Driving in Japan is not difficult if you know the Japanese traffic rules as almost all roads are well marked with both Japanese and English, and Japanese drivers are known to be cautious and friendly.

Followings are important points to note regarding Japanese traffic rules.

Please drive safely and enjoy traveling.

Keep to the left side of the street.

In Japan, cars must keep the left side of the street. Please drive under the legal limit speed with traffic signs.


Please fasten your seat belt while driving.

You must fasten your seat belt in all seats. You’ll be fined if you violate this law.


Traffic signals

Green means to drive, red means to stop. Wait until it turns green if it’s red. However, if the green arrow is lit, you may drive toward the direction of the arrow.


Please do not use the cellphone while driving.

You will be fined if you use your cellphone while driving. You will be fined even when you operate on your phone to check or send messages as well. 


Please do not park on the street.

Parking on the street is violating the law, even if parked for a short period. You can be fined up to \18,000.


Child safety seats under 6.

Please use child safety seats for children under 6. We rent one for you if necessary.


When turning right, you must give priority to other cars driving straight.

When turning right, you must give priority to oncoming cars driving straight and turning left before turning right.


Pedestrians are prioritized anywhere

Regardless of turning right or left, pedestrians are prioritized. Be careful with pedestrians.


Driving under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.

Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Never drink and drive! Also, the person who provides car for those intoxicated will be severely punished. 


Emergency contact number: 110 for police, 119 for ambulance or fire truck

In the case of an accident, first, check your condition, then call an ambulance via 119 if there are any injuries and police via 110 to report the location. You must call the police no matter how small the accident is.


In Japan, stop signs are triangular shaped.

Internationally, stop signs are usually octangular shaped, however in Japan, stop signs are red, reverse-triangular shape that says “止まれ (STOP)” in Japanese as shown in the picture.

Please stop completely at the “止まれ (STOP)” sign, and check your left and right. You also must always stop at the railway crossings even without the stop sign. 


Information about traffic signs

Basic traffic signs



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Parking rules in Japan