How to use car rental
In Japan, rental car agencies offer the substantial service in which you can make a reservation for a rental car on the Internet, and more foreigners have used this service these days. For example, in Hokkaido, where tourist spots are scattered, and in Okinawa, where the range of railroads is limited, the utilization of rental cars is increasing due to convenience in movement. If there is a lendable car on your day of arrival day, you can rent it by following the prescribed procedures, but if you make a reservation on the website of the rental car company, you can surely rent a car.
An international license is required to drive a rental car
When renting a car in Japan, it is necessary to have "an international driver's license issued in your country (issued by a member of the Geneva Convention)” or "your driver's license and its Japanese translation (Switzerland, Slovenia, Germany, France, Belgium, Monaco, Taiwan)” along with your passport. Japanese translation should be prepared by the prescribed institution such as your country’s Embassy or Consulate General, Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), etc. Processing may take 2 weeks or so, so please be careful.
Cars that can be rented are basically right-hand drive automatic cars. Most major car rental companies usually have car navigation systems installed and you can choose the English version. In addition, optional lending items such as a child seat which is obligatory when placing children under 6 years old in a car are prepared. The sales office is conveniently located near the airport and the station, but they may come to pick you up from the business office to the prescribed place. The rental period is generally set in units of hours, such as 6 hours, 12 hours, and 24 hours. You can return the car used to the sales office where you rented the car, and also return it at the business office to which you move (may require a separate fee). In principle it is necessary to fill up the gasoline when returning.
Please remember the road signs
In recent years, foreign tourists who cause traffic accidents by car rental in Japan are rapidly increasing. You may be confused about Japanese traffic conditions until you become accustomed, such as driving on the left hand side, the steering wheel being on the right side, and difficulty in reading signs in Japanese, but please follow the traffic rules and keep safe driving in mind. Regarding the problems of signs, various countermeasures are currently progressing in Japan.
Driving manners in Japan that I definitely want to protect
There are other things you should be careful about besides traffic rules. For example, in Japan, we are very concerned about car scratches, including bumpers. Please be careful not to damage even a bumper when parking. Also, never lend and borrow a license. If you use another person's license, it will be considered unlicensed driving, and severe penalties fines, etc. will be imposed.
Finally, it is about insurance when renting a car. Accident insurance should be included in rent-a-car fee basically, but you may have to separately pay expenses under the name of "exemption amount," "non-operation charge (NOC)," etc. There is also a compensation system to avoid such payment. When actually renting a car, please confirm sufficiently which payment will arise in which case and use the system that suits you.