What kind of license do I need to drive in Japan?
- International Driving Permits based on the 1949 Geneva Road Convention are required to drive legally in Japan.
Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Estonia, Switzerland and Taiwan do not issue permits based on the 1949 Geneva Convention, but instead have a separate agreement that allows drivers from these countries to drive in Japan for up to one year with an official Japanese translation of their driver’s license. The translation has to be obtained before pick-up. Translations can be obtained from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). We will be happy to assist you in obtaining a translation.
Where can I park overnight with a campervan?
- Roadside stations (Michi-no-eki)
Michi- no-eki are a combination of rest stop, parking area, farmers’ market, local eatery, information center, and bathroom, all in one. Some roadside stations also have public baths or other facilities. Park and sleep at michi-no-eki is very common, though it is not allowed to take out camping gear or to cook outside. Please observe the local rules when using michi-no-eki.
- RV Park / RV Park Light
RV Parks are areas dedicated to staying in the car. The RV Parks are certified by the Japan RV Association and meet certain conditions, i.e. a spacious parking space that allows you to stay for about a week, toilets which are available 24 hours, 100V power supply and nearby bathing facilities. Each facility has different pricing and rules. “RV Parks Light" do not meet all of the above conditions. Many RV Parks require booking in advance.
- Campsites and Auto Campsites
There are about 1,300 campgrounds in Japan, although some sites are closed during winter. Booking in advance is usually not required except for national holidays.
Where can I take a shower?
- We highly recommend visiting onsen (natural hot water baths) or sento (public bath not attached to a natural spring) during your road trip. There are more than 3000 onsen throughout Japan. Coin showers are available at campsites and some michi-no-eki.
How much are the highway fees?
- Highway fees vary depending on the area. Highways in major metropolitan areas like Tokyo and Osaka are much more expensive than highways in the countryside. The average price per kilometer for an ordinary car is around 25 yen. There are extra fees for large suspension bridges connecting Honshu and Shikoku. Please contact us if you would like to know the price for a specific route.
A great way to save highway fees, gasoline and time are ferries (e.g. from Osaka to Kyushu). Have a look at the domestic ferry routes here or contact us for more information.
Can we rent an ETC card with you?
- ETC is a system which allows drivers to automatically pay tolls on toll roads without stopping the car. Our vans are equipped with ETC card readers so you can bring your own card, but it is currently not possible to rent an ETC card.
I am not sure where to go. Can you help me put together an itinerary?
- We are happy to assist you with personal recommendations and sample routes tailor-made to your interest and needs.