What you should know before hiring a car in Tokyo
Car hires in Tokyo: practical information
Where to rent a car in Tokyo
Heading to Tokyo? The Japanese capital has an incredible public transportation system but if you’re heading outside the city, you’d best take a look at what car hire deals in Tokyo are on offer after you book your flights to Tokyo. All of Tokyo’s airports have rental car centres where you can choose from a dozen companies.
It’s best to reserve your vehicle in advance however, to ensure you get the car you want for your trip. In the city centre, there’s also no shortage of Tokyo car hire options. For advice upon arrival, talk to your hotel staff. Dollar Rent-A-Car, Nippon Rent-A-Car and Toyota Rent a Car typically have English-speaking staff.
Driving in Tokyo: parking and other tips
It’s essential to have an international driver’s license in order to hire a car in Tokyo. As for driving, narrow and one-way streets with no signage can be a little daunting for foreigners. It’s a good idea to get out of Tokyo following the quickest and most direct route in order to get to your destination.
The Tokyo Expressway is your ticket to driving around Tokyo. At night, it’s a great place to drive to see the city lights. Just make sure you drive cautiously and obey the speed limits. Street racing was very popular here in the 80s and 90s, and races still take place, although more and more infrequently.
Road trips from Tokyo: what to do, what to see
The surrounding Kanto region is full of historic towns and interesting sights. First up is Hakone, a small city that is famous for its hot springs and unparalleled views of Mount Fuji. A trip to Hakone definitely wouldn’t be complete without a dip in a traditional Japanese hot spring like Tenzan Tohji-kyo. Also, a hike around the lakes is a must.
This small and quiet town was once the buzzing political capital of Japan, from 1185 to 1333. Today it’s a popular day trip from Tokyo with a car hire to visit all the temples and Great Buddha statue. Apart from the cultural sights, the town has some popular beaches on the Shonan Coast. Try Yuigahama for its aquatic fireworks display.
The Izu Islands are a chain of volcanic islands scattered in the ocean just south of Tokyo. They are a treat to visit! Start on the largest one, Oshima and hop from one to the other to explore their different attractions and landscapes. These are perfect if you want to scuba dive, surf or fish while on holidays in Japan.