driving in Japan

Paul-W1

Kon ni chi wa How would I ask if it is permitted to park a car somewhere , and also is there a resource anywhere concerned with hiring and driving a car in Japan . Arrigato Paul

477580

こんにちは! In Japan, it is pretty easy to tell where you can and can't park a car. 99% of the time, you will have to pay to park though. If you are shopping at a large store, it will have a place where you get a ticket and park.. If you spend enough money, (for most places you have to spend at least 1,000-2,000 yen; roughly $15-$25) the parking will either be free (as is the case in most larger grocery stores and clothing centers) or discounted (such as at more expensive malls). If you are going to a smaller neighborhood store, you will have to pay to park at either a pay-per-hour parking lot, or other similar place. You will usually not be able to just park on the side of the road, unless you are just running into a convenient store or something similar. As to driving a car in Japan, well this process can be very lengthy and difficult. The best thing to do to avoid lots of hassle, is to get an IDP (international drivers permit) BEFORE going to Japan. This will last up to one year, but to renew it you must go back to your home country for a minimum of 3 months. If you are staying in Japan for a longer period of time, you will have to get a regular Japanese license. First, you must get a Japanese road rules study book from the local ward office (kind of like a city hall) or overseas relocation agent. Next, you will have to take a written drivers test, then comes the actual driving test. This will be 100% in Japanese, but the proctor will tell you exactly where to turn and what to do. However, there is an 80% fail rate for this test, so do not be discouraged if you are unable to pass the very first time! Some tips though, are to repeat back what the instructor tells you to do (this tells them that you are listening), make a slightly exaggerated 'beginning check' on the car (fastening seat belt, checking mirrors, etc.) before starting, and to make your turns, stops, etc. slightly exaggerated without hitting anything or jerking the car. The following website also has some great information on renting, driving, and buying a car in Japan, as well as more information on getting a Japanese license or IDP: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2022.html

2679

So actually, if I have a driving license in my country, I still need to get a Japanese one in order to be able to drive there ?

477580

Depends on where you live. If you are from Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, or Great Britain, you just have to take an eye and physical exam. However, if you are from China, Brazil, the United States, or a country not named above, you have to take a written exam and the driving test. No matter what though, you will not be able to simply use your country's drivers license in Japan. However, if you plan ahead of time, and are only going to be there for under a year, you could always get an IDP from your country.

2679

great to know. Thanks :)

477580

You're welcome! :)

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