Driving in Japan and driving places in Tokyo

Obtaining a driver’s license in Japan can be a rewarding and convenient experience, allowing you to explore Japan’s beautiful landscapes and bustling cities with ease.

Jun 9, 2024 - 13:22
Jun 9, 2024 - 17:20
Driving in Japan and driving places in Tokyo
A major street in Japan

Whether you're a resident or a long-term visitor, this guide will help you navigate the process of getting your driver's license and highlight some of the best driving schools in Tokyo.

Steps to Obtain a Driver’s License in Japan

  1. Eligibility and Documentation
    Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a regular driver's license in Japan.
    Residence Card: Ensure you have a valid residence card.
    Translation: If you have a foreign driver’s license, you’ll need an official Japanese translation, usually provided by the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).
  2. Driving School Enrollment
    Choose a School: Select a driving school that offers courses in English. Enrolling in a driving school is not mandatory but highly recommended, especially for those unfamiliar with Japanese traffic laws.
    Course Options: Schools typically offer regular and intensive courses. Choose one that fits your schedule and learning pace.
  3. Attend Classes and Training
    Theory Classes: Learn Japanese traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving practices.
    Practical Training: Gain hands-on experience behind the wheel under the supervision of certified instructors.
  4. Pass the Written Test
    Study Materials: Use the study materials provided by the driving school or available online in English.
    Test Locations: Written tests can be taken at your local driving test center.
  5. Take the Practical Driving Test
    Preparation: Practice driving in various conditions and familiarize yourself with the test route.
    Booking the Test: Schedule your practical test at the driving test center. Some schools offer packages that include the test fee.
  6. Receive Your License
    Test Success: Upon passing both the written and practical tests, you will receive your Japanese driver's license.

Top Driving Schools in Tokyo for Foreigners

  • Koyama Driving School
    Known for its comprehensive courses and English-speaking instructors.
    Locations: Setagaya, Shakujii, and Akabane.
  • Futaba Driving School
    Offers intensive courses and flexible scheduling options.
    Location: Meguro.
  • Musashino Driving School
    Provides detailed theory classes and practical training with English support.
    Location: Koganei.
  • Chofu Driving School
    Known for its high pass rate and friendly instructors.
    Location: Chofu.
  • Mitsugi Driving School
    Offers personalized training plans and a comfortable learning environment.
    Location: Ota.

Obtaining a driver’s license in Japan as a foreigner is a structured yet manageable process. By enrolling in a reputable driving school and following the necessary steps, you can gain the freedom to drive legally in Japan. 

Choose a school that suits your needs, prepare thoroughly, and enjoy the independence that comes with having your own driver’s license in Japan. Safe driving!


Tokyo area map

Injavi 編集部 "InJavi" is a website that provides information for foreigners to enjoy life and visit in Japan more smoothly. This website is easy to use even for first-timers to Japan and those who are not very good at Japanese, and supports multiple languages. 「InJavi」は、外国人が日本の生活や観光をよりスムーズに楽しむための情報を提供するウェブサイトです。 初めて日本を訪れる方や日本語が苦手な方でも使いやすい、多言語対応サイトです。