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Driving in Japan: The hazards

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Sandy, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are fringes still popular in WA?
     
  2. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Who cares what is popular?
     
  3. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    SOLD
     
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  4. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I know a photographer ,, he can sort me out..
     
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  5. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    Any recommendations on what car to get for a Hokkaido trip for 4 guys with gear for 19 days? Preference would be a van or station wagon of sorts (with racks). I've looked on Tocoo which seem to have the best prices by far but I've read in some posts that they usually release wicked deals in Dec (looking at you @Crispy013 ). ATM I'm looking at quotes which are around $1900AUD and that's without the daily hire for racks. Is this reasonable price or could it be significantly cheaper.

    Any suggestions or inside tips @LMB ?

    Note: Pickup and dropoff will be at New Chitose Airport.
     
  6. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  7. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I found it hard from Chitose.

    In the end got a Hiace Regius from Hirafu (Niseko Auto) - surprisingly 1/3 of what Toyota quoted me from Chitose. (Niseko Auto is Black Diamond.)

    Pls excuse any typos - I'm a tad shit faced...

    Can I ask what 19 days you are looking at? Our van is sitting idle for a week while we are in Korea for the Olympics...
     
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  8. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL Damn good one too. Highly recommended!
     
  9. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    http://www.otarubayrentacar.com/types/minivan/
    You could catch the train to Otaru..............
    would save a shed load
     
  10. Hyst

    Hyst Enjoyer Ski Pass: Gold

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  11. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    I've sent an email off to Niseko Auto (who also offer airport pick up and drop-off - winning!!). Your shit face is typing is better than your sober version LOL

    The 19 days would be from the 07th to 26th of Feb so that does line up with the Winter Olympics :whistle:
     
  12. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL
    Oh man I was typing so slowly and correcting over and over!

    So Niseko Auto wouldn't do the airport pickup/drop off for my van, but I have got it for 4 months, at the long term rate. I hope you can wangle the airport to and from!

    If you get stuck getting something let me know. I'll be away from 12th to the 19th - obviously better for you if you can get a car for the entire period, but if you get stuck...
     
  13. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    Donzah those rates are actually amazing. Only issue is its the opposite direction to where I need to go when I land. Heading to Furano and associated regions first. I'll see what I can do to juggle things around.
     
  14. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Decided it was time to get our car rental organised for this January. So ended up paying 4600 yen ($53) a day for a 4WD station wagon (Wingroad/Lafesta) including the ETC card out of Chitose airport.
     
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  15. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    Where did you find that deal? Tocoo?
     
  16. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good job! Who through?
    I've gotten a higher quote for similar....but driving one way (pick up Koriyama and drop off Aomori). Even if I returned to the same location, Tocoo quote me a higher rate for the Wingroad (not 4WD)
     
  17. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hokkaido hire cars are always cheaper.
    I think they get more use in summer....
     
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  18. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just about to post that.
     
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  19. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ahhhh.....Ok then.
     
  20. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    Yes booked with Tocoo and the car comes from Hokkaido Travel Car rental.

    Although I have to say Tocoo are a little cheeky with their pricing. You put in your dates and they give you this great price but once you start the booking process it keeps going up. Add 8% GST, then 1080 yen a day for the Tocoo fee and finally 324 yen a day for an ETC card. So your final price is nothing like the original price shown.
     
  21. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    You also have to pay their fee up front so it's a good idea to put it on your Citibank debit card if you have one depending on how long you have the vehicle. Better rate and no conversion fee.
     
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  22. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Excellent point! Thanks for reminding me!
     
  23. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    Were you able to get an option with ski-racks? I don't think a Wingroad can handle 4 snowboard bags unless we take the boards out and strap them to the roof. I'll do some more investigation into boot space of the Wingroad.
     
  24. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've had a wingroad. 2014 trip.
    Three people Max with gear.
    The boot isn't that big.
     
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  25. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We've actually fitted three skiers and a boarder with gear into a Wingroad but that was only going from accommodation to the hill. Definitely too small for four for travelling around.
     
  26. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I didn't really like driving them either. Maybe it was my one. But the suspension was a bit wack.
     
  27. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I hired a 4WD Toyota Corolla Fielder station wagon in Hokkaido. That was big enough to fit longer skis in the back.
    It's about the same size as the Nissan Wingroad, but looks like a bit more space inside.
     
  28. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    No ski racks. When we've had the Toyota Fielder before, similar to the Wingroad, we've just folded down the 40 split seat to fit my long ski bag in. Our rear passengers are only two young kids so they can squeeze in.

    These are the dimensions of the Wingroad from the Nissan car rental site.

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah a wingroad with kids is doable.
     
  30. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've driven both and size for size they are very similar BUT I felt there was just that little bit more room in the Fielder
     
  31. argento

    argento Hard Yards

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    How would you compare these two with the Toyota vanguard size-wise?
     
  32. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    No knowledge/experience with Vanguard, sorry
     
  33. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    A vanguard is just a large Rav 4 . You seen them in NZ alot. Similar size to the old Klugers.
     
  34. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ahhh....then I'd say Vanguard somewhat bigger than Wingroad/Fielder. But not by much, as the older style Klugers were not the beasts of their more modern counterparts
     
  35. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes.. They are. Quite large.
    Smallish boot. Like most SUV.

    One of the drawbacks of a large car in Japan. Parking. Some of the spots are small.
     
  36. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have always hired through this site out of Chitose. Great prices and service on email too with answering questions about cars, recommendations, etc. Is an aggregator of sorts. Prices definitely cheaper than direct through the brands themselves.
     
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  37. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We had this in Jan. Actually a free upgrade as we had selected the class below. Think it was a Toyota Fielder from memory, but could be wrong. Was a one off charge for the racks and ETC, not daily as it sounds some others do, cheap as well like 1000y each total for 10 days. Could fit 4 adults with boards on the roof. Note that ski racks are only good on the clearer days. They are a pain in the arse when it’s dumping and we (as only 2 of us) invariably ended up putting the skis inside.



     
  38. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I hope you realise what happens when you don't put your skis in a bag, when on the roof?? Not so much a problem in Hokkaido, but when the snow melts a bit, and you're on expressways, you get a white residual spray on the windscreen.... that's road salt. It can get into your bindings, and on the edges.
     
  39. travelislife

    travelislife One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Interesting, no I didn’t, can’t say I ever noticed it, and most days the skis actually ended up in the car.
     
  40. telenomore

    telenomore One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just a heads up on a couple of driving issues in Japan. Firstly, this is mostly clear from the posts here, but just want to emphasise, make sure you have an international license, or you will be turned away from the rental car agency.

    Secondly though, and this is a big one not mentioned here as far as I can see. You can only use an international drivers license for 90 days. Even if you leave the country for up to two weeks, the 90 days does not reset. if you have an accident or get a driving fine and you have exceeded the 90 days, you are deemed an unlicensed driver and the fine for that is about ¥350,000 (about $4000). Plus a whole lot of hassle with the police. Not too mention most likely compromising any insurance if in an accident. Rental car companies do not check this, but the police do. Friend of mine found out the hard way.
     
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  41. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Do you have more details about your friend? Visitor or resident?

    Here is the info from the embassy, but it does not say this specifically:
    http://japan.embassy.gov.au/tkyo/driving.html

    Driving in Japan
    To drive in Japan you must hold either:
    • a valid Japanese licence; or
    • a valid International Driver's Permit and a current Australian state driver's licence.
    An International Driver's Permit is not a licence; you must also hold a valid Australian licence.

    Australians can drive in Japan on an International Driver's Permit (in conjunction with your Australian driver's licence) up to 365 days following their initial entry into Japan. However, local authorities expect anyone who is residing in Japan (i.e. those not on a 90 day temporary visitor entry visa) to drive on a Japanese licence, not an International Driver's Permit.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    So it looks like that if you come in as a resident, you need to probably need to get a Japanese license within 90 days.... although I recall it was longer than that before I got mine. But it doesn't say that specifically.
     
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  42. telenomore

    telenomore One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I was a bit surprised as was not aware it was a problem, but I talked to the police personally (Obihiro Police station). They say 90 days regardless of visa and outside of that period, you are deemed unlicensed. My friend has to front up to court to face a police prosecutor. The arresting police did there best to reduce the fine as they accepted genuine ignorance of the law very easily. I have to say, the police were pretty pleasant to deal with, but also very adamant. They brought in a police interpreter especially for this issue. The visa in question was a temporary visitor visa that had been extended several times by leaving the country and returning. Was well within the 365 days. The first officer to deal with it, esentialy let it go, and forgave the fine (was found out by getting caught on a speed camera in my car!). Then a month later, another officer phoned and said they were following it up because it was deemed driving without a license. I was also held responsible to a degree as I allowed an unlicensed driver to drive my car. So, some confusion, but I would just be very careful (don't speed!) if staying longer than 90 days regardless of visa.
     
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  43. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Good to know.
    Not a lot we can do to 'fix' it if leaving the country and returning doesn't re-set the 90 days driving though...
     
  44. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not sure if I should try some one else, for 4wd or take what I get???

    Reply from ToCoo after booking.

    Thank you very much for using ToCoo! Car Rental Service.

    You have submitted a Customer request but there is an available rental car in regular ToCoo! online reservation.
    We recommend you to make a reservation through our regular online system which is easy and convenient.


    Please see the page below for an available rental car and rental car fees during your requested period.

    URL:https://goo.gl/QdtXwP

    Please contact us after you make a reservation if you would like to request 4WD because there are only 2WD cars available online.
    We will request the car rental company directly but we cannot promise if it is available.
    *We assume they have 2WD only.

    If it is available, it will cost you about 1,600 yen per day.
     
  45. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Have you tried booking direct with Budget or Toyota?
     
  46. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    No, but I will give it them a try, thanks
     
  47. hotsaki

    hotsaki One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think the Humber Super Snipe would be a better choice than the Vanguard.Although personally I would go a Nissan GTR or if too expensive a Subaru WRX.With the way Argento Ski`s GTR perfect!
     

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  48. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    It says.
    Make the reservation the normal way. They will request a 4wd and advise you.
     
  49. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    And pay 25/30% more a day...............
     
  50. Tonester

    Tonester Lift Line Nazi Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeh, I did a price comparison. Considerably more expensive compared to tocoo