Top 11 Things To Pack For Your Japan Ski Trip

21 Things To Pack For Your Japan Ski Trip

A ski vacation in Japan is a dream come true.

The country is a unique blend of rich culture, delicious food, and world-class ski resorts. Revel in the world’s powder playground and fall in love with the stunning landscapes and charming culture.

However, packing for a ski or snowboard trip to Japan can be tricky. Airline weight restrictions limit how much you can bring, and the cold weather requires specific gear.

So, what things should you pack for your Japan ski trip?

This article will provide a comprehensive packing list for your snowy adventure.

Take only what you need and leave the extra weight behind.

Pack For Your Japan Ski Trip

Events Hakuba 21 Things To Pack For Your Japan Ski Trip 1

Things To Pack For Your Japan Ski Trip

Here is our list of things to pack for your Japan ski trip.

1 – Thermal Base Layers (Tops and Bottoms)

Thermal base layers are essential for keeping warm in the snowy mountains. Choose moisture-wicking fabrics to stay dry and cozy throughout the day. Japan doesn’t go much below -10, even in Hokkaido. Merino wool mid-weight base layers are a good choice.

2 – Ski Socks

Invest in high-quality thermal ski socks. They provide extra cushioning and warmth and are designed to fit perfectly in your ski or snowboard boots. Cold feet are a recipe for disaster on the hill, and a good pair of ski socks can make all the difference.

3 – Ski Jacket

A good ski jacket is non-negotiable. Look for one that is waterproof, windproof, and insulated for maximum protection against the elements. Gore-Tex is waterproof and breathable. Make sure the coat has a powder skirt to keep out all that snow, and a pass pocket is not a bad idea, either.

4 – Ski Pants

Ski pants should be waterproof and breathable. Good ski pants will have gaiters and zippered vents. Gaiters keep cold snow out of your boots, and zippered vents prevent you from overheating.

5 – Ski Gloves

Keep your hands warm and dry with insulated, waterproof ski gloves. I prefer a Gore-Tex shell with inner glove liners.

6 – Neck Warmer/Balaclava

A neck warmer or balaclava protects your face and neck from the cold wind and snow. They are also great for protecting your face from the sun.

7 – Goggles

Good visibility is crucial when skiing. Invest in high-quality ski goggles with antifog technology and UV protection. Japan is quite damp, so antifog and good ventilation are essential.

8 – Ski Helmet

Safety first! A certified ski helmet must protect your head from potential impacts and keep you warm.

9 – Sunscreen

The sun’s rays are more intense at higher altitudes and can reflect off the snow, causing sunburn. Pack a high-SPF sunscreen to protect your skin.

10 – Lip Balm

Dry, cold air can wreak havoc on your lips. Bring a moisturizing lip balm with SPF to keep your lips hydrated and protected.

11 – Hand/Foot Warmers

Hand and foot warmers are perfect for those extra chilly days. Slip them into your gloves or boots for additional warmth.

12 – Waterproof Snow Boots

You’ll need waterproof snow boots for walking around the resort and après-ski activities. Ensure they are insulated and have good traction.

13 – Down Jacket for Après-Ski

A lightweight, packable down jacket is essential for keeping warm off the slopes. It’s perfect for the après-ski scene.

14 – Warm Hat

A warm hat will keep your head and ears toasty when you’re not wearing your ski helmet. Wool or fleece options are best.

15 – Power Adapter

Japan uses Type A and Type B power outlets. Bring a power adapter to charge your devices without any hassle.

16 – Ski Pass Holder

A ski pass holder keeps your lift pass secure and easily accessible. Look for one that’s waterproof and can be attached to your jacket.

17 – Ski/Snowboard Bag with Wheels

Transport your winter gear easily with a ski or snowboard bag with wheels. It’s a lifesaver when navigating airports and resorts.

18 – Action Camera (Insta360)

Capture your skiing adventures with an action camera like the Insta360. It’s compact, durable, and perfect for recording your runs.

19 – International Driving Permit (If Renting a Car)

If you plan on renting a car in Japan, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). It’s a legal requirement and will make your travel smoother.

20 – Ski Watch

A ski watch with GPS can track your routes, measure altitude, and provide other valuable data, helping you navigate and maximize your skiing experience.

21 – Power Adaptor

A power adaptor that is compatible with the Type A and Type B outlets in Japan. This will allow you to charge your electronic devices without any issues easily. Packing an extra adaptor is also a good idea, just in case one gets lost or stops working.

Japan Ski Trip Planning Tips

  • Book Early: Ski resorts in Japan can get very busy, especially during peak season. Book your accommodation, ski passes, and rentals well in advance.
  • Learn Basic Japanese: While many resort staff speak English, learning basic Japanese phrases can be helpful and appreciated.
  • Respect the Culture: Japan is known for its respectful and polite culture. Be mindful of local customs and etiquette, especially in public places and hot springs (onsen).
  • Check Weather Conditions: Watch the weather forecast to prepare for extreme conditions and ensure a safe skiing experience.
  • Explore Local Cuisine: Don’t miss out on trying local Japanese cuisine. From ramen to sushi, there’s a wide variety of delicious food to enjoy.

What Gear Can I Rent?

No worries if you don’t want to bring all your ski gear! Most Japanese ski resorts offer rental equipment:

  • Skis and Snowboards: High-quality skis and snowboards are available for rent, catering to beginners and advanced skiers.
  • Ski Boots and Snowboard Boots: Comfortable and supportive boots that fit your size can be rented to ensure a good experience on the slopes.
  • Poles: Essential for skiing, poles are available in various sizes to match your height and skiing style.
  • Helmets: Helmets are crucial for safety and are readily available in different sizes.
  • Outerwear: Jackets and pants designed for skiing and snowboarding can be rented if you prefer not to bring your own.
  • Gloves: Protect your hands with rental gloves suited for cold weather.
  • Safety Gear: Additional safety gear, such as knee and elbow pads, can often be rented for extra protection.
  • Backcountry Gear: For more adventurous skiers, some resorts offer rental gear for backcountry skiing and snowboarding.

Tips for Renting Gear

  • Research rental options beforehand to compare prices and equipment availability. Some resorts may also offer online booking.
  • Ensure you get the right size and fit for your gear, especially for ski boots. Ill-fitting gear can make your skiing experience uncomfortable and even dangerous.
  • Ask about package deals or discounts for multiple rentals, such as a ski and snowboard package or a week-long rental.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in adjusting your gear. The staff are trained to help you find the best fit and ensure your safety on the slopes.
  • Consider renting for the entire trip instead of just one day, as it can be more cost-effective.


Packing for a ski trip to Japan may seem daunting, but with this list, you’ll be fully prepared for an incredible adventure. From essential ski gear to thoughtful extras, each item will help ensure a comfortable and enjoyable time on and off the slopes.


What type of clothing should I pack for après-ski activities?

Pack warm, casual clothing such as a down jacket, thermal layers, and waterproof snow boots. Don’t forget a warm hat and gloves for outdoor activities.

Is it necessary to bring my own ski equipment?

While you can rent ski equipment at most resorts, bringing your own gear ensures it fits perfectly and meets your personal preferences.

How can I transport my skiing equipment easily?

Using a ski/snowboard bag with wheels makes transportation much easier, especially when navigating airports and resorts.

What should I know about skiing etiquette in Japan?

Always follow the rules and guidelines of the resort. Be respectful to other skiers, and familiarize yourself with the local skiing culture and etiquette. Following this guide and packing the right essentials, you can enjoy a memorable ski trip in Japan. Safe travels, and happy skiing!

How can I ship my gear in Japan?

Shipping luggage in Japan is easier than lugging gear through train stations. Some resorts offer delivery services directly from the airport or use a luggage forwarding service like Yamato Transport.

Leave a Reply

Sign-Up For Exclusive Updates About Hakuba

You may unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy