“Take Away” Thoughts

I’ll be leaving for Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) in exactly eight weeks! Whoa. Time is flying.

Eight weeks is not a lot of time. Over the past little while, I’ve been giving some thought to what I want to take with me to Japan. I will be flying with Air Canada from Halifax, NS (the site of my PDO), to Tokyo. I will be allowed to check two 23 kg bags for free, as well as a carry on and a personal article on that flight. (On the flight from my hometown to Halifax, I will be charged $20 for my second bag.) I am assuming that I will fly from Tokyo to Akita after the Tokyo Orientation, in which case I’m going to need to keep my suitcase weight down to between 15-20 kg (depending on the airline, apparently). I already own a large suitcase and a carry-on sized suitcase. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to buy a second large suitcase and use all of them, or just use two large suitcases, or use one large suitcase + my carry-on sized suitcase and bring a book bag as my carry on… Decisions!

Keeping all of that in mind, here is my (incomplete) packing list so far:

  • Clothes (could that be any more obvious? That being said, I plan to take mostly summer and autumn clothes, both business and casual, and have my parents send me my winter gear later.)
  • Shoes (I am a US 8.5, sometimes Wide, so I might have trouble finding shoes in Japan)
  • Toiletries (including deodorant, toothpaste, my make up collection, sunscreen, and moisturizer – all of which are hard to get/are different in Japan)
  • Pictures! Lots and lots of pictures of my hometown, school, grocery store, my house, my family, my friends…
  • English maps of the world, of Canada, and maybe of Newfoundland & Labrador (if I can find one!)
  • Canadian currency (coins and bills)
  • Canadian- and Newfoundland & Labrador-themed items (flags? pencils? postcards? I plan on buying out my local Dollarama)
  • Sticky Tack (I’ve heard that this is hard to find in Japan? It will make my life easier when putting up pictures, etc., in my apartment!)
  • My laptop, iPad, camera, and video camera

Of course, I am still waiting to hear from my pred and my CO, so this list is subject to change over the next eight weeks as I learn more about my placement. I also plan to do more reading on what others have and have not brought: there have been some really great posts on the JET Programme Official Forums with the do’s and don’ts of packing, and the General Information Handbook is useful, too!

59 days ’til Japan!


2 thoughts on ““Take Away” Thoughts

  1. thepolkadotbride says:

    Deodorant was SUPER hard to find in Tokyo. As was cheese. Chocolate in Japan is not the same as North America either, except at Starbucks.

    I found shoes in Japan were mostly sized small, medium and large. I wear a 7.5-8 and the large was too small for me. Clothes was also very small make.

    • Christina says:

      Thanks so much! Now I know to definitely bring shoes with me – if they were too small for you, they will definitely be too small for me. And it’s good to know that deodorant really is hard to find! I won’t feel so bad packing so many!
      I’ll miss cheese and chocolate. And steaks! :(

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