top of page

Japan - Visiting

Updated: Nov 6, 2018

Japan is car heaven, a place to see all your favorite cars and not only Japanese models.  I really enjoy Japan's meticulously preserved history, their endless temples and the beauty of the countryside. But for me though, it's all about the cars. Visiting the tuner shops and locations in Japan is like going on a religious pilgrimage that I grew up reading about.  

Now Japan has what is arguably the best transit system.  The trains are always on time, you can take the Shinkansen (bullet train) across the county in a matter of hours; taxis are easy and plentiful (although they can be expensive); buses are everywhere and clean just like everywhere in Japan.

But for me, it's all about renting a car and being able to go to places like tuner shops, the touge roads in Hakone or the famous PA Diakoku Futo and other interesting locations off the beaten path.

Renting a car in Japan is pretty much the same as the US.  The rental car locations as you would expect are a lot smaller. Just make sure you get an English GPS and an ETC card for all of the toll roads that you'll have to drive through.  

From Tokyo, there are more than a handful of places that you can visit with a rental car. For instance, a day trip to Yokohama can take care of multiple tuner shops along with accessing the famous Diakoku Futo PA (Parking Area).

There is always something different and cool to see at the PA. At all hours, any day of the week, you have people driving in and out. The sound of their exhausts echoing from the elevated highway that encircles the PA. Drivers take their cars out here for a little fun and to mingle with other like minded enthusiasts. 

Continuing south past Yokohama you will end up in Hakone, where aside from all the hot springs, there is the very popular Mazda Turnpike. The Turnpike is always used in Japanese magazine publications, YouTube videos and of course scenes from Initial D.  

At the top is a great hangout spot with views of Mt. Fuji (if weather permits). It's a meetup spot and a starting point with access to some of the local touge roads. A great place to get off the main road and get lost on some wonderfully fun and picturesque roads. It's a scenic drive that you could spend the entire day driving around enjoying the views of Mt. Fuji and the Fuji Five Lakes.  

My greatest pleasure is all the random encounters that occur during my visit. Having to keep my head on a swivel, looking down each ally, in every parking area and of course while driving; you never know what you'll come across.

Additional photos that are also worth seeing.


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page