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Hakone Travel Tips

Driving around Hakone! Things you should know when renting a car

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I’m sure that there are many foreign visitors tempted to drive around in a rented car while taking in the gorgeous scenery. In fact, the number of foreign rental car users have been steadily increasing every year. However, when driving in Japan, there are several things you need to take note of. Of course, you must always have a driving license back home, but that’s not all. Let us tell you more.

Traffic information in Japan(of course including Hakone)

・Cars drive on the left in Japan, and the handle will thus be on the right here. It may be slightly difficult to adapt if you are used to a left handle. Do practice safe driving until you are comfortable.

・Avoid stopping your car by the roadside and use the parking lots available. There are strict regulations regarding that, and you may cause other drivers problems by doing so.

・Let’s abide by traffic rules. Please do not ignore traffic lights, stop signs, or moving in
the opposite direction on one-way roads, forced switching of lanes and cutting into lanes. Furthermore, express your thanks when other cars allow you to pass by flashing your hazard lamp twice or thrice. It is something carried out in Japan all the time, so how about trying out Japanese culture in this aspect?

In order to drive in Japan, Hakone

Documents required for a Japanese driving license
Passport + International Driving Permit
The International Driving Permit must be issued according to the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, and is valid for a year from issue.

Passport + Foreign Driving Permit + Japanese translation
If you own a Swiss, German, French, Taiwanese, Belgian, Slovenian, Monegasque (Monaco) driving permit, you will be allowed to drive in Japan for a year if you have its Japanese translation.

*As China is not part of the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, Chinese drivers will not be permitted to drive in Japan.

If you are considering driving in Hakone, do take note of what to prepare beforehand, including where to find a rental car. There should be no problem if you follow our instructions, but to be on the safe side, you may want to check with the rental car center first.

*All of the info above is based on the rules at 24/June/2016.  Please re-check the newest info for yourself if you are planning to drive a car in Japan 🙂

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