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Old 12th November 2013, 12:19   #16
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Validity of Indian DL - No, it is not at ll valid here, though Japan is also a Keep-To-Left drive. Unlike USA and many other countries where you can use your Indian DL for first couple of months, here you can`t just drive with it, not even for a day.

Hope I answered all your queries.
Hi, Nice post. Reminds me of my stay in Japan. Mt. Fuji was the first outing i did and we did a trek to its summit. Regarding DL, Indians can drive with a IDP (International Driving Permit) issued in India and this is valid for a year post which a japan DL is mandatory. The indian DL is of no use. Regarding the documents for self drive, u need to get an insurance from the rental company, IDP or Japanese DL and ur passport copy or Japan issued Residence card .
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Old 12th November 2013, 13:34   #17
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Default Re: Drive to the Beautiful Mount Fujiyama, Japan

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Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
Great Pictures. Can you also shed some light on general social life in Japan, the people, the costs there and ofcourse how tourist friendly is it. Self drive options, validity of your Indian DL etc etc. Thanks.
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Originally Posted by BeingCynical View Post
All your questions are valid and deserve a detail response. So let me layout point wise

Self Drive - Available in plenty. All car manufacturers have their 24 hours rental service. They charge 10000 Yen for 24 hours and they would hand you over a full tanked vehicle. Only condition, you need to return the vehicle tanked up at the end of the day. What documents you need to procure one such vehicle is beyond my knowledge. If needed I can ask few out here. And by the way, the vehicles are always in top notch. Clean and well maintained.

Validity of Indian DL - No, it is not at ll valid here, though Japan is also a Keep-To-Left drive. Unlike USA and many other countries where you can use your Indian DL for first couple of months, here you can`t just drive with it, not even for a day.

Hope I answered all your queries.
Hi,
This is a lovely thread that you've started.

I have spent around 4 years in Japan and hope to answer your queries above.

During my stay there, I managed to procure a Japanese driving license and bought a car too notwithstanding the fact that I dont know the language.
I was lucky enough to get to work with a Japanese team who preferred to interact in english.

Self-Drive
Available as mentioned.
The added advantage is that you dont have to return your car in the same place you take it from.
You dont even have to specify when and where you will drop it.
Any rental office (same company, of course) spread across Japan will do.

The documents required are Japanese Driving License and your Alien Registration Card (while I was there, now I think its Residency card).

Insurance is included in the rental and it is a meagre amount depending on the number of days.

They do accept International Drivers Permit (IDP) for one year from your first arrival in Japan.
It is not valid for subsequent visits regardless of the time gap between the trips.
Unfortunately, your insurance cost in this case just shoots up beyond reason for both car rentals and ownership.
Japanese Insurers generally do not cover damages incurred by a Driver with an IDP .
God forbid, if you are involved in an incident, the fines levied will have you working 24/7 for years to cover the loans taken to clear them.
The few who do insure charge heavily.
The alternative is for the rental agency to let you use their car agains a hefty security deposit.
Generally people avoid using them.

Validity of Indian DL
Agree totally with BeingCynical.
The usefulness of your Indian DL lies only in getting a Japanese DL.
The normal procedure to get a Japanese DL, as you can imagine, is a long and expensive one.
If you have an Indian DL and have used it for at least 3 months before you land in Japan, there is a shorter procedure which is not as elaborate and comparatively less expensive.
The procedure is different for people holding DLs from different countries.

For Example, if you have a UK DL, all you need to do is to pay the fees, produce your DL and you are issued a Japanese DL and sent your way.

For an Indian DL, the procedure entails an eye exam, written test and a driving test.

I intend to put up a thread on getting the DL, but somehow haven't got around to it yet.
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Old 13th November 2013, 07:01   #18
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Default Re: Drive to the Beautiful Mount Fujiyama, Japan

Thanks for sharing
Japan's love for 'boxy' cars is quiet evident from the pics!

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Originally Posted by BeingCynical View Post
We trailed this Blue Alfa-Romeo for quite some time as well
Attachment 1163629
That's Subaru Impreza

Mount Fuji is called as 'suicide forest'. Did you experience anything strange?

Last edited by HammerHead : 13th November 2013 at 07:12.
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Old 14th November 2013, 06:08   #19
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Default Re: Drive to the Beautiful Mount Fujiyama, Japan

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Mount Fuji is called as 'suicide forest'. Did you experience anything strange?


I haven`t heard much on this. Only thing that I heard from the natives here that the Jungle surrounding Mount Fuji is really thick and kind of Bhul-Bhuleiya if you go deep. No scary animals though but just a highly inhabitable place. People with this pious intention of getting rid of their lives, carry a backpack, food item for barely 4-5 days and a tent and go deep inside the forest so that even if they want they can`t just come out.

After few days the food item finishes and the pour souls were starved to death and if not that the Chill will kill them anyway. That is the reason the forest department of Japan have started heavy patrolling on this forest range and pull away anyone trying to go to the deep part of the forest. But there are still few who manage to hoodwink the officials and sneak in to their dream death.

Honestly, I can`t understand the absurdity of suicide, more so this strange way of committing.
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