Welcome To DriveJapan!

Please note that this website is still "under development" so not all the features are working perfectly yet. Please be patient and we should have everything working correctly in a few more months!

Are you looking for an economical, fun and safe way to really see and experience Japan? Then you and your traveling companion(s) should be considering a road trip to one of the many off-the-beaten-track areas of Japan that few tourists, Japanese or non-Japanese, have a chance to visit.

The best way to do this, if you don't have your own car or motorcycle in Japan, is by rental car or rental motorcycle from one of the medium-size, nearby cities that will be your starting point. You will be able to get off the expressways onto the local roads where the people live, work, celebrate, and pray.

You can see and experience a range of sights from old temples and shrines, to modern art installations, to colorful and memorable local festivals, to UNESCO World Heritage sites, to relaxing Japanese onsens (hot spring baths), to tea ceremonies and beautiful gardens, to local markets, to hiking, cycling, skiing or golf outings, not to mention memorable scenic spots and National Parks. The average speed on most of these roads is only 30-40 kph (about 20-27 mph) so you can experience "slow travel" in a safe, meaningful, and enjoyable way. You aren't going so fast that you miss sites and views along the way, but are able to slow down even more, pull over and enjoy another unique experience.

Here at the DriveJapan.info website we have created a wide variety of recommended itineraries specifically for driving/riding in Japan's less visited areas. You can select one or more itineraries you like (we recommend you do this "research" part on a desktop computer/tablet rather than a smartphone to better visualize the process). You can then save a copy on the website in your own personal account, and then customize your copy with accommodations, restaurants, and/or other sites until it is just right for you.

You can then use your customized itinerary's routing information with your vehicle's GPS navigation system, as well as on your smartphone or tablet, to have a custom, hassle-free, memorable driving/riding experience.

To begin your adventure we recommend that you find a suitable itinerary for your trip by following three simple steps after clicking the button below.

Note that there is no charge for this service

Select Itineraries

Driving in Japan

In the "Driving in Japan" tab on the Navigation Bar above you will find more detailed information about what you will need in the way of:

  • International Driver's License,
  • Rental car companies in Japan,
  • Rental car GPS navigation system,
  • Rules of the Road for Japan,
  • Driving on the left side of the road,
  • Tips on accommodations and meals in Japan, etc.

You can check these out now or later as needed.

View Driving in Japan Information


If you are just "browsing" at this point and don't have any firm dates or ideas yet, you can go directly to the Itineraries tab and see all the itineraries on the site.

As you can imagine the complete list can be overwhelming so please take advantage of the "filters" provided there to limit your search by any combination of month, interest(s) and/or region/prefecture(s). This will produce a more manageable search result tailored for you.

View Itineraries