Clothes to Bring
Clothes you to bring if you are just arriving in Shizuoka:
- Basic work clothes: suit (for special occasions), dress pants, short sleeve shirts, one long sleeve dress shirt (for special occasions)
- Casual clothes: t-shirts, leggings, shorts
When arriving to Shizuoka in August, it will be very hot. In fact, August will bring the highest temperatures of the year, as well as the highest humidity levels, which means non-stop sweating at any time of the day.
You won’t need anything long-sleeved until at least late September, so you can ship those things by sea if you have too many clothes to bring in your allotted plane baggage, which will likely be cheaper than the extra baggage/overweight baggage fees at the airport. (If you are planning to tackle the Mt. Fuji climb [which is only open to climbers in August], then you will need warmer clothing since it has winter temperatures even in summer)
Here are clothes you need for life in Shizuoka:
- Spring: Long pants, long-sleeve tops, solid shoes, and something for lighter rains
- Summer: Short sleeve tops and shorts, sandals. However, the rainy season is the first half of summer (Japanese people refer to it as their fifth season), so more durable rain gear is recommended (especially if you will be biking anywhere since using an umbrella while doing so is illegal in Japan). Due to the humidity here, you should keep in mind that you will be sweating a lot, so breathable materials are also recommended.
- Fall: Directly after summer is typhoon season, so you may or may not need that heavier rain gear again (one may slam into us, one may skirt around us; no one really knows). Beyond that, whatever you plan to use for spring will be equally appropriate here.
- Winter: On some days you’ll need a hat and thin gloves, a winter jacket (doesn’t need to be full-on snow jacket, but thick enough to block chilly wind). Unless you plan to go skiing, you do not need snow pants or snow boots as there is very little, if any, snow in Shizuoka. In addition, winter also rarely sees rain either, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about are temperatures close to, but seldom below, the freezing point.
In general it is important to remember that sizes are typically smaller here, but that isn’t to say they don’t have large sized clothing. Buying clothes (for men) does not seem to be a problem in Shizuoka. Women with a larger bust may have issues finding well fitting garments. That being said, there are many stores which stock larger sizes, especially in the bigger cities like Shizuoka and Hamamatsu. Shoe size can be a problem for those with 10+ US size, as shoes here typically are not available larger than this. Most shoe stores carry up to size 27cm, which is about 9.5 US. A few shoes are available up to size 28cm, which is 10, but to get any larger you need to do some serious hunting. Many stores allow you to order shoes, if you see something you like you can ask for them to order that particular shoe.
You shouldn’t have an issue finding something here that you could find back home (again, especially in the larger cities). Japanese clothing is generally of great quality at prices comparable to back home (though keep in mind some brands are imported and as such bear higher prices). Summer dress shirts, especially, are much better here, given the humid and warm summers. The shirts are typically very thin, light, often are sweat-stain proof, and are designed to help keep you cool.
Do you have any other questions about clothing? Or do you have some tips you’d like to share? Please let us know!