If you are returning back to Japan in late Dec or early Jan and know you will be placed in a hotel quarantine for 3-10 days you will want to pre-pack a Japan Hotel Quarantine Survival Kit. My recommendation is to leave the pre-packed kit with a friend and they can delivery to you via car or post once you arrive and you have been assigned a hotel. I have one son who returned to Japan over one week ago and is in a hotel in Narita. The Survival Pack below is what has made his stay bearable. If you are traveling with kids your list will be augmented but overall basics are the same. Each hotel has slightly different room amenities but over all the seem pretty similar. We would love to hear your feedback on our recommendations, and also what you would add to make people’s “stays” more enjoyable.
What We Have Learned About Japan Hotel Quarantine
1. If you are coming in to Narita, there is a higher chance you will be then sent to a hotel in another city since the quaratine hotels in Narita are filling up. (updated as of Dec 14, 2022)
2. Number of days countdown starts on your first a.m. not day of arrival. Testing is conducted the a.m. of your final day before breakfast. 3. If you are a couple with kids they will most likely split your family into units of twos. A child under 15 is supposedly never quarantined alone (although I know many people who would love be in separate rooms).
4. All hotels seem to allow shipments and Amazon deliveries. All deliveries are searched before being passed to you. Some allow Uber delivery of cold foods but not warm foods. I have delivered my sons package and they search it in the lobby at drop off. No food that needs refrigeration is allowed. Also no appliances – rice cookers, coffee makes, etc. My sons room has a water kettle but I have heard not all do.
5. Three meals a day are delivered outside your door and an announcement is made on the hotel speaker informing you of its delivery. This may be the most exciting time of the day since you get to see other humans peaking out to retrieve their meals. All meals are Japanese Obento. Most are cold.
6. Once in your room you are not allowed out. My son’s hotel allows reservations for a 15-min-walk down the corridor daily.
7. If you are quarantining over 6 days you will be offered laundry but you will need to book a time as soon as you “check-in”. My son ended up washing some basics in the tub.
8. Not all hotel windows open or have a view so make sure you keep things clean.
9. No alcohol is allowed to be consumed or delivered. If you really need some to survive (no judgement) hide it very well in your travel luggage (don’t forget the corkscrew).
10. The hotels are clean and safe but not fancy. Manage your expectations and be prepared.
Japan Hotel Quarantine Survival Kit
Food & Beverage Recommendations
1. Coffee Grounds, Paper Filters, Coffee Dripper, Good size coffee mug.. Hot water kettle available in most but not all rooms.
2. Powder teas and tea bags.
3. Non refrigerated creamer, almond or soy milk (if your room window is cold you can keep the creamer cold by placing against the window).
4. Chips and senbei (rice crackers).
5. Instant ramen in bowls. If not in a bowl, pack bowls. I also sent extra chopsticks.
6. Cereal. You can ask for milk for kids. Bring a spoon and bowl.
7. Soup packs and powders.
8. Peanut butter and jelly.
9. Fresh bread and fruit also allowed.
10. Fresh veggie that do not need to be refrigerated – carrots, mini tomatoes, etc.
11. Nuts and trail mix.
12. Chocolates and cookies
13. Canned fruit or pickles if you have the munchies for something and can’t get fresh produce. Bring a can opener.
Health and Beauty Care – you will have lots of time to do self-care.
1. Good shampoos and conditioner
2. Bath bombs, bath crayons/ toys for kids
3. Skin lotion and lip balm (the rooms are really dry)
4. Nail and facial care and fun – masks, nail polish etc. Pack your ravors becuase none in room nor not able to be delivered.
5. Constipation medicine (rice three times a day and no exercise is hard)
6. Soft tissue paper (stuff in the room is rough, if there is any)
7. Small amount of laundry detergent if in the hotel for longer than three days
8. Female products and baby products. You can order from Amazon to be deliered but it will take at least 24 + hours since they search all boxes.
Hobby and Mental Health – there is WIFI but not super dependable in some hotels
2. Puzzles (smaller size since tables are small)
3. Art supplies
4. Lego or games that kids can play for a long time
5. Yoga mat and stretch bands
6. Febreze or room refresher (some windows do not open or only a little)
7. Apple TV adaptor or Fire Stick. You might want to watch a movie will on your device. Most tvs have HDMI.
**Every person and family is different so pack what you know will make your family happy.