Miyazaki winters are deceptively cold. Most classrooms don’t have heaters, and many teachers’ offices only use kerosene stoves in the winter, requiring frequent ventilation and thus negating all the accumulated heat. Outside of work, even if you are lucky enough to have an air conditioner that also functions as a heater, the uninsulated buildings won’t keep any of that heat inside where it belongs. Many ALTs spend their winter evenings huddled at the kotatsu (heated tables with blankets, truly glorious inventions). So, you’ll definitely want to plan to have at least one good coat and a few solid sweaters.

The coldest months in Miyazaki are January and February. We strongly recommend having good, thick socks for school. Some ALTs have experienced frostbite, or shimoyake, from not having properly protected toes. Girls, fleece leggings and thick tights are your friends, whether you prefer skirts or pants. Uniqlo also carries a line called “Heattech,” which functions the opposite of Airism to keep you warm. The layers are thin, but you can wear many at once and not feel too bulky.

You won’t need your winter clothes until late October (and then mostly just for cool nights or rainy days), so you can definitely afford to ship them separately to save on luggage space for the initial move. But, you can also buy winter clothes here as well. So it’s really your choice on which direction you want to invest your money in.