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What to wear in Tokyo in Winter

What to wear in Tokyo in Winter

Do you want to know what to wear in Tokyo in Winter? Then you have come to the right place. This guide tells you what to pack for Tokyo in winter whether you are visiting in December, January and February with guidance on weather, dress codes, special events and more.

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Weather in Tokyo in Winter

Tokyo is a city that experiences all four seasons. So what can you expect from the Winter weather in Tokyo?

How cold is Tokyo in Winter?

View of Akashi Castle Park in the Snow in Tokyo in Winter
What to pack for Tokyo in Winter

Winter in Tokyo is classified as December, January and February. And the typically highs and and lows are between 12°C/f3F – 2°C/35F. December tends to be marginally warmer than the other winter months, however the weather in Tokyo in Winter is largely consistent.

How rainy is Tokyo in Winter?

The thing that surprised me about Tokyo winter weather is it isn’t actually Tokyo’s rainy season. That comes in the summer as the monsoons roll in.

On average you only get 4 days on rain in Tokyo in Winter, which means waterproof wear shouldn’t be your primary concern for your Winter packing list.

Does it snow in Tokyo in Winter ?

The answer is , it depends! Typically speaking you only get 2 -3 days of snow in Tokyo in any given year. However some years you won’t see any.

If you want to see snow in Japan in Winter then you are better heading to the northern island of Hokkaido.

Note: we always recommend checking the forecast at your destination(s) 7 days out from travel to make sure there are no expected weather fronts i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps.

How do local people dress in Tokyo?

View of Tokyo Station people at Christmas
What to wear in Tokyo in December

You will find locals in Tokyo know how to rock a Winter Capsule Wardrobe. As you can get snow and cold weather in Tokyo you will find locals wearing a lot of layers and thick winter coats. Also as Tokyo is the business capital of Japan, you will find a lot of smart workwear on the streets in Tokyo. As such you will find a lot of black and darker colours in locals outfits.

For more info on what to wear in different cities check out our other guides:

What to Wear in Tokyo in Winter

When looking at what to pack for Tokyo in Winter, layers are going to be your best friend. However we recommend trying to pack minimally for Japan even in Winter as the accommodations tend to be small and you won’t want it taken over by large luggage.

For tips on how to pack light in Winter check out our guides on the 54321 packing method, 4 x 4 method and the sudoku packing method here.

What to Wear in Tokyo for Women

Back of woman in winter clothes in Tokyo in Winter
What to wear in Tokyo in Winter

Winter Coat / Jacket

A winter coat / winter jacket is absolutely my number one pick for Tokyo in Winter. We recommend packing something that is warm and has some wind resistance.

Click here to shop coats for Japan.

For more information on how to pack Winter Coats for travel check out this post

Hat, Scarf and Gloves

Winter accessories are a must for Tokyo in Winter. I like to have a matching set to go with my coat to make my vacation pictures pop! Just be sure to get gloves that are touch screen compatible so as you are likely to be taking lots of photographs.

Click here to shop winter accessories


Personally I find trousers most comfortable for sightseeing in Tokyo as they are warmer. Jeans are a great pick for museums and parks in Tokyo in winter but you may also want to pack a smarter pair of trousers for nights.

Skirts and Dresses

Although I prefer trousers for sightseeing, I like to pack a dress or skirt for going out in Tokyo ta night. Just remember thick tights to Pair with them.

Click here to shop dresses for Winter.

T Shirts

T Shirts are a great base for Tokyo in Winter. I like to pack a mix of short and long sleeves.

Click here to shop t shirts.


Layers are essential for Tokyo in Winter. I like to use the sudoku packing method so tend to pack three top layers. Usually for me this is a hoodie, a sweater and cardigan.

Shop layers for Tokyo here.


For those traveling to Tokyo in Winter we recommend packing thicker, flannel pjs.

Click here to shop merino wool thermals.

Swimwear (optional)

You may find it hard to think about swimwear on a winter vacation in Japan however if you plan to use spas or onsens then you may want swimwear with you. However depending on the onsen you plan on visiting you may be required to go nude.

Underwear and Socks

Goes without saying. The best socks for Tokyo have to be either hiking socks or merino wool socks that are insulating.

Shop merino wool socks here.

Also if you plan on packing any dresses we recommend having thick tights or fleece lined leggings to go underneath them.

What to pack for Tokyo in Winter for Men

The packing list for men is quite similar as the ladies packing list for Tokyo in Winter and we recommend packing:

Thick Coat

A practical warm coat with some insulation as well as being water proof and wind resistant is a good idea for Tokyo in Winter.

T Shirts and Shirts

Long sleeve t shirts are an essential in Winter, as well as a button down shirt for fancier restaurants.


We recommend packing a mix of jeans and smarter trousers for nights in Tokyo.

Shop men’s travel chinos here.


A hoodie, fleece and sweater alongside your coat / jacket are the perfect layers for Japan.

Underwear, Socks and Pjs

Including thicker socks.

Best Shoes for Tokyo in Winter


Boots are my favorite shoe for Japan in Winter. For Tokyo I recommend going for an ankle boot that has a good non slip sole and either a thick or no heel.

Unless you are in Japan during a snowstorm it is unlikely that you will need snow boots for Tokyo, but a good sole is an essential.

Click here to shop ankle boots.

For tips on how to pack boots in a suitcase check out this post.


For drier days, sneakers are great for walking around the streets of Tokyo. At this time of year we think a leather sneaker is a good choice. Our current favorite brand is Ecco especially the  Soft Seven version. 

What to pack for Tokyo in Winter (Non Clothing)

  • Universal Travel adaptor – Japan uses two types of plug a and b. Therefore you will absolutely need a universal travel adaptor.
  • Crossbody Bag  – I always travel with this type of bag as it is a great pickpocket deterrent anywhere in the world.
  • Backpack – for storing items on your day trips.
  • Power Pack / battery packs
  • Sun screen – necessary even in Winter.
  • Lipbalm  – absolutely an essential to protect your lips from cracking in the cold.
  • Moisturiser – needed to protect your skin from drying out in the cold weather.
  • Camera
  • Travel First Aid Kit
  • Blister plasters
  • Toiletries – for our essential toiletries packing list click here. These could be purchased in the big cities easily, however it can be easier when not familiar with language to have them packed with you.

FAQs About Tokyo in Winter Packing List

Woman in front of temple in Tokyo in DEcember
What to wear in Japan in December / What to wear in Tokyo in December

What do you wear to Tokyo at Christmas?

There are no special dress codes in Tokyo at Christmas. it is most important that you dress for the weather. However if you are going to a special Christmas dinner you may want a smart casual outfit that is also warm such as sweater dresses and thick tights with thermals.

Do you need snow boots in Tokyo?

No it is unlikely you will need full on snow boots in Tokyo. However if you are heading further North you may want to add them to your packing list.

Otherwise we just recommend packing boots with a good sole that can cope if there is light snowfall or ice.

Can you wear jeans in Tokyo in Winter?

You can wear absolutely wear jeans in Tokyo in Winter. And if there is a cold snap you may want to consider packing a fleece lined pair.

Have you been to Tokyo in winter? What did you wear? We would love you to tell us in the comments below!