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Car hire in Japan

Car hire in Japan

This island nation boasts a remarkable culture and plenty of spectacular sights, from imperial palaces and temples to packed cities and mountainous national parks.

What I need to know

To find the best Japan car hire deal, use our website and take advantage of our fantastic customer support along the way. We don’t charge credit card fees and amendments are free so you’re covered if you change your plans.

Where to pick up my car

The major airports in Japan are Haneda Airport (HND) and Narita International Airport (NRT) in Tokyo.

Car hire desks are typically in the arrivals halls and should be clearly signposted. You'll also find car hire providers based in convenient locations in major towns and cities, so you'll have no problem picking up your vehicle and taking to the road straight away.

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Car Hire Reviews Japan

  • “The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
    Diane T

Where to go

You can't come to Japan and not visit Tokyo. It's a packed and frenetic city, but it boasts a wonderful combination of the old and new, with ancient shrines standing alongside state-of-the art buildings.

After a busy day of sightseeing and shopping, visitors can enjoy some respite from the city's hustle and bustle by heading to the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.


There are several rules of the road to be aware of when driving a hire car in Japan. For instance, motorists must drive on the left-hand side of the road, with the driver's seat and steering wheel on the right of the vehicle. Anyone in control of a car must also be aged 18 or above.

The majority of road signs on major roads will be written in both Japanese and English.

Longer drives

Japan boasts some stunning driving routes, particularly along its coastlines and mountain ranges.

The Bandai Azuma Skyline in Fukushima, for instance, is perhaps the most spectacular mountain road in the whole country, with incredible views of the volcanic terrain.

The Hakusan Super Rindo in Hakusan is another great option, with beautiful waterfalls and panoramic views offering a real treat for the eyes.

Eating and drinking

Japan has a number of delicacies well worth sampling, such as authentic sushi and tempura.

In fact, you'll think you're in heaven if you're a big fan of seafood, as there are plenty of tasty and exotic options on offer wherever you go.

Things to do

Visitors to Japan should make a point of immersing themselves in the remarkable culture. Seeing a geisha dance is highly recommended, as is exploring some of the beautiful temples.

For instance, Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto is a historical and tranquil location, with a beautiful reflecting pond and landscaped gardens.

Alternatively, Sensō-ji in Tokyo is the oldest temple of its kind in the city and a remarkable tribute to the goddess of mercy Kannon.


Japan's islands collectively boast a total of 33 national parks, so there is no shortage of places to take in some great views.

Perhaps the most remarkable of all is Mount Fuji on Honshu Island, which is the country's highest peak and an active stratovolcano.

Located about 60 miles south-west of Tokyo, this is an iconic sight that has become a true symbol of Japan.