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Road Trip Safety In Japan - 5 Tips On Social Distancing And Driving

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Road trips in Japan allow you to see a side of Japan normally inaccessible to those using public transit. Driving to your destination can also feel safer during these uncertain times with the coronavirus. This article introduces advice to have a memorable and safe time on the road in Japan.


How to Have a Safe And Memorable Road Trip in Japan

road trip in japan

Taking a road trip in Japan is an ideal solution for anyone longing for a vacation and escape from the bustle of everyday life.

Driving in Japan will reveal hidden gems of the country, from stunning rural scenery to charming roadside stops and destinations otherwise tough to reach via public transportation. A road trip also eliminates the need to ride on crowded trains or buses, making it an excellent option for social distancing while traveling.

This article introduces practical tips on taking a memorable road trip around Japan that will be safe for you, your passengers, and anyone else you meet along your journey. For those looking to rent a car in Japan, Times Car Rental, Tabirai Rental, are recommended and will help you find and book the right vehicle for your trip.

If you want to rent a car in Japan, we recommend the services of KLOOK, where you can book car rentals along with activities and tours. They offer plenty of pick-up/drop-off location options around major airports and train stations all over Japan.

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Road Trip Safety Checklist

- International driver's permit or Japanese driving license
- A rental car/car you feel comfortable driving
- Hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes
- Protective masks to wear outside the car
- Water, coffee, tea

1. Choose Your Destination Carefully

japan map

As of October 2021, there are no official travel restrictions in place in Japan, making it acceptable to take trips within the country.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you can travel without caution, however. While Japan's coronavirus rates are lower than in other countries, there are still infections throughout the country, concentrated mostly in Tokyo, Osaka, and major metropolitan areas. Theme parks, museums, restaurants, and sightseeing facilities countrywide are affected by the pandemic and will have potentially have reduced business hours and be implementing anti-coronavirus measures.

All of this means that choosing your road trip destination is more important than ever. We encourage selecting off-the-beaten-path places and spots with camping or private lodging for those staying overnight. However, exercise caution and respect local regulations, even when in rural areas.

2. Pick A Less-Crowded Time to Travel

japan road trip planning

Equally as important as where you go is when you go. To avoid traffic and crowds, it is highly recommended to take a road trip on a weekday rather than on weekends. Drivers should also be aware of public holidays in Japan and any preceding or following weekends, as these times are very popular periods to travel.

Peak times of the year for travel tend to be in spring and fall, so be aware of the crowds if you plan on seeing the cherry blossoms or the foliage. On the other hand, summer and winter, due to the harsher weather conditions, see fewer travelers on the road. For those visiting a region for a time-sensitive event, please note that most festivals and large-scale gatherings are canceled until further notice.

For those working in Japan, taking a vacation during weekdays can be difficult, but we advise trying to do so to avoid people and help lower your infection risk and the people around you. Keep up with the news learn about any new developments with the coronavirus in the area you're thinking about visiting.

3. Bring Hand Sanitizer, Antibacterial Wipes, and Masks with You

hand sanitizer in japan

Cars provide a comfortable and individual space when traveling, meaning that drivers and passengers don't have to exercise the same precautions as when on public transportation. While you don't have to wear a mask when driving, always carry a supply with you and put one on when getting out of the car. If you are renting a vehicle, be sure to wear your mask when picking up the car and returning it to the rental shop.

In addition, prepare a supply of hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes. Rental cars get cleaned in between passengers, but as an extra measure of safety, you can wipe down the steering wheel, GPS, radio, and other surfaces inside. These wipes can be used to disinfect surfaces at other destinations during your trip, too. Bring hand sanitizer with you also to keep your hands clean.

Retailers throughout Japan sell these disinfecting items, but in case you want to shop online, we suggest shopping in bulk on Amazon Japan. Click here to see

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The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.