Food Packing Guide (Japan)

So you’ve got all the gear you need and you’re ready to start hiking. But what should you bring to eat? Lucky for you, dear reader, you’re in Japan! Japan; the land of kawaii, the land of convenience, the land of really-small-serving-sizes-and-individually-wrapped-items-that-are-usually-frustrating-but-are-actually-perfect-when-it-comes-to-hiking!

Below are some tips along with and example packing lists for day, overnight and multi-day hikes.

Quick Tips

  1. A hiking diet is different to a normal diet: Carbs and high-energy foods and foods with more fat will maintain your energy while hiking.
  2. Bring the food you enjoy. Now is not the time to force yourself onto rice and water.
  3. Bring only what you need. Have a 1kg bag of cashew nuts? Repackage it into smaller zip-lock bags. Avoid cans and heavy items. You have to carry it all out.
  4. Buddy up: Split meals between a group or parner. You don’t all need a bag of coffee.
  5. Label and organise your food. SLunch food together, dinner together, seperated by day.
  6. Double bag and k

    eep liquids seperate. Consider double bagging liquids (extra water, soap) and keep them seperate from your food.

See more information here, here and here.

Sample food packing list

The specifics of what you bring will depend on your tastes and preferences but here is a good example of what to bring including where you can get it in Japan.

Day Hike
Breakfast Depending on the time you start you may eat breakfast before you start your hike on the first day.

  • Option 1: Cereal and milk (no-cooking required) or Oats/museli (just add water and heat)
  • Option 2: Pancakes – pancake mix, water, topping (maple syrup/honey/jam/frozen blueberries) – requires a cooker and cleaning (and time)
Morning/Afternoon Tea
You can pick up a lot of these items at the conbini pre-trip

  • Option 1: For shorter trips – fresh fruit, yogurt, your favourite onigiri (or sandwiches or sushi)
  • Option 2: For longer hikes – trail mix (mixed nuts, dried fruit, gummy candy) made before hand or bought at the conbini, 2 x chocolate -or- museli bars

CalorieMate might not be everyone’s favourite thing, but it makes a great “back-up” snack if you get desperate. Trail mix is good for any hike.

Lunch Everything tastes better whe you’re hiking, but you’ll want something that you enjoy and fills you up.

  • Option 1 – Ritz crackers (Supermarket) with Cheese / Salami -or- Tuna -or- topping (Peanutbutter, hommus, jam, Vegemite)
  • Option 2 – Tortilla wraps (Kaldi), salad, tomato, cheese, salami -or-tuna (shorter trips)
Overnight Hike – “Day Hike” food (above) for each day of hiking PLUS…
Dinner Example: Stirfry veggies/pasta (Any Supermarket)

  • Carbs: 250g pack of pasta or noodles (serves 2)
  • Protein: Processed meat (salami, sausage) -or- nuts (cashews)
  • 100g pack of sauce (nasu sauce, sweet and sour)
  • Dried garlic, salt and pepper
  • Fresh veggies (or dried mushrooms, lentils, beans)

For some other delicious options please see here.

Drinks – Don’t forget some small bags of coffee, tea, sugar, hot chocolate or malt powder (Milo)

KITCHEN KIT – Knife, bowl, fryy pan/pot, chopsticks or fork/spoon, lighter or matches, cleaning cloth, diswashing soap, hand sanitizer

GAS COOKER- If you want a hot meal (and you will) you might need to invest in a decent lightweight gas cooker (purchased from SportsStores for under 5000yen).

For Multi-night Hikes – Take all of the food above multiplied by EACH day you’re on the trip. If you use this formula you’ll have an extra night of “emergency” food which can be kept in  you get lost, come home late, or burn your food. This is particularly important on longer or more isolated hikes.

More Useful Links

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