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  • Writer's pictureJapan Itinerary Assistant

Can Tourists Drive in Japan?

Traveling to Japan is an exciting experience and one of the best ways to get around is by car. But for tourists, the question of whether or not they can drive in Japan is an important one. The answer is yes, but there are some important things to consider.


First, visitors to Japan must have an International Driving Permit (IDP) to legally drive in the country. An IDP is an official translation of a driver’s license from another country and is recognized in over 150 countries, including Japan. It is important to note that an IDP is not a substitute for a driver’s license; it is only valid when used in conjunction with a valid driver’s license from the country of origin.


Second, tourists should be aware of the Japanese traffic laws and regulations. For example, the speed limit on highways is generally 100km/h and on regular roads it is usually 40km/h. Additionally, Japan has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving. It is important to follow all traffic laws and regulations, as penalties for traffic violations can be severe.

Finally, it is important to note that renting a car in Japan can be expensive. The cost of renting a car in Japan is usually higher than in other countries, and there can be additional fees for insurance, fuel, and other services. Additionally, many rental companies require an international credit card for payment.


Overall, tourists can drive in Japan with an International Driving Permit, but they should be aware of the traffic laws and regulations, as well as the cost of renting a car. Driving in Japan can be a great way to explore the country, but it is important to plan ahead and be aware of the risks and costs involved.

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