In Japan, cars are driven on left hand side of the street and driver sits on right hand side.

This may seem strange depending on where you are from.  I for one found this little tricky as I have learned to drive in Canada and never driven in Japan until just few years ago.  If you are planning to drive in Japan, one can obtain an International Driving License before leaving your country. 

Here are some useful links for driving in Japan and Japanese Road Signs:

If you are planning to travel in Japan, railways and airplanes are good choice if you are travelling around major city centres, but if you want to do more in depth travelling, rental cars may be a good idea.

 When I first got here in 2009, my mode of transportation was bicycle.  In narita, public bus is sparce and I found bike to be more convenient.  But of course that can only last so long.  I needed to upgrade to more convenient and comfortable mode of transportation.  Few years ago, I picked up used Alfa Romeo 147 in right hand steering.  This was great compact car to get around and get used to the right hand steering.  While 147 was entry level Alfa, I've always wanted to have Alfa experience as they were not available in North America for long time and even today.   

147 was a great car, really loved it until it suddenly stopped unable to go into any gear but reverse.  Oh and that was in typical narrow single lane street in Japan.  I had created a river of traffic behind me for at least 1/2 an hour before some nice neighbourhood man helped me to push the car to the side street.  So it was time to say good bye to Alfa Rome and came an even older car, Porsche 911 (933), last of the air-cooled engined model.

 The 993 is manual transmission and left hand drive, as most imports during this time and many today are imported in Left Hand Drive models.  I know Right Hand Drive are available as I see them in Hong Kong and UK all the time.  Apparently many Japanese up until recently thought it was status quo to have the Left Hander.  I just can't understand the reasoning behind this but it did saved me from getting used to manual transmission Right Hand Drive vehicle.

Earlier this month, I attended Porsche Driving School in Japan.  Only thing I had to fulfill was that you BYO Porsche for the session and age of the car was not questioned.  As it was my first time, I had attended 1/2 a day course which required no prerequisite.


 The event was held at seaside hotel in Kanagawa, about 1/2 hour drive from Tokyo.  Above morning session was about to end.  Morning session had more boxsters, cayman.


Another shot of the morning session.


Afternoon class consisted mainly of 991s, boxter and my 993 at the end.  There was GT3 and 964 as well.  So those with exotic variety and old-timer can feel at ease.

We were divided into 3 groups and had hours of go at slaloms, emergency stoppings, and wet skid sessions.  I wish I had more time to mingle with the fellow Porsche enthusiasts but the session was quite pressed with time.


For those you who are motor heads or who simply enjoy scenic drive, there are plenty of places to go about in Japan.  Do a little search and you will be able to find track near your neighborhoods and plenty of weekend trip destinations around.