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Japan: modern ambiance

Cutting-edge technology, sprawling metropolises, neon signs, and anime are everything that regular holidaymakers associate with Japan. However, they tend to forget that the country is also a  true treasure trove of beautiful vistas, stunning flora, and natural jewels galore.

Travelling around Japan is pretty convenient even if you opt for public transport. There exist a few travelling opportunities; however, many holidaymakers tend to opt for their independence by renting a car. There are a number of car rental companies available in major cities and at international airports. These will cater to the needs of the most demanding drivers.

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Japan Road Trip

Asia - Japan
3,687 mi 40 mph 31 days roadtrip

Top places to visit in Japan

Tokyo is one of the most popular and most frequently visited cities in Japan. The capital is characterised by a unique ambiance and will surely come across as attractive for those travellers who are into large and overwhelming metropolises. The great array of highlights will surprise even the most demanding tourists. While in Tokyo, you shouldn’t miss such highlights as Tokyo National Museum, Ghibli Museum, Edo-Tokyo Museum, and Rikugi-en.

There exist plenty of interesting opportunities around the capital itself. You can visit the brilliant shrine complex of T?sh?-g?, explore the recesses of the pilgrim town of Narita, soak up the atmosphere of Mito, or embrace the nostalgic ambiance of Kawagoe.

Northern Honsh? is all about great temples, samurai settlements, and religious spots. Travel to Hiraozumi to admire the Golden Hall, take a trip to T?no to learn more on Japanese folklore, and admire the holy mountain of Dewa-sanzan. Northern Honsh? has many secrets that are waiting to be explored.

The lovers of active holidays should definitely consider a trip to Hokkaid?. Here, you’ll find plenty of skiing options and the greatest jewel of the region, namely Shikotsu-T?ya National Park, with scenic lakes and intriguing volcanoes. One of the most popular cities in this region is Sapporo. However, for a more sophisticated character, you should consider a trip to Hakodate.

Japan: traffic rules and road state

Japan can boast great road surfaces that will bring you pleasant experiences during your road trip. The country follows left-hand traffic; however, don’t worry, the driving conditions in most areas are similar to the ones prevailing in European and American countries. 

You need to be 18 years old in order to drive in Japan; however, some car rental companies may require you to be a little older. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to pay an additional fee for being an inexperienced motorist.

Both drinking and driving and driving and texting may result in heavy fines. In Japan, you’ll be considered to be under the influence of alcohol with any level of blood alcohol in your bloodstream as there is zero tolerance for this type of behaviour. When it comes to mobile phones, always use a hands-free device to avoid severe penalties. 

Japan: required documents

While travelling around Japan, it’s important to carry the following documents: your driver’s licence and an International Driving Licence. If you come from certain countries, including France, Switzerland, Belgium, or Germany, you’ll need a Japanese translation of your driver’s licence.

Speed limits in Japan

The simplest way to avoid speeding tickets is to stick to the prevailing speed limits: 30-50 km/h in built-up areas, 80 km/h in rural areas, and 40-100 km/h on highways. While driving near schools and residential areas, you’ll be obliged to reduce your speed to what’s indicated on the road signs.