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Winter in Japan: what to wear

 Turning this blog into my personal wardrobe oracle.


When we first moved here, it was August - summer. So we basically just carried over 30% of our whole wardrobe from Malaysia; discarding only the worn out garments for the kids and the outdated ones in our wardrobe (for me, at least - cos husband seems to only own less than half what I own and he said he didn't need to throw away anything, cos then he'd be clothes-less)

Then when autumn came in mid September, we were scrambling to get heat techs from Uniqlo - we totally forgot we are now a family of 5 and there are little humans who might not tolerate cold temps as well as we do. And when they don't tolerate, they scream. 

Uniqlo heat techs to the rescue.

Then November came, and suddenly we needed more garments. I mean we do plan ahead for this, since Japan has 4 seasons - but somehow I felt like we were unprepared for the complicity of it. Especially when the elementary schools and kindergartens in Japan have some rules on the clothes the kids can wear - they're not allowed to wear hoodies, jackets with zippers (for physical exercises) etc. So that already limits our buying choices.

For this year, I'd like to be prepared. So I thought I'd capture it all in this post (hopefully) and I can refer back to this post when winter is here.

I'm going to segmentize this post into months - November until January (since it's January now). Hope you will find this beneficial too!

November (early winter)

Tokyo temperature: 18 degree Celsius (average)

It's the transition from autumn to winter! Kids are so excited at this point cos they said "snow is coming" which isn't exactly true in our case, haha (they haven't seen snow till now). You can see pretty foliage, at certain areas in Tokyo at least. The colours are changing fast too - we went to Meiji Jingu Avenue early November and seen the leaves yellowing with 30/70 ratio, but towards the end of November, it was already fully yellow! The mix of orange, yellow, red and green hues - ahhh what is prettier than this😘 

What to wear - get thicker jackets at this point. Preferably puffy jackets so that you can wear throughout November to January. Thicker indoor pyjamas are good too. We got most of our indoor pajamas from Nishimatsuya, a discount store carrying mostly kids' clothes at a discounted price. Definitely cheaper than Amazon too!


My winter jackets collection - cozy knit up hoodie from Skims, light down puffer jacket from Uniqlo and jeans jacket from Lee. All are thick enough for me to brave through winter. I super love the cozy knit up hoodie, btw. So comfy I love wearing it to sleep😂

December (mid winter)

Tokyo temperature: 10 degree Celsius (average)

It's a full-fledged winter at this point. However, if you expect to see snow in Tokyo you will be disappointed. There's drastic temperature difference between night and day too. Sunset is around 430 pm, so it's a good time to fast - I did my ganti puasa for a few days during this time.

What to wear - same as November, but add thicker heat techs at this point. We got the boys heat techs from Uniqlo and some from Ito Yokado kids' section. Uniqlo has different thickness levels of heat techs, we got the lowest thickness for autumn, and mid one for winter. The thickest heat tech from Uniqlo cost 1,500 yen each!

January (winter)

Tokyo temperature: 6 degree Celsius (average)

The sun rise very late, I think around 7 am while sunset is around 450 pm. January is also the coldest temperature in Japan, which daikan, the last third of January is known as the high season for flu. 

What to wear - warm winter coat, same as December with scarfs around neck to protect body from cold winds and beanies. I see this fluffy bucket hat everywhere - it's so cute I'm soo tempted to get one!

So there, must-have winter essentials in Japan up until January. Will find some time to update in February too, once February is here. If you're planning to come to Japan in winter, I hope you find this helpful💛


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