When I went to Hokkaido in January, where it snows almost everyday in winter (average temperature in January is -12 to -4 degree Celsius), I decided to write a blog on how to pack for this crazy cold weather. For those you who don’t know, Hokkaido is Japan’s second largest island and is at the northernmost of Japan. Anywhere close to the North Pole is pretty cold in winter.
One of the most fundamental thing to consider about when packing for winter is LAYERING! You need to be able to take off your jacket indoors and still able to eat comfortably in a heat-filled restaurant without sweating your pants off.
2) Hoodies with Fleece
3) Down Jackets
I bought this Jacket in Taiwan a few years ago for around AUD$70. Had no idea what level of insulation or the type of feather filling it has. I just put it over my hoodie and never zip it up! Otherwise you risk of looking too puffy in photos! Always pull the hoodie’s hood out and place it together with the jacket’s hood. Or else you will look like you the Hunchback of Notre Dame if you left the hood inside the jacket. Surround your neck with a scarf. Then you will look presentable and casual.
4) Wind and waterproof Jacket
5) Waterproof and windproof trousers
Ps. The stockings doesn’t have to be those thick ones. A normal black stocking will do the trick. They are also quite versatile, you will be able to wear a dress or skirt with them.
6) Beanie + Gloves + Scarf
Gloves are very useful in keeping your hands warm. I like gloves that doesn’t cover your finger tips, so you will still have full access to your phones and cameras. I have seen so many people with full cover gloves needing to take one off so they can take photos. I do bring a pair of full cover gloves with me just in case, however I never used them.
My half cover gloves are from New Zealand souvenir stores, they are a mixture of possum and Marino. The most amazing gloves ever. I have probably been through 5 pairs of these since I started using these gloves. I always keep one in my handbag, even when I was studying in NZ, my friends and I would wear the same type of gloves since they are particularly useful for cold, early lectures.
7) A very good pair of snow boot
The full name of these boots were North Face Women’s Nuptse Knee High Boot which retailed about USD$169.95. The price of the outlet in Japanese Yen wasn’t that much different. At the time of purchase, white was the only colour, I really wanted a black one. I have been searching everywhere online but couldn’t find one since they have been discontinued since. I had a hard time searching for a black replacement because North Face doesn’t sell their snow boots in Oceania countries.
When I posted up my photos in snow, my friends were mocking me. They said my boots were blending into the snow and I looked like I was floating mid air, this girl even thought I broke my leg and had a plaster cast on!! Last month I finally found another North Face black snow boot online, it was on E-bay so they do send it to Australia. They are a lot heavier than the white one I had, I will be testing them out in February 2015 when I go to Tokyo (might not even need it).
Winter Vacation Pack List
- Two pairs of jeans
- Two hoodies with fleece
- Two thermals
- Two pairs of stockings
- One good wind/waterproof jacket
- One good wind/waterproof trouser
- Scarf, hat/ beanies, gloves
UPDATE: We are ENGAGED!!!
The room he booked for this special occasion was a penthouse suite at Kozantei Ubuya Ryokan. It was so expensive, I don’t think we will ever stay here again, however the view was so worth it! It was truly an unforgettable experience. For those who are interested, please read more at The Proposal in front of Mt Fuji @ Lake Kawaguski!