of urban traffic congestion, driving within Japan's major cities is
not recommended for foreign visitors. However, driving on main roads
between cities is a viable alternative to public transportation.
Visitors who intend to drive in Japan should note the following :
main roads most major destinations are sign-posted in English. In
rural areas this may not be the case. If you are planning to drive
in more remote areas, it is advisable to purchase a reliable
English-Japanese road atlas before you depart. Companies such as
Shobunsha and Kodansha publish these atlases.
Driving in Japan is on the left.
Parking can be difficult to find in some urban centres.
International Driving Permit is required.
are levied on expressways and other major routes. Toll charges will
depend on how far you wish to travel and which roads you intend to
take. Example: Tolls for one route from Tokyo to Kyoto cost
The Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) publishes an English guide to
driving in Japan called "Rules of the Road". These are available at
JAF offices throughout Japan.
For further information go to the JAF web site
or contact the International Affairs Department of JAF on Tel. +81
(0)3 3436 2811 /Fax. + 81 (0)3 3588 6055.
A Metropolitan Expressway map in English is available within Japan
from the Metropolitan Expressway Public Corporation :
Metropolitan Expressway Public Corporation
Nittochi Bldg 9F
1-4-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tel. (03) 3539 9259
Fax. (03) 3503 7678
International Driving Permit
If you wish to drive a car while in Japan, you must obtain an
International Driving Permit prior to departure. You will also need to
be in possession of your national license while driving in Japan.
International Driving Permits are generally issued by the national
automobile association in your country. Some countries, such as
Germany & Switzerland, do not have a reciprocal agreement with Japan
to honour the permits. Please check with your automobile association
You will be required to produce your International Driving Permit
when renting a car in Japan.
Rental prices may vary from company to company. Average rates for
24 hours rental with unlimited mileage are as follows :
5,000 - 11,100
9,000 - 13,500
14,000 - 30,000
29,500 - 31,000
The above rental charges do not include fuel costs. Fuel in Japan
costs approximately 100 yen per litre.
Companies offering vehicle rental at various locations throughout
UK - Tel 0800 181 181
UK- Tel. 0870 90 77 300
UK - Tel. 08708 448844
Japaren Co., Ltd
4th Fl Ogikubo Kangyo Bldg
202 Amanuma 3-chome
Tel. (03) 5397 8811, Fax. (03) 5397 8816
Reservations outside Japan can be made through Avis.
Tel. (03) 5286 0740, Fax. (03) 5292 0236
National Car Rental
UK - Tel. 0870 600 6666
Tel. (03) 3468 7126, Fax. (03) 3485 7105
Reservations outside Japan should be made through National Car
Toyota Rent-A Lease
3rd Floor, Q Dan Bldg
12-1 Fujimi 1-chome
Tel. (03) 3264 0100, Fax. (03) 3239 0857