Annoying things in Japan – Part 4 CARS (くるま)


Cars, we all love driving and if you do not drive for whatever reason then that is all good too. I don’t drive in Japan and that is a personal decision because I know if I did, I would lose my licence in a day. This would be down to my anger at other drivers. No, I am not “one of those” people. It is just that in Japan driving / drivers are a different kind of beast.


Allow me to explain…

*Not official information, just my observations.

If you want the official information, click here


Firstly, I will have a small rant about the learning to drive process here. Simply it costs a lot of money to get your licence in Japan and you can choose stick or automatic. You cannot do both with one license and to me that is insane. You must pass a written test of about 50 questions and then another one of 100 questions. You learn to drive in a fake road type area which explains a lot to me! You are simply buying your licence. OH, I nearly forgot, the questions are in English but trust me, THEY ARE NOT IN ENGLISH as in actual English. The first time I took the written test I sat there for 45 minutes and wrote my name. That’s how insane the English was. Be warned

If you are from abroad and want to take the driving exam only without paying stupid money for a school, then think again. Call me paranoid but they will fail you for breathing the wrong way until you have paid a similar amount of what a school cost. It is a joke.


Japan is not a huge place, so roads are small, parking areas are tiny so why do Japanese people buy huge cars? It is so ridiculous to me. I see tiny women in a monster of a car who cannot park it at all. We also have people buying a Mercedes or a Porsche etc and live in a one bedroom flat… explain that?


The drivers here seem to think that not looking and putting their hand up means they can do whatever they want. I believe my pet peave is when people push in and put their hazard lights on as a thank you… I DID NOT LET YOU GO!!!

Oh, zebra crossings… this is gold. Apparently, it is legal to not have to stop at zebra crossings, but if you hit someone it is your fault. WHAT????? Then we get to the train crossings.

Train Crossings

Train crossings are everywhere and if it starts beeping, you should stop and wait, I say should. Also, if it isn’t beeping you should still stop and wait to a count of three before proceeding. This gives pedestrians a chance to cross and safety for yourself. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people that do not stop at all. I of course go insane when this happens to me and some people shout back… I have to gently remind them that YOU ARE IN THE WRONG!! IDIOT

Pretty much a few times a week on the news is a car that got smashed by a train or a truck that got stuck and caused a massive crash. I shake my head and turn off the news as you will never learn. It all comes down to the CANNOT WAIT thing that I have mentioned many times.

Types of cars

The types of cars in Japan are quite odd. You have white plate car and a yellow plate car. A white plate is a higher power, larger car which is quite normal. A yellow plate car… is basically made from aluminium with the most uncomfortable seats and no room at all. I will never even be a passenger in one. They are so dangerous it scares me. Also, there are certain types of people (not everyone) that drive a yellow plate car. They seem to decorate it with the stupidest things I have ever seen. I am not sure why actually. You could save that money to buy a normal car!

Now with the Olympics coming, the government decided to release a white plate with the Olympic 2020 on it. Yellow plate people have been able to get it so now you have to know by looking at it that’s it’s an actual yellow plate.


Police and emergency vehicles

Police cars look cool, fast as and super clean and shiny. I have been in one during an event. I took a photo and my friend thought I had been arrested LOL. Unfortunate though there is a weird amount of wrongdoing on the roads. People are let off certain things if they are from the American base this is because the paperwork is vast. Also, I have seen girls driving the wrong way on a road and let off, why? Because she’s cute, hot and knows how to look sad and cute. Don’t believe me? Wait until you see it.


The one thing about emergency vehicles that really drives me crazy is when they come to traffic lights or train crossings. Don’t get me wrong I am very grateful to any emergency vehicles and that’s on a personal note, but when they get to traffic lights that are on red, they literally stop, check and crawl through. I do not understand this at all. In the UK they are screaming through traffic like Formula 1 drivers. Sure, they are probably being safe but there is a line of safe and safer than normal traffic.


So, if you plan on driving in Japan be safe 

 Article written by David 
Photos by David


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