My BoE won’t let me drive!

It is important to realize that more than anything else your host institution feels responsible for your well being and are often afraid that something bad will happen. (We are all adults, but accidents do happen and people do feel responsible for us.) Additionally, a few years ago there was a serious car accident involving […]

Drinking and Driving

Most of you have heard by now that drinking and driving is a serious issue in Japan. Still, this is one issue that can not be emphasized enough. We received notices from the Hyogo Board of Education about their policies towards driving after drinking, so before you even think about it, give this a read, […]

Driving Test

Driving Points ALWAYS use mirror and LOOK over your left shoulder when making turns…especially left turns. This is to prevent you hitting a cyclist who might be on your inside, and that you may not have picked up in your mirror. Drive close to the left. If the S-crank is on your left, position the […]

Driving in Winter

Preparing your Car: Winter tires – studless, as studs are now illegal in Japan. Tread should be soft, with many wide rivulets clearly visible. Use low viscosity winter oil. This makes it easier to start your car. Replace wiper blades with snow-blades. Helps in snowstorms. Make sure to carry extra anti-freeze. In addition to its […]

Road Types

Road Types Getting around will seem pretty daunting at first. For tips on navigating your local area, talk to renewing JETs, your predecessor, and the locals. The road system in Japan is fairly straightforward, and the roads are broken down into the following categories: Local roads: Free, but slow, windy, and full of traffic. Main […]

Rules of the Road

Rural speed limits are officially 40km or 60km per hour, while highways and expressways are 70km or 80km. But the vast majority of Japanese drivers don’t adhere to these speed limits since they are ridiculously low. Most drivers follow the “practical/real world speed limit”, which is on average up to 30km/hour over the official speed […]

Getting Car Insurance

Driving in Japan rapidly develops your handling and emergency braking skills. It teaches your heart to beat faster than it previously could. It gives you newfound respect for the immense size and power of trucks. There are three kinds of car insurance in Japan. Types of Car Insurance Compulsory: This is included in shaken charges, and […]

Buying a Car

In Japan, there is the usual assortment of cars you’d find in any country, but there is also a range of vehicles only available in Japan called K-cars or keijidosha (軽自動車) meaning ‘light cars’. They are the cheapest option, and are easily identifiable by their yellow license plates. The main advantages of K-cars are their […]