Driving Trials and Tribulations

Driving in Japan is an exercise in patience. First you need to go through what seems like a million miles of red tape just to get your license. Afterwards comes the second hurdle, actually being able to use your car to and from work.

Companies here in Japan are notoriously strict when it comes to allowing their employees to use their own vehicles to commute to and from work and even more strict with foreigners looking to do the same. Continue reading Driving Trials and Tribulations

The Narrow Roads of Japan

To paraphrase Forest Gump, driving in Japan is like a box of chocolates. There’s a lot of awesomeness awaiting you as you first head out onto the road in our new little car and realize that there’s a whole world of beautiful and captivating sights and places to visit. But there is also the sudden realization that to balance all this awesomeness there is a lot of downsides to driving in Japan.

First off, once you’ve actually managed to jump through enough hoops to satisfy the Japanese DMV that you won’t immediately crash upon being let loose on the streets of Japan you’ll find that the vast majority of the roads winding their way through the cities and countrysides of Japan are so narrow that even in a small kei car you’ll find yourself wincing as each passing car seems to pass within mere millimeters of your side view mirror. It’s probably because of this that one of the main sticking points with the driver’s license test is to learn to hug the left side of the road as though your life depended on it, as it may very well save you from a nasty accident later on! Continue reading The Narrow Roads of Japan

Full Throttle

After a long and hard 3 years of trying I can finally join the ranks of the driving elite here in Japan after having successfully having passed my drivers license test to transfer my South African license to a Japanese one.

The Japanese driving test is one of the most infamous tests of patience in Japan. Every step of the process takes ages to do and most people take anywhere from 2 to 10 or even more attempts to pass the practical test. Continue reading Full Throttle