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Down Jacket or Regular Jacket in Jan/Feb for Kyoto/Hiroshima?

Down Jacket or Regular Jacket in Jan/Feb for Kyoto/Hiroshima?

Jan 18th, 2006, 03:40 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2005
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Down Jacket or Regular Jacket in Jan/Feb for Kyoto/Hiroshima?

I know this is a silly question, but I've been looking at the temperatures in the Kyoto and Hiroshima areas, and the lows combined with the wind chills have me wondering if I should bring my down jacket with me on my upcoming trip, or if I should bring a regular jacket that has a lining in it. If it were clearly always going to be in the 20s (including wind chill), I would opt for the down. Similarly, if it was going to be in the high 30s and 40s, I would bring my regular jacket, since the down gets too hot for that. But it looks like it may be a mixture of both.

Will someone help me break the tie so I can begin packing?

Thanks!
SlinkyDog is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 05:09 PM
  #2  
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 6,267
Take layers. I was there in MArch and that is what I did and it worked perfectly. If I was you I'd take the jacket w/the lining (assuming it is a warm lining, like fleece) and take silk long john tops and bottoms as a first layer, and another layer of fleece, other layers to go under the coat. This gives you flexibility and no down to drag around.

Take the silk long johns. They come in handy and really help w/the insulation for almost no extra weight and room in the suitcase.
emd is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 05:15 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Temperartures are almost always above freezing...with rare dips slightly below at night. In Kanazawa, where it is significantly colder and snowier than Kyoto, the lowest nighttime low I have experienced in 10 1/2 years is -4 degrees celcius. During the day, even in Kanazawa, it's not really cold. I'm from Boston, and while I find Kanazawa cold, not anything close to Boston.

Coat...go with layers, so as the day warms, you can shed them. My typical winter wear here is a t-shirt, cotton turtleneck, everyday style sweater...for indoors. When I go out, on a usual day I wear my LLBean thinsulate long coat...very lightweight but warm enough. If it's one of the few really cold days, I add a fleece under the coat. Plenty warm enough, and I walk almost everywhere.

Wind...can be an issue, but not as a rule. Earmuffs I like, as my ears are cold sensitive. And I use fleece gloves as well.

You'll be well south of me in a relatively nice weather belt...so you shouldn't bring the down...too warm, too much space. If you don't have a thinsulate jacket or one of its many hi-teck insulation cousins, just put on an extra later.
.
KimJapan is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 01:22 PM
  #4  
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Thanks, emd and KimJapan. I am now the proud new owner of a pair of silk long johns! I will definitely go with layers, plus add the gloves and maybe a hat, too, if it gets super chilly.

I feel a lot better not bringing the down coat, if I really don't need it. It's great when the weather is extremely cold, but too much like being in a sauna when it's more on the cold/chilly side!
SlinkyDog is offline  
Jan 19th, 2006, 02:12 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 158
General comment. Remember, good down is packable-compressible, takes up very little space. And, ounce-for-ounce is still the warmest outerwear available. If you're in the US, check out Feathered Friends in Seattle. They combine 800+ down with wind-proof, breathable fabrics. Bought a coat for use here in the mountains and it's great. And, I can fold it into the space of a quart container.
hi50phd is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:44 PM
  #6  
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emd and KimJapan, both your suggestions worked out well! The silk long johns worked great on two of the colder days, and between that and the layering and the gloves, I was fine for the whole trip. Down would have definitely been too much!

(As as aside, I have a friend who has sworn by silk long johns for years, yet it took anonymous travelers on an Internet forum to convince me to make the leap to buy them! Go figure! )
SlinkyDog is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 04:21 PM
  #7  
emd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Great to hear this, Slinky. I love my silk long johns and am taking them back again on the trip to Japan this April. I like the ones at www.wintersilks.com
emd is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:34 PM
  #8  
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Thanks for the link, emd! These look quite nice, plus reasonable, too. (I paid a lot more than that at my local sports store, buying them at the last minute!)
SlinkyDog is offline  

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