With SIXT, booking a rent a car in Japan is uncomplicated and quick to do. Featuring trusted car brands and the amenities you need, a car rental in Japan for your vacation or business trip will ensure that you make the most of your time. With the near endless attractions the country has to offer, take advantage of a rental car and save time getting from point A to point B.
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We offer pickup branches from Okinawa in the south to Hokkaido in the north in a variety of convenient locations. Booking online is a breeze to set your mind at ease so you can focus on other aspects of your trip. As you read further you will find more information about renting a car with SIXT as well as interesting cultural and travel information.
Booking one of our car rental deals in Japan is smooth and simple. Our fleet is home to trusted brand names such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. We feature free cancellation as well as unlimited kilometers when you book online. Be sure to check out our add-ons and extra features like child seats and 4-wheel drive.
Which car is right for me?
Sedans make for comfortable rides with plenty of leg room. They are great for intercity rides.
Station wagons boast an extra level of storage capacity. This can be good for those carrying gear for camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities.
For larger groups a van can provide the seating necessary to get everyone to their destination.
Driving License Requirements
In order to drive in Japan you will need a valid license and an International Drivers Permit (IDP). IDPs are generally issued in your home country. In the United States the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) issue IDPs. In some cases, a certified Japanese translation of your license will suffice. Please see the country- specific information for further detail.
In order to rent a car in Japan you must be 18 years or older.
All rental cars are supplied with a full tank of gas. You should return the vehicle with a full tank, otherwise current fuel prices plus refueling fees may apply.
There are a few things to keep in mind to make your Japan road trip a success. Be sure to remember that you drive on the left in Japan and there is no left turn on red lights. All of the vehicles on our fleet are outfitted with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) devices. ETC Highway cards can be rented as well. Highways do use radar speed monitoring so careful observation of all speed limits is a must. When on an unmarked road the speed limit defaults to 60 km/h.
There are many exciting cities as well as beautiful countryside to see in Japan. Renting a car can help you see more on your own schedule - especially some of the more remote locations. Here we go over some of the top cities to visit, and some natural parks and sightseeing destinations.
The modern capital of Japan is densely populated and the center of finance for the country. Its iconic bustling and well-lit streets have been the setting of many works including those set in imagined futuristic worlds.
The ancient capital of Japan has a much different feel from its modern counterpart. In some ways this is the cultural heart of the country. This city has many Buddhist temples and parks. Outside of its more modern center there are many areas of amazing cultural and natural beauty.
Not far from Kyoto you find the dynamic city of Osaka. The city has a historic, as well as innovative and modern, relationship to food. Due to the destruction of much of the pre-war architecture in WWII, the city has a much different character than its historic neighbor Kyoto. But do not let this appearance fool you, there are many layers of culture and experience to uncover here.
Located on Osaka Bay in Central Japan, Kobe is known for its prized beef and hot springs. It is popular amongst expats enriching the city with a more cosmopolitan vibe. Head to the Kobe Port Tower for a panoramic view of the city and surrounding ocean.
The capital city of the northern-most prefecture in Japan, Sapporo is known for its snow festival which happens at the beginning of February. As a former Olympics host, Sapporo boast a variety of skiing trails and winter sports venues.
Shikotsu-Toya National Park
Not far from Sapporo is Shilkotsu-Toya National Park. This park has several gorgeous lakes and volcanoes. It is also home to two canyons that are several hundred meters long, blanketed in thick moss. These canyons also have no entrance fee.
Daisetsuzan National Park
Daisetsuzan is the largest national park in the country. There are no train stops anywhere in the park so a car rental in Japan is particularly useful for getting here. Daisetsuzan translates to great snowy mountains, so plan for snowy conditions from October to June. In some places patches of snow remain year-round. Head here for a challenging, but invigorating hike.
Nikko National Park
If you find yourself in the Tokyo area and need some nature, head to the Nikko National Park. Famous for its Toshogu Shrine, the park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Or stop by for a dip in a hot spring.
Yakushima National Park
Visit Yakushima National Park and see the oldest trees in the country. Located in the Kagoshima prefecture, the park is home to Jomonsugi, a tree believed to be up to 7,000 years old.
Visit famous castles and see how the nobility lived and ruled the land. Himeji is one of the best-preserved feudal castles and is the largest and most visited castle in Japan. For a stunning view, head to Matsuyama. Perched on a mountaintop, the castle is one of the 12 original castles to survive past the feudal era. For those interested in flora and fauna, visit Hirosaki Castle, known for its cherry blossoms.
Those coming to Japan to experience the popular culture of gardening should head to Drakuen Garden in Okayama. It has tea houses, shrines, and many wonderful plants to see. It is also home to rare red-crested white cranes. Kairakuen, located in Mito, features over 3,000 plum trees that bloom from February to March. The water features at the Kenrokuen garden in Kanazawa are one of the great engineering feats of the Edo period.