Photo Equipment: remember my golden rule on travel! always bring at least two cameras (one big and one small) when travelling and one must be weather proof (water proof, shock proof, drop proof) so that if you take a swim, you can bring it with you. also bring extra camera batteries for each and a really large 32 or 64 gigabyte SD or Mini SD card so that you will have many space for your videos too if you are into videos like me. also the camera that you bring must have an ultra zoom capability and you can take photos and videos at the same time with it. like the new pocket ultrazoom cameras of olympus, sony and panasonic.
Luggage and bags:
Definitely a backpack for trecking around during the day - for your camera, water, maps etc.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: If you are visiting a lot of temples, take easily removable shoes in good condition, and make sure your socks are decent. Keep modesty in mind with your clothing as within most Asian countries.
When researching Japan myself, all I could find for Spring in Japan was 'bring a light jacket'. Well we had such a mix of weather. The first 3 days were beautiful and warm, with t-shirt being fine for most of the day, with a light jacket in the evening. However, it then turned wet and cold, for which I was glad I'd bought along a thick winter coat. Dress standards are quite high in Japan, but anything goes as well.
Photo Equipment: Definitely a camera. You can buy film and batteries everywhere.
Miscellaneous: Some kind of pouch to keep all your train tickets in (and JR Pass if you have one) comes in very handy. You seem to be reaching for them all the time and you don't want to be burrowing around in your bag for them.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Japanese people sometimes have a visceral negative reaction to westerners' personal body odor, which is quite distinctive because of our intake of dairy and meat products. However, there just isn't any deodorant available in Japanese pharmacies or grocery stores, so be sure to bring your own. In a pinch, I happened to find some at a pharmacy connected with the Tokyo Medical & Surgical Clinic just across from Tokyo Tower on Shiba Koen. You'll pay $10 for most US brands, though.
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