Enjoy Winter in Comfort! Types of Japanese Winter Wear Plus Great Value Picks from Uniqlo
Japan's climate is varied but it does see snowfall in some areas, which you can enjoy in a number of ways, like by relaxing over warm food and drinks, winter sports, or admiring beautifully sparkling snow-covered landscapes. But when visiting Japan in the winter, it’s important to stay bundled up and warm. In this article, we'll introduce some high-quality and affordable winter wear from Uniqlo, a Japanese brand beloved around the world, to keep you and your loved ones warm and cozy during your next trip to Japan!
Jan 29 2020 (Sep 09 2020)
Types of Winter Clothes You Can Buy in Japan
If you visit Japan during winter, you might be surprised at the range of winter clothes and goods available to you. There are a lot of options on the market, including accessories like gloves and scarves or handy Japanese inventions like pocket warmers called "kairo". Choosing the right outerwear really is key to achieving the best protection against the cold, but with so many types, designs, and colors to choose from, it can all be a bit overwhelming. That’s why, to help you shop, we’ll be introducing the three main types of winter outerwear that are most popular in Japan!
Down outerwear typically comes in the form of coats and jackets, but between those two types there are still a lot of designs and colors to choose from.
Down typically uses feathers, ideally the light and soft feathers found on the breasts of waterfowl rather than feathers from land birds like chickens. Goose feathers are most commonly used to make down garments thanks to their light weight and excellent thermal retention. Wearing a goose down coat or jacket allows you to enjoy the snow while keeping the cold at bay.
"Boa" fleece is a material that resembles animal fur. With its fluffy, soft texture, you just can’t keep your hands off it. Winter clothes made with boa fleece have a cute quality to them that brings to mind such cuddly creatures as sheep or poodles, making this outerwear particularly popular among people looking to soften up their look. Another great thing about this fabric is that while it looks big, it’s actually very light while being great at retaining heat thanks to its sturdy weave.
You'll find a wide range of clothes made with boa fleece including coats, jackets, and vests. It’s also used in the lining of other types of coats and jackets, on children's clothing, and on accessories like bags and scarves.
By the way, you may be wondering about the origin of the name “boa,” right? Well, it originally came from the Latin word for “snake” or "serpent," and used to describe a type of long fur scarf often worn around the neck by fashionable women from South America. The theory goes that their color and length reminded people of boa snakes, and that’s how we got the name.
The appeal of knitwear that made it beloved around the world has to be its stretchability and comfort. Knit fabrics can be used for all types of winter wear goods, from coats and sweaters (both long and short sleeve) to innerwear, scarves, hats, and more.
Thing to Look Out for While Shopping for Winter Wear
When it comes to winter clothes, their color and style are of course important, but the following six criteria also can’t be overlooked. By being aware of these, you'll be able to pick the perfect cold weather gear for your travel needs.
Don't Fear Cold Winds! The Importance of Windproof Clothes
The best cold weather gear is windproof. This is because we feel cold when the air passes through the material of our clothes and comes in contact with the skin. We tend to particularly feel the chill outside the city, near the water, and in wide open spaces like Disneyland. Tall buildings in cities like Tokyo can also create cold wind tunnels in the winter, so it’s important to wear windproof winter clothes that reduce the area of the body that’s directly exposed to the elements.
Surprisingly Important? How Water Resistance Impacts Comfort
Many people overlook water resistance when choosing winter wear. After all, most of us think it's unlikely that we'll be playing in the water during the colder seasons. However, this function is extremely important in areas that see a lot of snowfall because of all the water in the air. Think about it. When snow comes in contact with our warm bodies, it naturally melts into a liquid. Any snow on our clothes also melts as soon as we step into someplace warm. This is why it's very important to choose an outer layer with a water-repelling fabric, like the one used to make umbrellas. With this kind of waterproof gear, even if you get covered in snow while taking pictures of winter sceneries, you'll be able to continue your sightseeing without having to deal with the discomfort of damp clothes afterwards.
Pay Attention to the Seams for Trips to Snowy Regions!
When shopping for outerwear to be used in snowy regions, seamless is the way to go. Even if you have thick, waterproof clothing, it won’t mean much once the melted snow starts seeping in through the openings in the seams. So, if you're planning to spend a lot of time in the snow, try to avoid seams as much as possible.
A Hood That Protects the Face and Head Can Make All the Difference!
We strongly recommend hooded winter wear, especially for all those who generally don't like head coverings like knitted caps and earmuffs. Hoods can help prevent your head and ears from getting drenched by snow and to protect the body from rain, snow, as well as from cold air that can come in through the neck area, helping you maintain a comfortable temperature. It can be uncomfortable to wear clingy items like ski masks, but a hood typically doesn't cause such issues.
Lightweight Evolution: Don't Settle for Heavy Winter Wear!
If you're like us and tend to have a camera and other bags on you while traveling, you may end up with shoulder, neck, and back aches once you add heavy winter gear to the mix. That's why it's important to always look for lightweight winter wear. These days, there is an impressive number of lightweight winter gear available on the market, including options from Uniqlo that can easily fit in the palm of your hand when packed down. Because these kinds of items can be carried in small backpacks or hung off travel bags, they are very easy to travel with.
Stay Warmer for Longer with Advanced Thermal Retention Technology!
Thermal retention in clothing refers to the ability for the clothes to maintain body heat. A lot of cold weather gear both protects against cold outside air and ensures that the body's own heat doesn't escape, helping you maintain a comfortable, warm temperature even in challenging conditions. There are also many thermal products on the market in Japan that help warm the body from within, including Uniqlo's bestselling Heattech line made from a heat-generating material. These items are made using advanced textile technologies that help hold on to the body's heat, making it possible for you to enjoy winters in comfort.
When in Doubt, Head on to Uniqlo, the Place That Has Everything You Need
If you've decided to buy winter wear in Japan but aren't sure where to go, we recommend starting with Uniqlo. This chain is known all over the world and offers reliably high-quality cold weather clothes and accessories, including Heattech and Block Tech, a range of water-repellent, wind-blocking, and wicking garments. These features help you stay feeling fresh and comfortable, so Block Tech clothes are also great for the spring and winter seasons. Uniqlo's clothes come in a wide range of colors and designs, from the season's latest looks to classic staples, so you'll always look sharp no matter what you pick.
Uniqlo's biggest appeal, however, is that you can get all these features at super-affordable prices. You can save even more during their frequent sales or by taking advantage of multiple item discounts. By shopping in Japan, you’ll not only get these items cheaper than in your home country, you’ll even pay less than the locals do. How? At Uniqlo, if you exceed the minimum purchase amount, your purchases will all be duty free!
How to Get to Uniqlo Ginza, the Biggest Uniqlo Store in the World!
For this article, we visited Uniqlo Ginza. The most impressive thing about this outlet is that it’s the biggest Uniqlo store in the world! With 11 floors in total, this store features a surprisingly wide range of products, so you're sure to find whatever you're looking for in here. The Uniqlo Ginza also has multilingual staff to help you out, so communication will not be a problem.
Uniqlo Ginza is easily accessible from nearby train stations. Ginza itself is Japan's leading shopping area full of luxury boutiques and department stores. It’s so popular with shoppers, in fact, that the main street closes to cars and turns into a pedestrian mall on weekends and holidays. Ginza Station is the closest station to Uniqlo Ginza, and is located just a two-minute ride from Tokyo Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line. Ginza Station is also served by the Tokyo Metro Ginza and Hibiya lines, so it's easy to get to no matter where you're coming from.
To get to Uniqlo Ginza, exit the ticket gates at Ginza Station and head on to the A2 Exit. Once you get to the surface, just go straight ahead and you'll soon see the bright-red Uniqlo sign.
Inside, you'll find a lineup so large it will make your head spin. If you're into the Uniqlo style, everything you’d ever need is right here. You can put an entire outfit together at this location, from innerwear to coats and jackets, accessories like socks, gloves, knit caps, or scarves, and underwear.
If you're interested in clothes or accessories with Heattech technology, look for the orange and yellow packages with HEATTECH written on them in English.
Uniqlo Winter Wear
Let's have a look at some examples of the cold weather gear you can find at Uniqlo. We're confident there's something here for everyone.
Ultra Light Down
The appeal of this line is that it combines amazing lightness and softness with unrestrictive thermal insulation. The Ultra Light Down line includes a range of coats, jackets, and vests that can also be worn as an inner layer. Each piece can be folded up into a complimentary storage pouch and carried on the go.
The Seamless Down range is an ideal choice if you're planning a little fun in the snow. Since this line is both water-repellent and windproof, you'll be prepared for all possible weather conditions.
The women's Seamless Down line includes coats in two different lengths, while the men's line also includes a hooded parka.
These incredibly useful garments have been designed with the needs of their wearer in mind, with handy features like pockets for accessories and earphone loops included.
These down items include a detachable hood so users can enjoy two styles in one. You can attach the hood to achieve maximum protection against the cold and wind, or remove it for a more refined, stylish look that shows off your ensemble underneath. A coat and parka version are both available.
This cute down jacket comes in a range of colors that can easily be worked into stylish outfits. If you wear it against a snow-white winter background, you’ll surely be able to take some amazing pictures.
Other Coats and Jackets
Uniqlo also has many other coats and jackets to choose from, including soft woolen sweaters and coats and jackets lined with boa fleece for extra warmth.
Boa Fleece Short Blouson Jacket
This boa-fleece blouson (a jacket with the sleeves and waist drawn tight) comes in a classic beige tone that's easy to match to any outfit. It's ideal for men who prefer more subdued tones, but if you prefer a sharper look, you can also get it in black. The jacket is lined with boa fleece, so it's very warm.
Boa Sweat Full-Zip Parka
This ladies’ hooded jacket is also lined with boa fleece. It comes in a range of classic colors, including brown and off-white for the ladies' version, and dark gray, gray, and navy for the men's version.
Stay Warm During Winter in Japan
Uniqlo also sells many other types of cold weather accessories like hats, scarves, and gloves.
We hope that this article will come in handy for you during your next winter trip to Japan! Please stay warm and comfy and come back with many happy memories.
If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.