There has been an increase in the numbers of accidents, injuries and deaths, due to traffic accidents involving foreigners.
Whilst driving a car or motorbike in Japan, please obey the traffic rules.
Pedestrians, please walk on the right-hand side of the street. Cars, motorbikes and bicycles, please keep to the left side of the road.
When pedestrians are crossing the road at a pedestrian crossing, cars and motorbikes must stop.
Drivers of cars and motorbikes, please be aware and take care of pedestrians.
Driving cars and motorbikes
In Japan, please make sure to have your drivers license unten menkyosho with you at all times, when driving a car or motorbike.
Drivers licenses that are valid in Japan, for driving cars and motorbikes are as follows
- A drivers license that has been obtained in Japan.
- An international drivers license
- A drivers license that has been obtained in the flowing countries – Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Taiwan.
Changing an overseas drivers license, to a Japanese drivers license
One may change one's overseas drivers license to a Japanese drivers license, after having stayed in Japan for over three months.
Please enquire as to the necessary items for changing your drivers license, at the drivers license centre.
Persons who cannot speak or write Japanese, please go to the drivers license centre with someone who is able to translate for you.
Drivers license centres in Shizuoka Prefecture
- Toubu(east region) drivers license centre
Ashitakaazaonoue 241-10, Numazu City
- Chubu(central region) drivers license centre
Yoichi 6 chome 16-1, Aoi Ward, Shizuoka City)
- Seibu(west region) drivers license centre
Komatsu 3220, Hamakita Ward, Hamamatsu City
If you need a translation of your overseas drivers license, please contact the following address
- Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) Shizuoka Branch
Magarikane 6-4-8, Suruga Ward, Shizuoka City
When applying for a drivers license in Japan
50cc motorbike (Moped)license
Persons above 16 years of age, can apply for a 50cc motorbike (Moped)license.
Please apply for the drivers license examination at the police station. A fee is necessary.
Please enquire for further details at the police station.
Persons above 18 years of age can apply for a car drivers license.
In Japan, one must go to driving school, to study how to drive and take the drivers license examination, in order to be able to take the drivers license examination.
It costs about 300,000 yen to attend driving school.
The cost and times of lessons will vary, depending on the driving school.
Please enquire at the driving school for further information.
Japanese drivers licenses have a set expiration date of either 3 or 5 years.
The expiration date is written on the drivers license.
When the date of expiry on the drivers license approaches, you will be sent a notification postcard.
Please apply for renewal of your drivers license at the police station or drivers license centre.
Persons forgetting to renew their drivers license, will have to retake the drivers license examination, in order to receive a new drivers license.
Please apply for registration, in order for car ownership.
Please prepare a place to park your car (such as a designated parking lot), at or near your home.
Please have your car inspected (shaken) by a qualified mechanic.
Please obtain car insurance.
Other than the cost of purchasing a car, one must also pay for tax, gasoline, insurance, car inspection and so on.
Instances where registration is necessary
- When one has bought a car
- When the name or address of the car owner has changed
- When giving your car to someone else, or receiving a car
- When disposing of your car
- When you lose your car number plate
Registration takes place at the Department of Transportation. You can also ask at car dealerships.
Shizuoka Department of Transportation
Kuniyoshida 2 chome 4-25, Suruga Ward, Shizuoka City
Shizuoka Department of Transportation, Numazu Automobile Inspection and Registration Office
Hara 2480, Numazu City
Shizuoka Department of Transportation, Hamamatsu Automobile Inspection and Registration Office
Ryutsumotomachi 11-1, East Ward, Hamamatsu City
Please have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic, once every three years for a new car, or, once every two years for other cars.
You can apply for a car inspection at car dealerships or gasoline stands ( a fee must be paid).
Persons applying for car inspection by themselves, please enquire at the Department of Transportation.
If you do not follow the regulations for driving a car or motorbike, you will be given marks by the police.
If your number of marks becomes high, you will loose the right to drive.
If you receive a blue notification of violation of traffic regulations, from the police,
please pay the fine stated on the notification, at the bank or post office, within 8 days.
Please note that hitting a pedestrian with your car and not informing the police or an ambulance (hikinige jiko - hit and run traffic accidents),
driving under the influence of alcohol (inshu unten - drunk driving),
and driving without one's license (mumenkyo unten), are serious offences in Japan.
In Case Of Causing A Traffic Accident By Car Or Motorbike
In the case of a casualty occurring, first dial 119 and a request an ambulance.
Next, dial 110 and call the police. If you are not suffering from injury, please wait at the scene of accident until the police arrive.
Please exchange your name, telephone number and address details, with the other party involved in the accident.
In Case Of Being Involved In A Traffic Accident, Caused By Another Driver
First, please dial 110 and request the police. Please wait at the the scene of accident until the police arrive.
Please ask for the name, telephone number and address of the person who caused the traffic accident,
and also inform them of your name, address and phone number.
If you are injured in any way, make sure to go to the hospital and obtain a certificate of medical examination.
If you receive an injury to the extent that you are unable to work, please obtain a certificate of employment (shuurou shoumeishou) from your company.
Please ask for more advice at a consultation office (free of charge).
Shizuoka Prefectural Traffic Accident Consultation Office
Chubu Residents Life Centre, Minamicho 14-1, Suruga Ward, Shizuoka City
Please apply for registration of cars and motorbikes.
If someone steals your motorbike or car, go to the nearest police box (koban), and fill out a theft report (tounan todoke).
Motorbike (over 125cc)
Please apply at the Department of Transportation.
Moped, Motor Scooter (under 125cc)
Please apply at the city hall.
Please apply for security registration (bouhan touroku) at the shop where you bought your bicycle.
Bicycle Traffic Regulations
You must attach a light to the front of your bicycle. Please also attach a light reflector to the back of your bicycle.
Persons over 16 years of age, are allowed to put a child of up to 5 years of age on a bicycle with an attached child seat.
Please ride your bicycle in single file, on the left side of the road.
Two or more people are not permitted to ride on one bicycle.
Please do not ride your bicycle whilst holding an open umbrella.
Please do not ride your bicycle whilst wearing headphones.
Please do not ride your bicycle whilst using a mobile phone.
Car・Motorbike Traffic Regulations
Please make sure to have your drivers license with you at all times,whilst driving a car or motorbike. (Driving without your drivers license is an offence (Menkyo Fukeitai))
Persons who have consumed alcohol must not drive.(Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence (inshu unten)
Please obey all traffic light signals and traffic signs.
All persons riding in a car, must wear a seatbelt.
You must wear a helmet when riding a motorbike, scooter or moped.
You must install a child seat in your car, if you have a passenger who is under 5 years of age.
DO NOT use a mobile phone, whilst driving a car, motorbike or bicycle.