MINIMALIST PACKING: Jogasaki Coast, Japan


It always seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I would always overpack. Even if I didn’t bring that much stuff, there would still be so many items that I carried around that I never used once on the trip.


I remember a particularly traumatizing event at age 21. It was only my second trip abroad, but it was my first trip alone. I was off to study in Spain for 5 months. I was able to bring two suitcases, so I did. I also had hand luggage. Upon arriving at the airport, I discovered one of my suitcases was over 80 lbs. and that I would have to pay extra. As someone who weighed about 100 lbs. myself, I struggled moving all this stuff around.

My bag was so stuffed that I had to fit my jewelry in an outside pocket of one of my checked bags (I likely had been in a rush while packing). While I was waiting to get through immigration, someone stole the entire collection of jewelry. I don’t know why I thought I needed every piece of jewelry I owned, or decided to pack it there. As you can probably sense, I was clueless about packing and travel.

However, the worst of it was when I had to take a train (again by myself) from Madrid to Sevilla. I couldn’t push my stuff through the narrow aisles. I couldn’t lift it up overhead to the only storage space for bags. I really couldn’t do anything without desperately relying on kind strangers. By the time I arrived, my back was aching. Upon returning to the U.S., I noted that I hadn’t used a third of what I brought and had also ended up buying so much more while I was there.


I’m still learning everyday, but many trips later I have a much better idea of what I realistically need to pack.

This video shows how I pack a backpack for shorter travel trips (1-4 nights).

For this trip we went to the Jogasaki Coast on the Izu Peninsula of Japan. We stayed at Hanafubuki Ryokan which included 7 private onsens. We did portions of the cliff walk and also visited Mount Omuro. Mount Omuro is an inactive volcano. Most of the coast and cliffs are shaped from its lava.


Backpack: Everlane

Clean/Dirty Packing Cube: Eagle Creek

Quarter Packing Cube: Eagle Creek 

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