Japan has just dethroned Singapore as having the world’s most powerful passport. While the Japanese are sure to be making full use of it to travel, much spotlight has also been shed on the country as one of the top travel destinations.
One prefecture that particularly stood out is Kyoto, a place steep in tradition, tea and tranquillity. If you’re planning for a trip to Kyoto somewhere between December and February, you’re in for a nippy winter as the temperature drops as low as a chilling 9/1°C!
Other than the usual necessities, here are some tips and things that will prepare you for a pleasant winter trip in Kyoto.
Layers, layers, layers
We can’t stress this enough: clothing is key to surviving a winter in Kyoto. Keeping the cold at bay should always be a priority. Start off with a comfortable base, such as wool and thermal clothing, to regulate your body temperature. For the next layer, go with normal clothing such as a t-shirt or a sweater. Top it off with weatherproof coats and jackets.
While this formula is a surefire way to keep you warm, don’t forget to slip on your gloves, scarves, and other pieces of clothing which help cover any exposed parts.
Tip: Wear the bulky clothing on the way to your accommodation to avoid an inconveniently packed luggage.
These boots are made for walking!
Walking around in snow can lead to annoying accidents that literally leaves us with cold feet. Make sure your feet are warmed up for a day and kept that way with waterproof boots and socks. If you can’t get your hands on one, you can bring along water-resistant sprays that will keep even the smallest of molecules from entering your shoes.
Moisture in, dryness out!
Sunny but cold weather is one bad combination. It tricks you into thinking that it’s cold enough to keep the sun’s rays from damaging our skin. Little did we know that the snow actually bounces the light from the sun right into our skin! This makes it even more damaging and we need sun protection more than ever. Pack some moisturizer, lip balm, and sunblock and you should be good to go. A stylish pair of shades could definitely help too, if not for the purpose of stirring up some vacation vibes.
Totes for days!
Other things that you’ll need for tours during the day should be kept light and simple. Along with your valuables, you could store extra power banks for your phone and camera, pen and paper, cardholder, a bottle of water and medication. You wouldn’t want to be catching a cold when you’re touring the beautiful landscapes of Kyoto. It is also advisable to use a facemask to prevent inhaling any airborne viruses.
Oh, the places you’ll go!
While Kyoto is smaller compared to its neighbouring regions, it is rich in cultural heritage and exhilarating sights. Always have your maps, travel guides, translators at the ready. A precise itinerary plan helps you maximize your time. Buying a JR pass (Japan Rail Pass) is also very convenient as trains are an optimal way of travelling around Japan.
The cold is just as unforgiving as the heat. While these items will prepare you for the anticipated weather, the most essential part in any trip is a friend to share memorable experiences with. As Victor Hugo once said, “laughter is the sun that drives winter away from the human face.”