Black Diamond 2010-11-28 12:59:14
Having a set of wheels while you're here will make your trip better in so many ways. Hokkaido is a big island with many great resorts and places to see that are easily accessed by car. However, before you can drive in Japan you need to do a few things first. A valid international drivers licence must be obatined in your country of origin. If you are already here and didn't get one, you need to send your drivers licence back home and have someone act on your behalf. This may or may not work, it will depend on the person behind the counter and their mood that day. If you're planning on buying a vehicle from a reputable dealer like oh for example you will first need to get a Gaijin card. Then you will have to get an official personal stamp(Hanko) made. After that you'll have to register said Hanko with the local government. Then with that, you will be able to obtain a inkan shomei sho (stamp certificate document) from the same local government. Wait, there's more. You will also need to get a shakou shomei (parking certificate) from the local police station and then get that signed by your landlord or whoever owns the land where you plan on parking the car (must be within 2kms of where you live). No parking space, no car ownership (unless it's a kei car which we don't really recommend). In total there are about 12 peices of paper to fill out. If you require assistance a reputable dealer like, oh for example will help you with the paperwork for a fee of about 5000yen. Thenthere are the assoiciated costs involved with owning a car like road tax, recycling fee, shaken and insurance but we won't go into that now. All I can say is that it costs about a min of 150,000yen/year to own most any car. If this all seems daunting and you are only planning on staying for a month or two or three you may want to seriously think about long term renting. A reputable and affordable rental agency like oh, for example can provide you with reliable long term rentals that will include unlimited liability insurance, unlimited kms, English navigation, and 24hr emergency roadside assistance. For more info, refer to your local living in Japan guidebook provided by the the local government of contact [img size=640][/img]