Driving in Japan

in Life in Japan

Driving License

In Japan, vehicles are driven on the left side of the road . The minimum legal age for driving is 18 years. Road signs and rules mostly  follow international conventions, and most signs on major roads are in Japanese and English. Driving is strictly prohibited after drinks and if caught  while driving drunk, the punishment might be severe often leading to revocation of the driving license - which is so expensive to obtain in Japan.

You can use an international driving licence but a Japanese driver's license is required for all drivers who stay in Japan for more than one year. Only if you leave Japan for more than three consecutive months are you again allowed to use an international driving permit. In case you wish to stay long and your driving license is not permitted in Japan , you need to convert your driving license to a Japanese one.

Here are sites that have further information. http://www.japandriverslicense.com/, http://www.koyama.co.jp/e3.htm, http://www.jaf.or.jp/e/switch.htm.
Bilingual driving schools: http://www.koyama.co.jp/english.htm, http://ysds.jp/annai_e.html,
Buying an used car: http://www.japan-partner.com/ , or the nearest TOYOPET (but please check the cost of parking)