Packing is an art in itself, or maybe a game like tetris. After LeClair-sensei’s presentation of her recommendations for essentials I started devising my packing list. I decided I wanted to be able to fit everything I was taking to Japan in just a carry-on, and place that carry-on inside my suitcase for the flight to Japan. This is so that on my way returning, I would have an entire suitcase free to pack souvenirs, and I wouldn’t have to worry about cramming items in. Also, I wouldn’t have to worry about holding my carry-on on the shuttle to the hostel. Since we are only there for 10-11 days, it was quite easy to do so. I checked the weather forecast for the week to see what it would be like Kyoto, and packed accordingly. Aside from the regular items one would expect to be packed, I included an outfit for the presentation and several comfy pants to seiza in. I tried sitting in seiza and that; that hurt.  I also included my course material, although I’m still deciding on which one to take onto the plane.

I also had to pack a smaller backpack for our day to day travels. I was originally going to take a bigger backpack, but in keeping with the LeClair-sensei’s recommendations, I went with a smaller one so that it would be easier to manevour and would not get in anyone’s way. I was able to fit all the following items into my smaller backpack:


  • Hand Sanitizer (and spare refills)
  • Gum (There’s more where that came from, bulk packs of gum are insanely cheap on Amazon)
  • Spare Battery for Drawing Pen (I really enjoy doing digital sketches, and my pen uses AAAA batteries, which are hard to find in a pinch)
  • 2 Cameras (I also enjoy taking photographs as a hobby, so I’m bringing both my polaroid and DSLR)
  • A Tiny Umbrella
  • 2 Battery Packs! (I already own alot of these. Not only to keep my phone charged but if anyone else in the trip needed charging on the go)
  • Earplugs for the plane
  • Coin Purse (As LeClair-sensei’s recommended for loose change)
  • Vogmask (Since we’ll be travelling as a group I thought you should know I have a autosomal recessive genetic disorder that has caused my lungs to be deformed. You’ll notice at times I’ll cough alot, even though I’m not actually “sick”, or contagious. Either way it would be impolite to be coughing on everyone, especially considering Japan’s culture concerning illness. Aswell as I’ve read Japan is more lax in their smoking restrictions, so a filter would be nice. I already happen to own alot of these masks but I’m actually looking forward to buying some nice ones in Japan)

Not Pictured, But Included:

  • A notecard with our address and contact information
  • Travel Documents
  • Daily Schedule
  • Drawing Tablet for on the go sketches
  • Water Bottle
  • Spare Socks
  • Laptop and accessories

What I still need to add:

  • A map
  • Drying Cloth
  • A book to read on the plane


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