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How Many Thermals For A 7-Day Trip To Kyoto In Winter


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Juana Brock



Planning a trip to Kyoto in winter? You may be wondering how many thermals you need to pack to stay warm and comfortable during your 7-day adventure. Kyoto, with its stunning temples, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine, is a popular destination year-round. However, the winter months in Kyoto can be chilly, with temperatures dropping to single digits. To fully enjoy your trip and make the most of your time exploring this beautiful city, it’s crucial to come prepared and dress appropriately for the weather.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how many thermals you should pack for a 7-day trip to Kyoto in winter. We’ll explore the factors to consider when planning your trip, help you understand thermals and their importance in staying warm, provide tips on calculating the number of thermals needed, offer a packing list, and share useful tips for staying warm during your time in Kyoto. So, let’s dive in and ensure you have a cozy and enjoyable trip to Kyoto in winter!


Overview of Kyoto in Winter

Winter in Kyoto is a magical time. The city transforms into a winter wonderland, with beautiful landscapes covered in snow and a serene atmosphere that adds to its charm. While the weather in Kyoto during winter can be cold, it also offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors.


During the winter months, which typically span from December to February, Kyoto experiences average temperatures ranging from 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F). While it may not be as frigid as some other parts of Japan, it’s still essential to dress warmly and come prepared for the chilly weather.


One of the highlights of visiting Kyoto in winter is the stunning scenery. The city’s traditional Japanese gardens, such as the iconic Ryoanji Temple and the enchanting Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, are even more picturesque when covered in a dusting of snow. Additionally, the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine, with its thousands of vibrant red torii gates, takes on a mystical ambiance during the winter months.


Beyond the captivating landscapes, wintertime in Kyoto also brings with it unique cultural experiences. Many traditional Japanese festivals and events take place during this season, such as the Arashiyama Hanatoro, where the bamboo groves are illuminated by lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere. Visitors can also witness the Kamogawa Delta Fire Festival, a spectacular event featuring bonfires and fireworks along the Kamo River.


When it comes to exploring Kyoto in winter, it’s important to plan your itinerary accordingly. The shorter daylight hours mean that you’ll have to maximize your time during the daylight to visit outdoor attractions. It’s also advisable to check the weather forecast and be prepared for occasional rain or snowfall, as winter in Kyoto can be unpredictable.


While winter may not be the peak tourist season in Kyoto, it offers a quieter and more peaceful experience compared to the bustling crowds of spring and autumn. So, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of this ancient city and experience its captivating winter ambiance, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey to Kyoto in winter.


Understanding Thermals

When it comes to staying warm in Kyoto’s winter weather, thermals are an essential component of your wardrobe. But what exactly are thermals?


Thermals, also known as long underwear or base layers, are a type of insulating clothing that helps regulate your body temperature in cold conditions. They are typically made of lightweight, moisture-wicking materials that trap body heat and provide an extra layer of insulation. Thermals are designed to be worn close to the skin, underneath your regular clothing, to keep you warm without adding bulk.


There are two main types of thermals: tops and bottoms. Thermal tops are long-sleeved shirts that cover your arms, chest, and upper body, while thermal bottoms are long pants that cover your legs. Both the top and bottom thermals work together to create a barrier between your body and the cold air, helping to retain body heat.


Thermals come in a variety of materials, including natural fibers like merino wool and synthetic fabrics like polyester or polypropylene. Merino wool thermals are highly regarded for their excellent insulation, breathability, and odor-resistant properties. They are also known for their softness and ability to regulate body temperature effectively. Synthetic thermals, on the other hand, are often more affordable, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking. They are a popular choice for active outdoor activities.


When choosing thermals, it’s important to consider the weight or thickness of the fabric. Lighter weight thermals are suitable for milder winter days or as a base layer under other clothing, while heavier weight thermals provide more insulation and are ideal for extremely cold conditions.


Additionally, thermals also come in various styles, such as crew neck, v-neck, or zip-neck tops, allowing you to choose the neckline that suits your preference and layering needs.


Overall, thermals are an essential item to pack for a trip to Kyoto in winter. They provide a layer of insulation to keep you warm and comfortable, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor adventures without worrying about the cold temperatures. So, make sure to invest in good-quality thermals and add them to your winter packing list for Kyoto!


Factors to Consider for a 7-Day Trip to Kyoto in Winter

Planning a 7-day trip to Kyoto in winter requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

  1. Weather: Winter in Kyoto can be cold, with temperatures ranging from 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F). However, it’s important to note that weather conditions can vary, so be prepared for occasional rain or snowfall. Check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.
  2. Activities and Itinerary: Determine the activities you plan to engage in during your trip. Are you planning to explore outdoor attractions, visit temples and gardens, or indulge in cultural experiences? Knowing your itinerary will help you gauge how much time you’ll spend outside and what type of clothing you’ll need for each activity.
  3. Indoor vs. Outdoor: Consider the balance between indoor and outdoor activities. Kyoto has many indoor attractions, such as museums, art galleries, and historic sites, which provide shelter from the cold weather. Plan a mix of indoor and outdoor activities to stay warm while still exploring the city.
  4. Duration of Outdoor Exposure: Take into account the amount of time you’ll be spending outdoors. If you plan on spending extended periods outside, such as hiking or exploring nature trails, you’ll need more layers and thermals to keep you warm. On the other hand, if you’ll primarily be indoors with short outdoor excursions, you may require fewer thermals.
  5. Layering: Layering is key to staying warm in Kyoto’s winter weather. Rather than relying solely on thermals, consider how you can layer different types of clothing to adapt to changing temperatures. This allows for better temperature control throughout your trip.
  6. Accessibility to Laundry Facilities: If you have access to laundry facilities during your 7-day trip, you can pack fewer thermals and plan to do laundry midway through your stay. This allows you to reuse your thermal tops and bottoms, reducing the overall number of items you need to pack.
  7. Personal Cold Tolerance: Consider your personal tolerance to cold weather. Some individuals naturally feel colder than others, so take this into account when deciding how many thermals you may need. If you tend to get cold easily, it’s best to pack additional layers.

By considering these factors, you can better determine the number of thermals you’ll need for your 7-day trip to Kyoto in winter. It’s important to strike a balance between staying warm and packing efficiently to avoid overpacking. With proper planning, you’ll be well-prepared to embrace the winter wonderland of Kyoto without compromising your comfort.


How to Calculate the Number of Thermals Needed

Calculating the number of thermals you’ll need for a 7-day trip to Kyoto in winter depends on various factors such as the activities planned, duration of outdoor exposure, and personal preferences. Here’s a guide to help you determine the approximate number of thermals required:

  1. Assess your daily usage: Consider how many thermals you typically wear in a day during the winter season. This can serve as a starting point for estimating your needs.
  2. Think about activity level: Determine the level of activity and movement you anticipate during your trip. If you plan to be highly active, such as hiking or engaging in outdoor sports, you may need to pack more thermals to accommodate the increased perspiration.
  3. Consider layering: Instead of packing multiple thermals, think about layering your clothing. By combining thermals with regular clothes and outerwear, you can adjust your attire to the weather conditions. This allows for more versatility while reducing the number of thermals you need to pack.
  4. Plan for laundry: If you have access to laundry facilities during your trip, plan to do laundry midway through your 7-day stay. This will allow you to reuse your thermals, helping to reduce the number of items you need to pack.
  5. Factor in your cold tolerance: Understand your personal tolerance to cold weather. If you tend to get cold easily, it’s wise to pack a few extra thermals to ensure you stay comfortable throughout your trip.
  6. Check the weather forecast: Keep an eye on the weather forecast for Kyoto during your travel dates. If there are predictions of particularly cold days or snowfall, you may want to pack additional thermals to account for the lower temperatures.

Based on these considerations, it’s reasonable to pack around 2-3 sets of thermals for a 7-day trip to Kyoto in winter. This estimation allows for a combination of layering options and potential laundry opportunities. However, your individual needs and preferences may vary, so feel free to adjust the number of thermals accordingly.


Remember, the goal is to stay warm and comfortable, so plan accordingly and be prepared for the winter weather in Kyoto. With the right amount of thermals and layering, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without feeling the chill.


Packing List for a 7-Day Trip to Kyoto in Winter

When packing for a 7-day trip to Kyoto in winter, it’s essential to come prepared with the right clothing and accessories to stay warm and comfortable. Here’s a comprehensive packing list to ensure you have everything you need:

  • Thermals: Pack 2-3 sets of thermal tops and bottoms to layer under your clothes for added warmth.
  • Winter Coat: Bring a heavy, insulated coat or jacket to protect against the cold temperatures.
  • Layering Clothes: Pack long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and cardigans that can be layered with your thermals for extra warmth.
  • Pants and Jeans: Include a mix of warm pants and jeans to pair with your tops.
  • Scarves, Hats, and Gloves: Don’t forget to pack accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves to shield yourself from the wind and low temperatures.
  • Socks and Thermal Socks: Bring an ample supply of warm socks, including thermal socks for added insulation.
  • Comfortable Shoes: Choose sturdy, closed-toe shoes that provide insulation and traction for walking around Kyoto’s streets and attractions.
  • Waterproof Shoes or Boots: Consider packing waterproof shoes or boots, especially if there’s a chance of rain or snow during your trip.
  • Umbrella: Carry a compact, travel-sized umbrella to protect yourself from precipitation.
  • Backpack or Daybag: Have a small backpack or daybag to carry your essentials while exploring the city.
  • Electronics and Chargers: Don’t forget to pack your camera, phone, and their respective chargers to capture precious moments and stay connected.
  • Medications and First Aid Kit: Bring any necessary medications and a basic first aid kit for any unforeseen situations.
  • Travel Adapters: If you’re traveling from a country with different electrical outlets, ensure you have the appropriate travel adapters for your devices.
  • Toiletries: Pack travel-sized toiletries, including toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and any other personal care items you may need.
  • Snacks and Water Bottle: Carry some snacks and a refillable water bottle to stay nourished and hydrated throughout the day.
  • Guidebook or Maps: Include a guidebook or maps of Kyoto to navigate the city’s attractions and plan your itinerary.
  • Cash and Cards: Make sure to have sufficient cash and your credit/debit cards for purchases and emergencies.
  • Travel Documents: Carry your passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, and any other necessary travel documents.

Remember to pack according to your personal needs and the activities planned for your trip. Layering your clothing and utilizing thermals will help you adapt to the changing temperatures in Kyoto. With this comprehensive packing list, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your 7-day winter adventure in Kyoto!


Tips for Staying Warm in Kyoto in Winter

When visiting Kyoto in winter, staying warm is key to having a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some helpful tips to keep you cozy during your trip:

  1. Layer your clothing: Dress in layers to trap heat and easily adjust to changing temperatures. Start with thermals as a base layer, add sweaters or cardigans, and top it off with a winter coat or jacket.
  2. Wear thermal socks and good-quality shoes: Invest in thermal socks to keep your feet warm, and choose footwear that is comfortable, insulated, and provides good traction on cold surfaces.
  3. Protect your extremities: Don’t forget to cover your head, ears, hands, and neck with hats, scarves, gloves, and earmuffs to prevent heat loss from these delicate areas.
  4. Utilize hand and foot warmers: Consider bringing along disposable hand and foot warmers, easily available at most sporting or outdoor stores. These can provide instant warmth when you’re spending extended periods in cold outdoor environments.
  5. Choose the right fabrics: Opt for clothing made from natural materials like wool or fleece, as they provide excellent insulation. Avoid cotton as it can become cold and damp when exposed to sweat or moisture.
  6. Stay hydrated and nourished: Drinking enough water and eating well-balanced meals can help regulate your body temperature and keep you warm from the inside out.
  7. Take breaks indoors: Plan frequent stops at indoor attractions, cafes, or restaurants to warm up and rest. This will give you a chance to recharge and escape the chilly outdoor temperatures.
  8. Visit hot springs or public baths: Take advantage of Kyoto’s traditional hot springs or public baths, known as “onsen” or “sento,” to warm up and relax after a day of sightseeing.
  9. Plan activities during the warmer parts of the day: Make the most of the limited daylight hours by scheduling outdoor activities during the warmest parts of the day. This can help you maximize your comfort while exploring Kyoto.
  10. Keep an eye on weather forecasts: Stay informed about the weather conditions in Kyoto and adjust your plans accordingly. If a particularly cold or stormy day is forecasted, consider exploring indoor attractions or adjusting your itinerary.
  11. Take breaks at heated indoor facilities: Seek refuge in Kyoto’s heated indoor facilities, such as shopping malls, museums, or cafes. Enjoy a warm drink, browse local shops, or immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural offerings.
  12. Be prepared for rain or snow: Pack an umbrella or a waterproof jacket to shield yourself from rain or snowfall. This will help you stay dry and maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  13. Stay active: Engage in physical activities to generate body heat. Consider taking a leisurely walk, hiking, or participating in winter sports to stay warm while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Kyoto.
  14. Have a warm base in accommodations: Choose accommodations with adequate heating systems to ensure you have a warm place to return to after a day of exploration.

By following these tips, you can stay warm and cozy while exploring Kyoto in winter. Embrace the beauty of the city and its winter charm without letting the cold temperatures dampen your experience.



A trip to Kyoto in winter can be a truly magical experience, but it’s important to come prepared and stay warm in the chilly weather. By understanding thermals and considering the factors that affect your trip, such as activities, duration of outdoor exposure, and personal preferences, you can determine the number of thermals needed for your 7-day adventure.


Layering your clothing, investing in quality thermals, and packing the right accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves will help you stay cozy as you explore the stunning winter landscapes of Kyoto. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast, plan your itinerary wisely, and take advantage of indoor attractions and facilities to stay warm during your trip.


With a well-thought-out packing list that includes thermals, winter coats, sturdy shoes, and other essentials, you’ll be ready to embrace the winter wonderland of Kyoto. Stay hydrated, nourished, and keep an eye on the weather conditions to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.


Remember, while it may be chilly outside, Kyoto in winter offers a unique and enchanting experience. From the snow-covered temples and gardens to the captivating cultural events, your 7-day trip to Kyoto in winter is sure to be filled with unforgettable moments and incredible memories.


So, bundle up, embrace the cold, and immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of Kyoto during the winter season. With the right preparations, you can have a truly remarkable and warm experience in this captivating city.