Traveling to Japan? We’ve curated a collection of our favorite books on Japan – and travel gear – to help you prepare for your trip!

travel essentials for japan

Our travel essentials checklist includes:

  • Reading recommendations, including fiction & non-fiction
  • Luggage, including suitcases, backpacks & more
  • Travel gadgets, electronics & accessories
  • Guidebooks & maps
  • And more!

Japan Reading Recommendations & Maps

Below are some of our favorite books on Japan, to help you get prepared for your trip!

travel essentials reading recommendations for japan

We’ve included books on:

  • Japanese history
  • Japanese food & sake
  • Fiction, including novels & poetry
  • Japanese gardens & crafts shops
  • Guideboks for Japan
  • Maps
  • And more!

Food Sake Tokyo, by Yukari Sakamoto

Old Kyoto: The Updated guide to Traditional Shops, Restaurants, and Inns, by Diane Durston

Japanese Gardens: Tranquility, Simplicity, Harmony, by Geeta K. Mehta and Kimie Tada

The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches, by Matsuo Basho and Nobuyuki Yuasa

The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami

Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, by Herbert P. Bix

Geisha, 25th Anniversary Edition, Updated Edition, by Liza Dalby

Izakaya: The Japanese Pub Cookbook, by Mark Robinson

Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century, by Donald Keene

Basho: The Complete Haiku, by Matsuo Basho

Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, by John W. Dower

The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan, by Ivan Morris

Essays in Idleness

The Sound of Waves

The Inland Sea

National Geographic Traveler: Japan, 4th Edition

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Japan

National Geographic Adventure Map of Japan

Streetwise Tokyo Map – Laminated City Center Street Map

Tokyo Fashion City: A Detailed Guide to Tokyo’s Trendiest Fashion Districts

CB2 Cork Globe

CB2 Cork Globe

Our Favorite Travel Bags

From handy duffle bags, to a durable and convenient carry-on suitcase, we’ve included bags designed to suit every traveler’s personal travel style.

bag luggage travel essentials for japan

J.W. Hulme 501 Weekend Satchel Carry-On Bag

Delsey Luggage Helium Aero Carry-On Spinner Trolley

Herschel Supply Co. Novel

Marc Jacobs Men’s Large Weekender Bag

tom bihn aeronaut travel essentials boutique japan

Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45

Jack Spade Carryall Case Travel Kit

TUMI Windsor Travel Roll- Accessory/Jewelry/Makeup Bag

Travelon Micro Scale

Travel Gadgets & Accessories

Below you’ll find everything from headphones and smartphone accessories, to pocket Wi-Fi (absolutely essential in Japan), and eye gel and moisturizer for the long flight over.

mobile phone cell phone iphone boutique japan

Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphones

Pupuru Pocket Wifi rental device for Japan

Rental Pocket Wi-Fi Device for Japan

Universal 3 in 1 Camera Lens Kit for Smart Phones

Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera

eForCity Universal World Wide Travel Charger Adapter Plug

Mophie 2029_JPU-PWRSTION-DUO Juice Pack Universal PowerStation Duo for Smartphones

Alaska Bear® 100% Pure Silk Sleep Mask and Blindfold Eyeshade

CABEAU Memory Foam “Evolution Pillow” + Small Bag

Jurlique Balancing Mist Moisturizers, Rosewater, 1.7 Fluid Ounce

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Eye Gel, 0.5 Fluid Ounce

Any other items you think we should add to our travel essentials checklist? If so please share in the comments!