Information about driving and travelling in Japan, plus tips on camper facilities and equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Driving In Japan

Does my driver's license work in Japan?

If you are from Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Estonia, Monaco or Taiwan and hold a valid license issued by one of these countries, you can use your license while driving in Japan. However you will need an official translation of your license, and carry it along with your license and passport while driving in Japan. See the next section “Where can I get translation for my Driver’s License” to find out ways you can obtain the official documents.

If your license is issued by a country other than those in the list above, you will need to obtain an “International Driver Permit” from your country’s auto club in order to drive in Japan. Here is a list of auto clubs by country .

The documents must have been issued within 12 months of the rental period.​ International Driver Permit must be issued by a country that is a signatory to 1949 Geneva Convention.

If you do not have the correct driver license translation, international driver permit or your original driver license your booking will be cancelled and you must pay full rental fee.

Where can I get translation for my Driver's License?

If your driver license is issued by Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Estonia, Monaco or Taiwan, we can arrange the translation for you in advance of your arrival to Japan. We need color copies of both sides of your current valid driver license and it costs 10,000 JPY. It takes 2 weeks to process. Please contact us if you would like to arrange this.

You can also arrange it yourself at Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). Visit one of their main offices and they can have the document made for you within 30 minutes. Visit this link for a list of JAF offices .

Driving rules in Japan.

It’s relatively easy to drive in Japan, good road manner and vehicle control will ensure a smooth journey. Below is a short list of general rules which may differ from your country.

  • Drinking alcohol and driving is prohibited.
  • Drive on the left side of the road.
  • Park in designated areas only, there are large fines for illegal parking.
  • You must stop at level railway crossings and look for trains even when the boom gates are open.
  • All accidents must be reported to the police, failure to report can result in disqualification of your insurance policy.
  • By law all children up to the age of 6 years old must use a compliant child seat.
  • The legal minimum age for driving is 18 years.

See a full list of traffic rules by the Japan National Police Agency .

Toll roads and ETC.

Most of the motorways / highways in Japan work on a user pay system based on distance travelled. Currently about 25 JPY per kilometer for a camping RV. For example a 300KM journey may cost 7,500 JPY. Payment is calculated when you exit the toll road.

There are two methods of payment at tolling booths. By cash or electronic tolling (ETC). You will not be able to use ETC unless you have set up an account. Make sure you are in the correct lane as you approach the toll booth and do not enter the ETC lane unless you have an ETC card inserted in the reader. Visit this link for more information .

Travel on most secondary roads is free and you can enjoy a relaxing more scenic drive.

Highway Pass and ETC Rental.

For customer renting at Tokyo- Narita, Nagoya and Osaka stores ETC toll collection card is available. Simply drive through the ETC lane at toll booths on the highway and the card keeps a record of the road charges. When you return to the office we can check the total amount and you pay us back. You will be given an official invoice from the toll collection company.

Note: Japan Expressway Pass is not offered as many roads are excluded from the offer.

For customers renting at Sapporo or Chitose store apply for Hokkaido Expressway Pass at the time of making a reservation. You cannot apply on picking up the camper. See information on the link and ask us how to apply.

See details.

Travel By RV

Can I do one way rental?

We are now offering one way rental between Tokyo and Nagoya for an extra fee of 66,000 JPY. One way rental between Osaka and Tokyo is also possible on request for an extra 77,000 JPY. Conditions apply so please ask.

One way rental are not possible between Tokyo and Sapporo.

Park in cities.

Parking in busy city areas can be a problem but not impossible. There are paid parking lots. Just look for the “P” sign and companies such as Times 24H have automatic parking machines.

The camper is 5 meters long which fits in the length of a standard car park. However keep in mind that some city streets are narrow and you are driving a relatively large vehicle. Be aware of overhead obstructions as well.

You can also park in some locations for free. e.g. for shorter durations in convenience store car park or overnight in road side rest areas (Michi no eki).

Please note there is no street parking in Japan and big fines can be issued by police for illegally parked vehicles.

Japan by ferry.

It is possible to take the RV camper by ferry between islands of Japan. However you must have permission to do so first and early reservation must be made with the ferry company. They will require the vehicles dimensions and information on the vehicle registration. We can arrange this for you, please contact us.

For Aomori, Honshu to Hakodate, Hokkaido route. Visit the ferry company website for schedules and fares .

For Oarai, Honshu ( 1 hour by road from Narita office ) to Tomakomai, Hokkaido route.  Visit the ferry company website for schedules and fares .

Camper Equipment and Facilities

About GPS navigation.

There is an English GPS Navigator in the camper for you. The easiest way to find your destination is to use phone number search.

It is a good idea to prepare a list of phone numbers of places that you want to visit. We can offer you travel information when you pickup the camper however guidebooks are written in Japanese only. If you are not sure exactly where in a particular city you want to go just use the phone number of the closest Japan Post office easily found on the internet using map search.

Toilets, showers and water system

All larger Type B or C campers have a toilet included or as an option in a separate wet room. The toilet is a cassette type system with a small chemical tank which will need to be emptied after a few days of use. As a general rule we recommend only using the on board toilet for emergency or occasional use.

Portable cassette toilet are not available for smaller Type A, E or K campers.

During winter months, water system are not available in the camper due to risk of damage from frozen pipe and ice. This means toilet and sink cannot be used in the winter. Please use public facility located in road side rest area (Michi no Eki), convenience stores, ski resort and hot spring bath house (Onsen) instead.

Our campers do not include a shower. Showers and bathing is best done at campgrounds or for a relaxing experience choose from the thousands of hot spring bath (Onsen) located around Japan.

Grey water ( dirty water ) and toilet must be emptied at campgrounds or public toilet found at roadside rest area ( Michi no Eki ).
Depending on the vehicle the grey water tank is limited to 20 litres.
Fresh water tank can be filled at the same locations and again depending on the vehicle limited to 20 litres.

Heater, lights and power

Type A, B and C campers have a 12 volt backup battery system for off grid heating, lighting and powering low voltage items such as phone chargers. It also supplies power to the refrigerator, ventilation fan and TV if installed.

There is enough power in the battery to operate these systems throughout the night but it must be recharged everyday. It takes 4 hours of running the engine/ driving or by plugging the camper into mains 100 volt power outlet available at most campgrounds to fully charge the battery.

Heater: Webasto, FF heater. It operates by burning a small amount of fuel directly from the vehicle’s tank. Warm air is ducted into the vehicle’s interior. The secondary battery system must be recharged daily.

Cooler: The cooler works only when the engine is running. Cool air is ducted throughout the interior. You will not be able to run this system at camp grounds or at night time. Ventilation fan is available.

We recommend you travel to higher altitude, mountain areas in the warmest months for overnight.

For any questions unanswered here, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.