue to wear masks in all indoor situations, on public transportation and in the city streets so I made sure to order some to have on hand.

I hope this list inspires you to pack lighter on your next trip – nothing like feeling both prepared and footloose and fancy free when you’re in a new city!

Want to check out what we’re eating, seeing, and doing in Tokyo this week? Follow my adventures on Instagram right here.

And safe travels to my fellow travelers!

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