Things you'll miss.....
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Women: All clothes. My wife complains about this all the time. She has given up trying to buy clothes here because the sizes are too small.
Men: Footwear if you have large feet, i.e. larger than 10, 26 or 42 (depending on which size scale you use.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: 1. Anti-perspirant deodorant and toothpaste. Deodorant here is weak and doesn't last long. The toothpaste is grainy and doesn't work as well.
Photo Equipment: Digital cameras and tripods are cheaper here. When I bought a new digicam last year and I compared prices for the same model in Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. Japan won hands down. Tripods are almost a joke, they are so cheap. I just bought a SLIK SDV-10 for 1500 yen (USD14).
Miscellaneous: Here are some tips for people coming to Osaka on a long term-basis.
There are numerous grocery items that are difficult to obtain here or are only available in specialist import shops. In other cases, they are just too expensive. A common talking point among expats is where you can obtain certain food, drinks etc.
Cereal, oatmeal, baked beans, flavoured milk, soda pop (other than coke and a few unuusal local varieties) and good quality tomato ketchup.
Here are some things that are noticeably cheaper (I am comparing to Australia, Canada and the UK). Don't bring any of the following, as they will be cheaper here (even if you are buying them duty free):
Cigarettes, spirits (whiskey, vodka, bourbon), wine, men's ties, stationery, electronic devices. All of these things are cheaper in Japan. Canadian Club is half the price in Japan that you pay in tax-obsessed Canada. It's all about the tax, baby.
WHAT TO BRING?
Luggage and bags: If you plan on doing a lot of train travel when you are in Japan then I suggest that you decline from bringing large, heavy suitcases. Most train stations in Japan have huge staircases (often no lift) so lugging a big suitcase is not an easy task. I suggest a good backpack would be a good choice.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Rainy Season is around June/July and rain weather gear is essential. I just use an umbrella but there have been times that I have got completely soaked!! I can't buy shoes in Japan so I have had to think carefully before I came about what kind of footwear to buy. Note: Easy to slip on and off shoes are best and if you are going to work in a public building you will need 'indoor' shoes to wear. The Japanese always take their outdoor shoes off before entering their house or work.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Most things you will need can be purcahsed here. I don't recommend going to a hospital in Japan unless you really need to. In most cases the pharmacist will be able to help you if you tell them what is wrong and what kind of medicine you are looking for (a phrase book will have this in it).
Photo Equipment: Japan is a great place to buy a camera. They are pretty reasonably price and there is a good range available. In Osaka you should check out Den Den Town.
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If your shoe size is 8 (EUR 39) or larger then you should take as many pairs of shoes as you need. You probably won't have trouble buying sneakers, but women who take larger sizes will find it hard to buy casual or dress shoes. The situation is getting a bit better but the Japanese do not sell large shoe sizes and even at the few places they do, the range is small. This is very frustrating for someone who loves shoes as much as myself - Japan is a true shopping mecca and they have some fantastic shoes to buy. Oh well!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Japan has recently legalised the pill, but I would recommend taking enough to last you throughout your stay, however long. Have a medical check-up before you go. I found that Japanese dentists were quite efficient and not too expensive just as long as you have some type of insurance. Disposable contact lenses are readily available and the price does not differ much from prices in Australia.
Photo Equipment: You can get any kind of photo equipment that you want in Japan - a full range of fun, cheap disposable cameras, the latest hi-tech digital cameras, etc...
Miscellaneous: Take a copy of Alex Kerr's book 'Lost Japan'. You could read it before visiting the Kansai region, but it will mean more to you if you read it while you are there. It prompted my friend, Annie and I to go on a search for 'Bakudan Yuki'!!!!
If you are Australian, don't worry about packing Tim Tams as you can now buy them from Sony Plaza!!! You can buy Yowies too!
Luggage and bags: tIf you go for long time (e.g. a year like me) it doesn't matter so much what kind of luggage(s) you have. But I prefer to take as large as possible and not pack it all full, because you will have much more things when you go back.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Study Abroad
Luggage and bags: Bring a huge luggage. There are plenty to buy in Osaka. Generally, the prices here are cheaper than Tokyo.
Miscellaneous: American Express! Don't leave home without it :-)))
In fact, add in Visa, Master & Diners too! LOL...