Business Trip

A Packing Checklist for Business Trip to Japan: What carry-on?

Time to go to business trip! I always like the feeling when I have a flight to somewhere for my business trip, especially abroad. Before that, however, you have to pack your suitcase what you really need, instead of filled your suitcase with useless stuffs like comics.

When it comes to business trip to Japan, however, “what you need” is totally different in your own cultures (I don’t know where you are from though).

In this article, I will give you tips what you need to pack in your suitcase for your business trip to Japan.

What is served in hotel?

Before listing the stuffs what you need, I briefly explain what is already prepared in Japanese hotel. Usually, in Japanese hotels, toothbrush, shaver, shampoo, or even pajamas are freely served. In the internet, you can of course check the stuffs what you can get from hotel so that you can pack your stuffs more efficiently.

What you can buy in Japan?

Unlike in Europe, in Japan there are always convenience-store where you can buy something you need 24 hours/ 365 days. That includes, pants, shirt, cosmetic, sox, phone charger. These are not so expensive, and convenience store is reachable all over Japan, thus you don’t need to bring too much stuffs to Japan what you really don’t need.

What should you carry on?

Here, I will list 5 important stuffs that you shouldn’t forget for your business trip to Japan.

Business Card & Business Card Holder

Business card represents your status, and regarded as your double in the business situation. Thus, when you forget your business card or business card holder to receive cards, you easily lose trust.

When you finish your meeting with your clients, the card should be kept in the business card holder like a treasure, don’t lose it.

Conversion Plug

Japanese plug-type is different from in Europe or other countries, thus conversion plug is needed to charge your laptop or phone. You can also get it in the airport, but more reasonable in the electronic store in your home country.

Small souvenir for clients

For the first meeting, I don’t recommend you bring a souvenir because it seems something hollow. In case you already met with your clients, and you visit him/her again, then it makes sense to bring a small souvenir once a year to show your appreciation (it is not Must though).

Important thing is that the souvenir should not target only one or two people in the office, but you should expect that the souvenir will be shared in his/her office later. So usually I buy small chocolate-box that you can buy in the airport. If you have really close relationship with your clients, wine made in your home country would be appreciated as well.

Notebook with pen/ pensile

When talking with your Japanese business-partner or clients, taking a memo while discussing would really give a good impression to them. “To take a note during conversation” shows your intensity to listen what he/she is talking.

It would be better to ask your clients if you can take a note before doing so, “メモをとらせていただいても、いいでしょうか?May I take a note what we are discussing?”. You can also type it with your laptop, but notebook is preferred in the Japanese society.

Nice tie

Japanese business style is not casual, sometimes very serious and formal style is preferred to have a meeting. Nice tie means at least 50$, and not so vivid.

In the summer, however, some company prefers “summer style” since the temperature in Japanese summer is terrible. In this case, if only you wear tie, it would be regarded as unpolite guijin. Important thing is “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” policy.

M.Sc. in Human Resource Management, Project Manager based in Germany