Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve never driven in nor have never experienced a road trip Japan before, you probably have a lot of questions! Whether it be just renting a car, or going the whole hog and having a camping experience, not to worry –We have put together a comprehensive and easy to navigate list of answers to the questions that we’re most often asked.
Read through and find the answer you’re looking for. If not, contact our friendly team and we’ll do our best to help.
SEARCH / SELECT CATEGORY
Is payment required to make a reservation?
A deposit of 50% of the total amount of your booking is necessary for our system to complete the booking and allocate a vehicle for your reservation. Jomon Car Rental vehicles are popular, so we cannot guarantee availability without a holding deposit.
When you collect your chosen vehicle, the remaining amount (50% of the total + any additional extras), less any discount applicable - will be payable via credit card.
Which payment methods are accepted?
For the down payment (booking confirmation) - 50%: We accept VISA and MasterCard as credit/debit card payments & Paypal. Your booking will be completed directly via our website.
For the remaining amount upon collection -50%: Upon arrival, you can use the same or a different credit/debit card. A bank transfer will only be allowed for the 2nd payment in exceptional circumstances, but please note this must be cleared funds in advance and you would be charged a ¥2,800 International transfer charge by our bank for sending funds from abroad.
Security deposit: The security deposit can only be placed on a credit card (Visa or Mastercard), and the credit card holder must be present when the vehicle is being collected. A security deposit will be held on the hirer’s credit card according to the chosen Insurance option, to ensure the excess payment in the event of theft, accident or any other vehicle damage during the rental period. The vehicle cannot be supplied unless the security deposit is held on a credit card.Cash is only possible to use for rental of additional equipment options, or for special experiences. It is not an accepted payment method under any other circumstances.
Which payment method is most recommended for my trip to Japan?
If you don't already have a Revolut.com account, we'd highly recommend opening one. You can get a Mastercard which can be used in Japan (or any country) without losing out with exchange rate commissions and transactions instantly show on your account. It can also be used as a cash card, also without loss in currency fees, etc. Check it out when making your holiday plans. You can also ask us to send you an invite and you’ll pay no fee to get a physical card. You'll be glad you did! Note: As this is a DEBIT card, it can only be used to pay the deposit or rental cost. It cannot be used to pay for the security deposit. This can only be paid with a CREDIT CARD in the renter’s name.
Are there any additional costs?
All the costs on your quote/booking confirmation are final and based directly upon prices displayed on our website. There are no surcharges unless you modify your reservation. In case of accident or damage, you will be charged the deductible fee, according to the level of indemnity you have chosen. Should you be unable to return the vehicle to our facility or if the vehicle is undrivable, a recovery charge is applicable.Please note that fuel and tolls are paid by the renter.
Rates & Reservation
Is there a minimum rental period?
The minimum rental period for our camping-equipped vehicles is 3 days and for passenger cars, 2 days.
During high-season & long holidays such as Christmas, New Year or Japanese Obon, Golden week & other national holidays, the minimum booking for camping vehicles is 5 days.
Of course, we will always try to accommodate any request, subject to availability. Our website will confirm availability & minimum rental period automatically when you are making your booking.
Pick up and return
What documents do I need to bring when collecting the rental vehicle?
When coming to collect the rental vehicle you have booked, you must bring with you:
Valid driving license (s) of the driver(s). If not a resident or national of Japan, the driver(s) will need to present a valid International Driver's license (See more specific information below).
What are the international driver’s license requirements for foreign renters?
(1). Passport or Foreigner’s registration card (Not required by Japanese nationals).
(2). Credit card of the hirer/renter (with enough funds to cover the Liability/ Security Deposit).
(3). Aircraft Return Flight Details, if you are not a registered resident, or Citizen of in Japan.
(4). Your Jomon Booking reference.
The primary driver needs to be the person making the booking and the credit card holder for the security deposit.
Please note: Without complete, valid and legal documents, we regret your booking will not be possible to complete.
What happens if I arrive late for the collection of the rental vehicle?
As soon as you know about a delay, you should contact us by phone. Alternatively, although less prioritised, other forms of contact are WhatsApp, Skype or Email. Upon receiving your communication we will inform our staff about your delay. Note that there may be late pick-up/drop off fees, if outside our usual office hours. Where your delay is not scheduled, there may be some time lost in our response. Please let us know soonest, so we can provide a better service for you!
What happens if I miss my flight or it is delayed?
In case the pick-up cannot be made on the scheduled day due to unforeseen delays, please contact us as soon as you are aware of a situation. Days of the booking cannot be refunded. We will do our best to help you with organising accommodation and transport if needed, depending on availability and budget.
What are your pick up/drop off service times?
Our office hours for check-in and check-out times are between 10:00 and 17:00 (Monday to Friday) and 10:00 to 12:00 Saturdays. If you’d like an out of hours check-in and check-out service, please bear in mind that an extra fee may be added to your booking for out of hours transfers and this would have to be pre-arranged.
How can I get to and from your location?
Please check out our location/contact page for the address details.
Here are links to clear PDF instructions on how to get to us from various locations (From Haneda Intl/ Airport via public transport also includes instructions from Tokyo).
Currently, we are only serving from our main location, which is not far from Narita airport.
If you’d prefer to have a personal airport limousine transfer service, please reserve our airport transfer service from/to Narita International Airport. This is done during the completion of your online vehicle rental.
Are Bus Services available to your location from Narita Airport, Haneda Airport or Tokyo?
Yes, there are easy to use public transport services available to reach us.
We have taken care to prepare simple and easy to use instructions on how to get to our location.
Please download and print the relevant simple PDF Instructions below.
To get to us from Tokyo, please use the instruction from Haneda (Where an onward bus is caught from the building next door to Hamamatsu-Cho (Japan Railway - JR) Station.
Public Transport from Narita Intl. Airport (Terminal 1 & 2), to Jomon Car Rental.pdf
Where can I pick up and drop off the vehicle?
In most circumstances, unless otherwise agreed, the drop off should be made at our location, where we also offer our transfer service back to Narita airport.
Any other location cannot be guaranteed and would depend on the availability of our staff.
Please remember: Upon drop off, we need to carefully check the vehicle with you for potential damage, refunds, etc. – so please be sure to leave a minimum of 30 minutes for these procedures to be completed and also 45 minutes transfer time to your onward destination, especially if you have got a plane to catch.
Usually, a pick up/drop off at your hotel or in Tokyo will not be possible due to possible city traffic. However, if you have a special request, please don’t hesitate to ask.
What are the conditions of returning a vehicle?
Your rental vehicle should be returned with the same level of fuel as you had at the time of pick up, and if applicable, the grey water deposit should be emptied. Naturally, the interior and exterior should be undamaged. Please also note all of our vehicles carry a no-smoking policy.
In the unfortunate event that damage has been sustained, you must always let us know in advance of returning the vehicle (See more details about damage below).
International Driving Permits
What are the international driver’s license requirements for Japan?
International driving permits are not issued in Japan and should be obtained in your home country in advance of traveling. They are usually issued through your country's national automobile association, or another known location, for a small fee.
Foreigners can drive in Japan with an International Driving Permit (IDP) for a maximum period of one year, even if the IDP is valid for a longer period.
It is not legal to drive on an International Driving Permit, or translated license (Where applicable, as listed in the section below) again after a year has passed unless you return to your home country for at least three consecutive months in between your return.
Japan only recognizes International Driving Permits based on the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic Signatories. Please check in your country if you can obtain an IDP based on the 1949 Geneva Convention.
Belgium, France, Germany, Monaco, Slovenia, Switzerland and Taiwan do NOT issue permits based on the 1949 Geneva Convention, but instead, have a separate agreement that allows drivers from these countries to drive in Japan for up to one year with an official Japanese translation of their driver's license. Jomon Car Rental offers a driving license translation service (please see Driver’s license translation service through Jomon Car Rental section, below.
Alternatively, a translation can be obtained from your country's embassy or consulate in Japan or the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).
People from other countries whose International Driving Permits are not recognized by Japan and people who stay in Japan for more than one year would require a Japanese driver's license to legally drive here.
1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic Signatory Countries.
Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore,
Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines
Algeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire,
Congo, Central Africa, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Lesotho, Morocco, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela,
The Dominican Republic, The United States of America,
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kyrgyz Republic, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia and the former Republics, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, The Republic of Georgia, United Kingdom, Vatican
Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
Hong Kong, Macau
Driver’s License Translation Service
Who may request a Japanese translation of their license?
License holders of one of the following countries: France, Switzerland, Germany, Monaco, Slovenia, Belgium and Taiwan may request a Japanese translation of their license so they may rent a car from Jomon Car Rental. With said translation, you will be able to drive in Japan with your original driver's license and the translation.
A translation can be obtained by yourself from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) or your respective country’s embassy or consulate in Japan.
If you are a holder of one of the licenses listed above, we can make organizing your trip easier & take care of travelling to & from a JAF office & obtaining a translation for you.
What we would need from you?
- A colour copy of both sides of a valid driver's license (s) for each intended driver.
The date on which you plan to travel to Japan.
What is the cost and delivery time?
It takes a minimum of 2 weeks to get a driver's license translation for the price of ¥9,500 per license.
Our team takes care of all formalities and you will not have to make calls or take care of international mail.
Simply send us a colour copy of your driving license when making your booking and request this service and your translation will be waiting for you at our office upon your arrival.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange translation(s).
At Jomon Car Rental, is there a minimum age & driver experience requirement for drivers?
The minimum age to drive our vehicles is 23 years old and you must have had a minimum of 4 years driving experience.
Drivers under the age of 25 years are required to choose Basic insurance only with no additional indemnity cover. You can check our insurance indemnity rates on the specific vehicle model you are interested in, for more details.
How many people can drive the vehicle I rent?
This depends on the insurance package selected. With the Basic insurance cover, as included with all vehicles, only the renter/hirer is allowed.
To add a second driver you may choose the Standard Insurance and if you take the Full Insurance you can go up to the maximum of 3 named drivers.
Booking Cancellation / Modification / Upgrade Policies
What should I do if I have to cancel my reservation?
Should you need to cancel your reservation with Jomon Car Rental, please send us an email, confirming your name and the dates of your booking, using the same email reference received from ourselves for your booking. As stipulated in our Terms & Conditions, we will cancel your booking and complete refunds to the Credit Card used to make your booking.
What is the Cancellation Policy?
If you need to cancel more than 30 days before the scheduled pick up time, we will refund the full prepaid amount.
If you cancel the booking less than 30 days before the scheduled pick up time, applicable cancellation or no-show fees will apply.
If you cancel your reservation within 30 to 15 days before the scheduled pick up time, 50% deposit paid will not be refunded (cancellation fee), nevertheless the final remaining amount will not be charged.If you cancel your reservation inside of 15 days before the scheduled pick up time 100% of the reservation will be charged on your credit card (no show fee).
What if I’d like to modify my booking after the reservation has been completed?
A change in dates, locations, type of vehicle or other details will depend on the current availability and must be approved in advance by Jomon Car Rental. Additional charges may apply.
Should you wish to extend your rental, you must inform us of your intentions well beforehand, so we can best serve your needs. We will always try our best to make our customers happy, so do not hesitate to contact us directly for individual requests.Please note, however, should the completion of your rental be beyond the agreed return date and time, penalties and costs may be charged as per agreed terms and conditions of rental.
What is the upgrade policy?
Sometimes unforeseen events occur, such as an accident or other damage and we are then unable to supply the originally reserved vehicle for your booking. We will make every effort for you but reserve the right to upgrade or assign your reservation with a similar category vehicle in the event it is not possible to supply the originally booked vehicle.
Models and Characteristics
How can I choose the best model for my necessities?
Feel free to visit the models page on our website to have a full overview of each model we offer, along with pictures, description and a dedicated YouTube video, showing the features available. With our sportscars, we don’t so much go into available features (which are usually available on all such cars) but offer entertaining and informative road test on the video footage, so you can watch what the vehicle is like to drive in advance of making your booking.
Can I see the vehicle before confirming the booking?
You are more than welcome to visit us and see your desired vehicle before booking.
Please note it’s best to book though, as vehicles are often rented out. Note: We regret we cannot offer our Transfer service without a booking and pre-payment.
Are your vehicles able to accommodate people with special needs?
Unfortunately, our vehicles do not have wheelchair ramps or tie-down docks at this time. However, that is something we wish to address soon, as we intend to include as many people as possible for the services we offer. If wheelchair facilities are not required, please contact us and we will do our best to help.
Are your vehicles supplied with a full tank of fuel?
We always try to provide your chosen vehicle with a full tank, so you can get on with enjoying your road trip right away, after pick up. Should you receive a Jomon Rental vehicle with less than a full tank, we will take note on your contract and you are then only required to refuel to the same level as pick up. And offer various extras for rent. Note we wash all bedding, upon completion of rental, so you don’t need to worry about this.
Do I have to refuel before return?
Yes, your rental vehicle needs to be returned with the same amount of fuel as at the time of pick up, otherwise, a re-fuelling surcharge will apply. Please note: Our Hiace campers are DIESEL. All other vehicles are petrol. You will find labels in the fuel filler stating the fuel type.
Do I have to clean the vehicle?
The vehicles we supply are well kept and we aim to provide each renter with a great quality vehicle & an excellent experience during your travels, so please take due care when using your rental vehicle. In particular, it is important to avoid spillages of coffee and other drinks that stain, or a damage charge may be applicable. A cleaning kit is supplied with each vehicle, for such times.
If you're renting a camping vehicle in particular, this should be returned in a clean condition. A cleaning kit is supplied free of charge. The greywater deposit should be emptied. The extras you have rented, like a BBQ, Kitchen Set or, Crockery & Cutlery, for example, as well as the fridge and surfaces, should be cleaned and tidied. Where a camping vehicle is returned in a dirty state and requires professional interior cleaning, an additional cleaning fee of ¥15,000 - ¥25,000 will be charged.
Where should I dispose of rubbish?
Whenever you shop, you’ll usually be given a plastic bag at every purchase (You may also refuse a bag if preferred, for ecological reasons). We would recommend re-using one of these bags to collect rubbish, then disposing of it at a rest area or convenience store.
Do I need to bring bedding or sleeping bags?
No. We mitigate the need to carry all that bulky stuff on the plane with you. Sleeping bags are available from extras offered. Should you decide to be adventurous and wish to sleep outside, you can also rent one of our 3-man tents.
Do I need to bring child seats?
We offer child seats to families traveling with kids. You just need to add it to your booking while making the reservation online (free of charge). Please make sure you share with us the age and weight of the child so we can have the proper seat available. The Hiace campervans have 3-point seatbelts in the front only, but the chairs we use can accept lap belts. Note that the Isofix system is not available on some of our camper or sports vehicles.
Also, keep in mind that we cannot guarantee a specific model or brand for the seat as we have different models in different locations. However, you are naturally free to bring your child's seat if you prefer.
Useful fact: To the best of our knowledge, most airline companies do not charge extra for baby seats and buggies, but check before you travel.
Do the vehicles have Air Conditioning & Heating?
Yes. All our cars & campervans are equipped with air conditioning and some also have privacy glass in the rear. Furthermore, our camper vans have air conditioning and heating in the rear too. These also have skylights for additional air-flow, for example when cooking. These campers don’t need heating except for very cold winter conditions. In such a case, we offer heated blankets, but you must be near a power source to be able to use these, such as a camping site.
Do your camper vans have toilets and showers?
Honestly, you’ll be amazed at the cleanliness & respect of the Japanese people. In 20 years, we have never seen a filthy public, convenience or restaurant toilet, so there’s no need to carry a smelly portable toilet when camping.
Japan is a country with natural hot springs in most towns, even the most remote ones. Just search “Onsen near me" using your smartphone and you'll usually find one not far away. They all have clean showers and soothing natural baths, complete with soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
Note: You may not be allowed in some onsens if you are covered in tattoos (most Japanese mafia have these), although most of the time foreign tourists with tattoos will be ignored.
Please respect the way Japanese bathe, so you cannot, for example, be in a natural hot spring wearing clothes, unless it’s a mixed-sex bath, where bathers use swimwear.
Can roof tents or Elevating roofs on your campers be used during severe weather?
Being a country that has almost 70% of its landmass as Forest and mountain terrain, Japan is a country that from time to time experiences powerful Typhoons and other bad weather. Our Hiace campers are modern classics and although the roofs are very strong, we strongly advise respecting what the app on your Smart Phone says and finding a hotel during bad weather. In the event a vehicle is damaged as a result of negligence, you will be liable for costs that can be considerable.
How is a Fridge available on each of your Camping Vehicles? How does it work?
Portable ™ELGEL fridges have between 15-20L capacity and are powered by a 12V socket. They work when the ignition is on, but care should be taken not to run down the battery, or your car won’t start afterwards. The Toyota Hiace camper vans are equipped with inbuilt 12V electric fridges, which run off the auxiliary battery. This aux. battery is charged when the van is connected to a mains power source and the charger is switched on. It is also charged whenever the engine is running, so if you drive by day and camp overnight, you should always have plenty of power to run the fridge, lighting, etc.
Do your Camping Vehicles have sockets and plugs inside?
Yes. Our camping vehicles are equipped with car 12V cigar lighter plugs, USB conversion sockets and standard 100V sockets (U.S./Japan format). They are placed strategically to provide a comfortable living space. The 100V sockets will work where a vehicle has a built-in inverter, or whenever the (Hiace) campervan is plugged in.
What is the capacity of the water tank in your camper vans? And how do I empty the grey water deposit?
Freshwater capacity in our Hiace Campers is 20 litres. The dirty water from the kitchen sink collects into the grey water deposit bottle next to the freshwater supply. After using the water tank’s capacity, we recommend emptying the grey water deposit, as this can release strong odours and will overflow onto the carpet, if not emptied regularly. Greywater can be emptied over any roadside or rest area drain. Most fuel stations will also allow you to empty grey water and refill with fresh water.
Water discharge stations can also be found in several locations such as camping sites.
Where can I refill the fresh water tank?
All around Japan you will find water facilities that allow you to refill the water deposit in your camper. Camping sites, service areas or fuel stations are normal places where this is possible and if you’re adventurous you can also find delicious fresh spring water in many places around the deeper countryside. There is fresh spring water at some rest-areas around Fuji too, which has been filtered through the volcanic rock for hundreds of years. The more beautiful the mountain areas have the best quality water!
If I don’t plug the Camper Van in overnight, may I run out of energy?
It’s always best to plug the van in and charge the aux. battery anywhere you can. Some private restaurants will allow you to plug in free of charge if you ask nicely. If you don’t have any gadgets plugged in, or the fridge turned on, the secondary battery should power your lighting and USB charger for a couple of days. The lighting and water pump are designed to be energy efficient. We recommend charging these camper vans at least every other day and charging the battery to full if you are not driving around and not turning the thermostat too cold, as the fridge consumes the most electrical power. Whenever the camper van is being driven, it’s charging the auxiliary battery and will reach a full charge within a couple of hours on the road.
How do I get mobile internet in Japan, as a foreigner?
Data roaming in Japan is expensive and in our opinion, best avoided due to excessive costs!
We would recommend being equipped with mobile internet which can be used to receive and make international calls using SKYPE, WhatsApp, as well as enabling you to have internet access. We offer mobile internet routers from Softbank Japan’s largest mobile service provider with the best coverage. This can be used for multiple mobile phones, so you can stay in touch with your loved ones back home, navigate using Google Maps, search for places to go, whilst on the move and more.
See Extras, to add mobile internet service to your options.
Alternatively, you can search for a Temporary SIM / Mobile Internet LAN provider in Japan, and arrange in advance to have one for when you arrive or obtain one at the airport. Kiosks are located just as you complete customs procedure and come through to arrivals. Beware, though, some services don't work well in the remote countryside. It's best to use the largest companies. Alternatively, rent ours for touring in deeper countryside.
Can I rent extra equipment such as a BBQ, Fold-Up Bicycles, Kitchen Set, Outdoor camping table and other cool stuff?
No problem. You can find everything you need on our Extras page. Just select the extras you desire whilst completing your booking and they will be added to your trip!
What if I want to add or delete an extra after the booking is concluded?
Most of the extras we have will usually be in stock, providing adventurers with the opportunity to tailor their final touches at the time of pick up. To provide exactly what you want & to ensure availability, also to enable us to have the van ready for your trip, it's better to book Extras in advance.
Do your vans have seasonal winter sports racks for skis & snowboards?
Our vans don’t presently have outside racks, but depending on demand this is something we are looking at, as the business continues to expand, especially with the winter Olympics bringing more winter tourism towards 2020 and beyond. In our larger vehicles, it’s easy to put the seats down flat to make a bed and lay snowboards down.
We recommend using a snowboard bag and dusting the snow off with the provided brush that is part of the cleaning kit, to avoid getting the interior wet. It can begin to smell bad, after some days in cold wet climates.
What is your camping gas policy?
If you have rented a portable stove as one of your Extras, we will supply this with two new gas cartridges.
Models with Built-in Gas Hob / Stove (Hiace Camper Vans): Customers who pre-pay for gas (as an extra) will receive a full cylinder of camping gas. If no pre-paid gas cylinder is purchased, we will deliver the vehicle with a variable level of gas, matching the level of gas returned by the previous customer.
Additional gas/refills may be purchased throughout the rental period at your own expense and means from home centres where replacement cylinders are sometimes possible to find (not always easy). Please note: You will need the exact match to the existing canister. We have stock of gas canisters, so you can order as extras, or when you pick-up the vehicle.
N.B. Please dispose of used canisters responsibly.
Are vehicles insured?
The Basic Insurance plan is included with every Jomon Car Rental. This means that without paying any extra charges you are going to have coverage for damage caused to third parties and roadside assistance. You can also choose from one of our other 2 packages (Standard and Full Insurances) for added protection. Check the most suitable option for your trip when making your booking.
What is the security deposit? How is it paid?
The security deposit required for the booking corresponds to the liability on insurance for the rented vehicle. The security deposit amount depends on the insurance model you choose with your booking - Basic, Standard and Full options respectively). This amount will be blocked on your credit card during the road trip and can be deducted up to 30 days after drop-off - in case of damage, traffic violations, cleaning charges, or other breakages resulting from negligence sustained during the period of rental.
What does the insurance cover?
Check every detail of our insurance packages on the Extras and Insurances page of our website. Please bear in mind that none of our insurance packages covers negligent or willfully destructive behaviour, as explained in our Terms & Conditions.
Does insurance cover my personal belongings?
Jomon Car Rental is not legally allowed to provide insurance to cover goods that are the property of the renter. We recommend obtaining travel insurance to be sure you're covered for your trip to Japan, including medical expenses. Where you used a credit card to book your trip to and within Japan, most Card Companies (VISA, Mastercard, etc.) offer medical and goods insurance cover when travelling, but we recommend double-checking you're indeed covered by your card company.
Safety & Accidents
Why are vehicles fitted with a drive recorder?
Each of our rental vehicles is equipped with a drive-recorder and this must never be tampered with, as stipulated in the rental terms and conditions and as a condition of insurance company requirements, since this may invalidate your cover. It is fitted to protect you and to as much as possible indemnify you if not at fault, in the event of an accident.
Are your sportscars able to be used for off-road events, such as track-events?
No, our cars are strictly only for use on public roads in a legal manner and are not insured for use anywhere else. Should our vehicles be used in such ways, the renter is liable for all costs incurred and may lose his indemnity deposit and incur other costs of replacement parts, labour, loss of use of the rental vehicle, etc. and also, may forfeit the remaining booking days of the vehicle, without refund.
What precautions does your company recommend for maximizing safety?
If this is your first time driving in Japan, especially if driving on the opposite side of the road from which you are accustomed, it’s important to remind yourself each time that we drive on the LEFT side of the road, here.
Not being accustomed to road conditions and customs here, we advise being extra careful. Leave plenty of space between yourself and cars ahead, to have plenty of space in the event of the need to stop suddenly. The most common accident in Japan is when a car crashes into the car directly in front.
Do not use mobile phones or expose yourself to other distractions that take your eyes off the road ahead. If you need to read something, find a safe place to stop first.
We would recommend keeping headlights switches on, especially at dawn or dusk when light conditions make it difficult to see some objects. It’s better to be seen than not – before it becomes too late.
In the event of an accident, what should I do?
First, make sure that you immediately move away from any potential danger arising from an accident. By law, you must not attempt to move the vehicle. The Police must be called and the driver and renter will be required to give complete details and provide documentation. There is a safety light/flare inside each vehicle and this should be used to give some warning to approaching drivers. Jomon Car Rental must be contacted right away, at the earliest opportunity so we are made aware. We may need to make arrangements for recovery and if applicable & available – work out the logistics to provide a replacement vehicle.
Depending on your indemnity, you may be liable for insurance excess charges, recovery and loss of use of the vehicle, which is why we recommend taking every precaution to avoid having an accident in the first place.
Emergencies & Roadside Assistance.
What happens if the vehicle has a problem? Is there roadside assistance?
In case of need for roadside assistance, you should immediately call us on our Japanese mobile number, as found on our website’s contact page, to inform us. We know these vehicles well and have qualified & experienced staff who may be able to diagnose and advise. You may in addition call the JAF recovery service (Japanese Automobile Federation), using the membership card pertaining to the rental vehicle, which is kept together with the car’s documents. Each of our rental vehicles has free breakdown recovery cover. They have staff who can speak English and can make arrangements for a recovery vehicle to assist you, for example if the battery has run down from headlights being left on by accident, etc. Do remember to inform us promptly, whenever the recovery service needs to be used.
Are pets allowed?
Sorry, due to smells and damage that can be sustained from pets of some owners and due to our high standards & needing to have vehicles ready for the next renter without hair & smell of pets, we regret we cannot allow pets on board.
Is smoking allowed inside vehicles?
Sorry, due to smells and damage that can be sustained from heavy smokers and needing to be considerate of the next renter, smoking is prohibited in our vehicles.
Do you have a list of best spots and places to visit?
Our team is full of amazing advice & experience for your perfect trip, but we would recommend taking a look at our Adventures In Exploring page for information and pictures of our favourite places.Subscribe to our Instagram, YouTube channel & Facebook and be always kept up to date with the latest recommendations and experiences that you won’t find elsewhere!
Do you have a list of recommended campsites?
Campsites are often only open seasonally, so it’s always best to check if possible whether or not your desired choice is open. Of course, you can also camp at any Michi No Eki (Rest stop). We prefer to find somewhere level off the side of a road, for example by a lakeside, or similar. Just be sure of not driving onto soft boggy land and getting stuck, or being on private property.
Where am I allowed to travel?
You can drive all over Honshu Island and take bridges or ferries to other prefectures of Honshu Island, for example to Shikoku. If you plan to visit other major Japanese Islands, for example, Kyushu, Hokkaido, or elsewhere, please let us know in advance, so we can best prepare the vehicle for your intended use.
When renting a camper - Do I have to stay in a campsite during the night?
You don’t have to stay at campsites, although doing so may be more convenient, especially if travelling as a family and wanting facilities like showers, running water, electricity, etc.
How do I pay for tolls?
You can pay the tolls directly at the toll gate when indicated to stop on the highway. Be sure to stop at the GREEN gates. ETC is Purple and this is only for vehicles where the driver has a registered toll collection card. We do not supply ETC cards at this time.
Who should I contact with any campervan questions?
If you are experiencing any issues with the camper during the travel or have doubts about functionalities, you are more than welcome to contact the phone number available in your contract or the Jomon Car Rental phone number. You can reach us by email, phone, Whatsapp, or Skype.
What advice would you have for driving in Japan?
Roads in Japan are in our experience, the best maintained in the world. Japan has some of the most advanced road systems and there is constant development of new highways, as well as maintenance to keep surfaces smooth and well maintained, with road-works usually only carried out in the middle of the night to minimize inconvenience. Street signs use internationally recognized symbols and the vast majority of direction signs for nearby towns, etc. are typically written in Japanese and also in Alphabetical characters.
Drivers are typically courteous and most are not aggressive and it is therefore very easy to drive in Japan.
We would advise observing other Japanese drivers around you and doing much as they do, as there may be some customs you’re not used to.
Here, we drive on the left side of the road, same as in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and the U.K. for example.
In Japan, at railway crossings - by law you are required to stop, look left and right and only proceed once you have checked it is safe to do so.
The Japanese are typically all law abiding citizens and speeding or driving erratically, is considered dangerous and anti-social. We strongly advise against driving whilst not looking at the road ahead, for example whilst texting or looking at your phone. Accidents resulting from such are the most common of all, in Japan. Pay attention to the traffic in front of you and if you must use your phone, find a safe place to stop and switch on your hazard lights first!
What are the differences when driving on the Left side of the road, in Japan if I’m used to driving on the right?
So, how different is it from driving on the right side of the road? To be honest, it’s really quite easy. However, it’s important to be careful. Especially when beginning a journey, it’s easy to forget and start out driving on the right side of the road, as you might do at home. Remember to drive only on the left in Japan!
People used to driving left-hand drive cars, may find driving Japanese Right-Hand drive in Japan. It’s much the same, but be mindful that at first you may drive too close to the left and risk damaging the car. Concentrate on staying in the middle of the lane and leaving plenty of space from the side of the road. It’ll become natural to drive on the left pretty quickly. Most people get used to it in the first hour.
What 10 tips would you give me for driving in Japan?
- Streets are small and narrow, drive slowly if in doubt.
- Always take care to avoid accidents at intersections, where you must give way to all cyclists and pedestrians, who may cross whilst the signal is showing green for you. They have right of way.
- Drivers follow traffic rules in Japan and as there aren’t many aggressive drivers, do as most do – be patient & don’t honk.
- Where possible, we would advise avoiding driving in crowded and touristic areas such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.
- You can use paid car parks, typically found in most towns and cities. Parking on the street is usually prohibited, unless there are parking meters. Hours of paid use are clearly shown in English.
- You cannot execute a turn on red lights.
- Japan has no Street Names, so don’t expect to find a location using street names and number. Google Maps is the best navigation system for foreigners to use. We have Mobile LAN internet available inexpensively for you to rent, available in Extras, when you make your booking.
- At highway tolls, always head for the GREEN toll booths where you can pay in cash, or with a credit card. The Purple Toll booths are for electronic toll collection. We do not supply cards for such temporary use.
- On the highway, the left-most lane is for slower vehicles and right lanes are for overtaking. If you’re driving slower, keep to the left.
- When refueling, remember:
GREEN is DIESEL!
YELLOW is HIGH OCTANE fuel for sports and performance cars.
The type of fuel required for our cars is clearly labelled on the inside of the fuel lid.
What are some of the road traffic signals which may confuse me in Japan?
What should I do if I am stopped by the Police?
Japanese Police can be very strict, so this is why we would advise driving courteously and being considerate of other road users at all times.
In the event you are stopped for a traffic code infraction or violation, you will need to produce your driver’s licence and in addition, your international licence if applicable. You may be asked to produce your passport. You must carry these personal documents at all times, when driving in Japan.
Should you be asked any questions, we would advise using Google Translate (voice / microphone mode) to translate during any exchange with the police.
If you are given a penalty, you must PROMPTLY go to a Police station and make payment. DO THIS before you return your rental car to us. If you fail to pay, the cost of the penalty will rise and we reserve the right to charge an admin charge in addition to all penalty costs directly to the credit card with which you pay your deposit at any time within 31 days of receipt of a penalty.
If you are flashed by a speed camera, you will have to pay the penalty. In such case, please advise us and we will help you to take care of it.
The best way to avoid such, is to drive within the speed limits and observe the rules and other road users. It is also wise to be polite and humble, when stopped by the Police in Japan.