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Driving in Japan: The hazards

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

  1. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    No Crutch............. no L in Japanese;)
     
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  2. warhol

    warhol Hard Yards

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    http://www.stv.jp/news/index.html

    There were accidents involving ten cars getting involved in at least four places, such as a sightseeing bus slipping at the Nakayama Pass in Kigoro-cho to close the road.
    (Oguro cameraman) "I was down the Nakayama Pass to the south. It looks like a few passenger cars that completely block the road has wrecked"
    accident that there were numerous is the 230 national highway of kimobetsu. Around 8:30 am, the sightseeing bus which was headed towards Kiyomichi slipped in the vicinity of Nakayama Pass and closed the road. After that, in the vicinity at least three places of collision accident etc in 20 minutes during one minute, 10 cars are involved, 3 people are injured minor.
    (People in the vicinity) "I have been waiting for over 90 minutes because I am an accident, so I only have to wait." The
    police are investigating the slip due to freezing of the road as a cause of the accident in detail.
     
  3. telenomore

    telenomore One of Us

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    Auto translate?
     
  4. warhol

    warhol Hard Yards

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    indeed
     
  5. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Quality!
     
  6. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ive seen the white line bend on roads in Japan because there's a ****ing powerpole in the way.
     
  7. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    Not sure if this one has been covered in earlier pages (I did have a brief skim and couldn't see it) but driving behind trucks can lead to them randomly shedding large chunks of ice. Swerving sharply on icy roads is not particularly recommended so avoiding them is challenging.

    I just cleaned up a piece the size of a basketball, it broke things...
     
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  8. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Oh no.
    Is everyone ok?

    They build up.
    I’d always try to whack the ice formations off when we got home before they froze solid overnight. They’re a danger when they release, that’s for sure.
     
  9. Tonester

    Tonester One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I spend a bit of time making sure any snow/ice is removed from the car before driving off. It becomes a real hazard. So many people don't get this and drive with a ton of snow on their roofs that slough off and end up on the windscreen behind. Ice is even worse as the car warms up and it slides off.
     
  10. d15812

    d15812 Guest

    Yes, everyone is fine, thanks.

    I almost got around it but the road were particularly icy and slippery and the ice came off the right hand side of the truck meaning that I had to go left toward the snowbank to get around it and I didn't want to end up in the snowbank.

    It caught the car beneath the right hand headlight and busted all of the plastic bits down there. Probably looks worse than it is, I expect that those bits just unclip and new ones can be put back on quite easily.
     
  11. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Just a quick write up on my experience with car hire and driving in Japan. Car hire was Toyota Nagano with the full options, insurance, ETC. Station wagon was a good choice, great for sitting on the back when changing your boots.
    Things that I noticed when driving in a city in Japan, never look away, never get distracted. People with bikes or pedestrians will cross the road at the last minute. Look for cross roads as they are everywhere. ETC cards make life so much more easier when using toll roads.

    Entry onto Toll roads are clearly marked, ETC is clearly marked not ETC marked means you throw the money into the bowl, usually these lanes are on the far left. Do not think that all gates are ETC enabled and almost drive through the gate only stopping at the last second :whistle:

    Doing a long drive isn't cheap but dam those tunnels are fun. Not sure what the speed limits mean, no one follows them. Plenty of stopping stations where good food is available. These stations won't take you out of the toll zone. It's only when you exit to a town, you pay the toll.

    English GPS was fantastic, if your new to an area, make sure you select this.
     
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  12. Sandy

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

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    The non ETC gates are green above, ETC gates have the dark blue with "ETC".
    You don't need to stop at the ETC, supposed to be 20kph, but I know they go faster.
    Speed limits: the rule of thumb, +20kph is ok, and in my experience +30kph is ok too on expressways.
    Bicycles: They do not look, they come out of side street and just expect not to get hit. I have a whole load of dash cam footage to prove it.... I bought the dash cam to protect myself from bicycles!! DO NOT speed in small side street, so you don't hit bicycles... rule of thumb: 1. Larger vehicle is at fault. 2. Gaijin are at fault (unless you have dash cam proof.)
     
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  13. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Especially if diving in Kyoto.
    Bicycles .... are off the hook

    Mind you compared to Vietnam , Cambodia , China etc
     
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  14. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also. If you need to stop in the middle of the road.
    Hazard lights.
     
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  15. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ah I remember driving in Phuket. I was in the car, there were about 20 mopeds around me. Which way do I go? Which ever way they are going.
     
  16. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes about 20 kph is what I did and those behind me were doing about the same. Sandy, have two questions.
    1. What does it mean when the ETS beeps three times. Is that just a glitch or did a country road have some kind of restriction which was not toll gate related.
    2. On the express way when the 80km lights are out, is there a speed limit or is it an autobahn?

    I think I did well after the second day, I am not an aggressive driver and I think fitted in quite nicely.
    P.S. Loved the drive from Hakuba to Togakushi. You get to rely on those corner safety mirrors.
     
  17. Sandy

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

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    1. Not sure what 3 beeps is!
    2. Still maximum 80kph (110kph ;) )

    You wanna try the Togakushi drive when it's REAL winter!!! ;)
     
  18. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Here’s one I didn’t know until this trip:

    When I picked up the car at Nissan Chitose on the 14th of Feb I had with me my 19yr old son, and no PB. I had ticked the box “all drivers are over 25” and had not intended on having the son drive or be listed as a driver. However I wanted PB listed, but he was coming in 8 days later.

    I took a colour photocopy of PBs passport and his original licence and his original international licence hoping they’d add him to the registered drivers, but no such luck. Apparently the sticking point was they needed to take a photocopy of the passport with the VISA stamp in it.

    I did have the 19yr olds licence and international licence with us so I asked about him. I pointed out that he was born 1999 and said he is too young isn’t he. However the guy inspected the licence, international permit, passport and said “ok ok, it is ok”. :eek:

    He never drove, but it was nice to know if I broke my leg or stroked out that the kid could drive the car back and not be stranded.

    When PB arrived we swung past the rental location on the way out, added him as a driver (took about 45 seconds) and he stole the keys and hasn’t given them back yet LOL

    Lessons:
    Under 25s can be listed as drivers (and no additional charge) - but maybe do it in the country in person rather than at the time of booking ... the Aussie office might not be so accomodating.

    The person doesn’t need to be there at hire but thier passport w/visa, licence and IDP does.
     
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  19. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Routinely go around 130 on the Tohoku Expressway and those stupid police lights on a pole dont seem to stop me.
     
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  20. PMG

    PMG One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We had mixed results with inputting destination phone numbers in our car in Shikoku. It was right most of the time. I thought I knew better when it was directing us to a much longer route than the one we were taking to our accommodation in the Iya Valley.
    Narrow but manageable. Wonder what that sign said in Japanese we just passed?

    Oops. 90 minutes driving and only 28 klms to our destination too. Alternate route back and around, 125 klms. Rookie mistake from someone who should know better by now.
     
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  21. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've been added as a driver before. Without a entry permit.
    Just emailed a scan of the three , passport, NSW licence and international to the person picking the car up.
    Was fine.

    However Japan.
     
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  22. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've given up on car GPS now.
    Google maps for me.
     
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  23. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Me and @PiedPiper did our first Japan car hire this year. I ticked the ETC card option when I booked the car, thinking it would make things a bit easier. The friendly chap at Nippon rental didn't explain how to use the card to us, nor did he put it into the slot. So we drove off happily thinking we'd swipe it at the gates or something.

    Some truly hilarious episodes ensued with us at the ETC gates on the expressway, a couple of times ending up in lanes that didn't have coin payment options, and made complete Bakka Gaijin of ourselves to the vehicles that were unfortunate enough to get stuck behind us. It took an expressway attendant uttering something about a slot for us to finally figure out what to do with the card, and then enjoy the smooth smooth stop-free use of the expressway.
     
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  24. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL did you not see the slot?
     
  25. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Nope, not in line of sight from the driving position for me in the N-Nox. Below and to the left of the steering wheel, it was quite obscured.
     
  26. Sandy

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

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    But the whole point is that Japanese people who are unfamiliar with anything OS, ASSUME that everything works the same OS, as it does in Japan.
    So in this case, the Nippon Rental guy thinks that all cars OS have a similar ETC card slot that you put the card into.
     
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  27. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Indeed they are.

    anyways ..all good .. sounds funny
     
  28. bluestick

    bluestick One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Same for us this year after a couple of frustrating tries with phone and map code although phone was mainly ok in past years. Google maps has its moments too in terms of route choice, though the app still amazes me. I still like hard copy maps although hardly used one this time even in the bc. Phone gps and Geographica app make it too easy. I feel I’m losing my traditional map and compass skills though.
     
  29. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    It was funny, there were two ways of driving up to Togakushi, one of the ways was this one. Narrow Corwallish roads which eventually married up to the preferred route. I thought how sketchy it would have been in full snow and thought thank goodness for the warmer conditions. Adding the Togakushi temple in the SatNav got me on the right route. Day three I didn't need the sat at all.

    With the preferred route from Nagano, I now know why they have that sequence of corners with a roof, snow would make it near impossible.
     
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  30. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Navi seem to like the Toga road.
    They love to point that way from Nagano to hakuba .
    *ive had it happen twice in two hire cars.
     
  31. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Toyota Nagano was fantastic. The lady who gave me the keys pointed out the ETC was inserted and active. The GPS was set to English, the GPS was Charles proof, didn't know they were that easy to use. Only issue was I couldn't get the phone to marry to the head unit so thought bugger it, in Japan, listen to Radio Nagano. The ETC on the station wagon I had was visible, located under the dash. Ah yes and it beeped at me.
     
  32. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Actually the shortest route. The shortest/quickest route to Myoko also skirts around the bottom of Togakushi. I can get to Nagano at least 10-15 minutes quicker that way than if I take the highway (unless I get stuck behind an oji-san in a k-truck).
     
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  33. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think I've figured out what the road speed limits are in Japan. Rather than the upper limit, they are are lower limit; ie you need to go faster than the speed sign :p. The only exception to this appears to be when a police car is going along at the speed limit and no one is game to overtake them.
     
  34. Sandy

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

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    I've overtaken a police car in an 80kph zone, doing 95kph!!!
    No problem!!!
     
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  35. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    A bit like Adelaide.
     
  36. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    :eek:
    Not sure I’d be game.

    The relief when there is a car ahead and you can just match speeds...
    When you are the only car, speed sign says 50, you’re doing 80, then someone comes up behind you right on your hammer...
    Do you speed up? I’d love to do 110 but speed sign says 50...
    Once they overtake - I just follow.
     
  37. M_G

    M_G M_G_ = Make skiing great again Ski Pass: Gold

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    Nah, everyone does 55 km/h because of the all the speed cameras. It was a shock when I got back from Japan.
     
  38. Charles

    Charles Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Most do 55 but there are a lot who just speed, tailgate and are just a$$holes because.. Well because they are Adelaide drivers.
     
  39. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    #shitadelaide
     
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  40. fukuro-no-mori

    fukuro-no-mori Hard Yards

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    Great view when you get through that tunnel at the top though.
    [​IMG]

    The Bird Line, the road with the long snow shelter between Nagano City and Togakushi, is one where it'd be good to have 4wd. 10% most of the way and very twisty.
     
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