Car Hire in Tokyo
This information is correct as of June 2015
Travelling around by public transport can easily become very inconvenient, especially if you have a lot of luggage and plan on covering a lot of ground. Renting a car in Tokyo might seem like not such a good idea at first, but remember that there are plenty of opportunities for scenic drives outside of Tokyo. There are also lots of attractions in the surrounding areas as well, attractions that you can easily access if you have a car at your disposal. It can also be very cost-efficient if you're travelling in groups of three or more. Make the most out of your trip and pre-book a car rental in Tokyo with the help of Skyscanner.
Where to hire a car in Tokyo
Highly qualified car rental agencies operating in Tokyo include Nissan Rent a Car, Times Car Rental, Nippon Rent-A-Car, Tokyo Rent-A-Car, Budget, and Hertz. Their websites can be viewed in English, so online reservations can be made easier. Available vehicles vary per company, but it is possible to rent minivans, wagons, passenger cars, sports cars, hybrid cars, and RVs.
What to expect when hiring a car from Tokyo
The roads in Tokyo are in good condition, and drivers are generally well-mannered. Majority of the signposts are in both Japanese and English, so at least knowing where you are at any given point wouldn't be a problem. In addition, most of the roads are toll-free except for some expressways and even some scenic driving routes.
Here are a few driving rules to keep in mind: Vehicles in Tokyo drive on the left side of the road, and the driver sits on the right side. Unless otherwise stated, the legal speed limit is 60 km per hour on general roads, and 100 km per hour on expressways. All passengers must wear seatbelts at all times, and children under six years of age must be in child seats. Turning is not allowed when the traffic light is red, and vehicles turning left always have the right-of-way. For roads with a yellow center line, overtaking is not allowed.
Traffic is often heavy on weekdays in central Tokyo, and less outside of the city. It is highly recommended to drive only on weekdays though if you plan to travel the surrounding areas of Tokyo. During weekends and National Holidays, traffic is heavy outside Tokyo due to people looking to spend the days off outside of Tokyo.
Getting to your destination
For over a millennium, Kyoto served as the capital of Japan. The small city boasts of rich cultural heritage, numerous shrines, palaces, temples, and other significant landmarks. In fact, 17 of its historic sites are listed in UNESCO's World Heritage List, under the group designation Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. Kyoto is also known as one of, if not the, best places to view cherry blossoms. The drive from Tokyo takes about five to six hours, and you have to go through an expressway toll.
Access to Kyoto is via the Tomei and Meishin Expressways.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Located in Chiba, Tokyo Disney Resort is the third most annually visited theme park complex in the world. Truly a Disney merchandise fan's paradise, the resort consists of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, and includes the Ikspiari shopping and entertainment complex. There is so much to do at Tokyo Disney Resort that visitors are recommended to acquire a map in advance and plan on which attractions and rides to prioritize. To get to Tokyo Disney Resort, follow the coast of Tokyo Bay to Chiba.
Exit at the Urayasu ramp, go out at Route 357, and make a U-turn at Mihama Rittai Road after about 1 km. From there, there should be signs leading to Disney Resort.
Once the political capital of Japan, Kamakura is now a charming, quiet town. It is a popular day trip destination for its many temples and attractions scattered around the city. Perhaps the most popular attraction is the Great Buddha, but other points of interest include Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine, Myohonji Temple, Zeniarai Benten Shrine, Kenchōji (number one of Kamakura's Five Zen Temples), and Tōkeiji , a nunnery known in the feudal days for sheltering women who have been abused.
The shortest route from Tokyo is via the Yoko-yoko freeway and exit on Asahina. You can also take the next exit Zushi for less traffic and a more scenic drive along the coastline.