DRIVER’S LICENSE TRANSLATION

Anyone with an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued abroad under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic can drive a car in Japan in accordance with Japanese laws. IDPs issued in accordance with other treaties (such as the Vienna Convention) cannot be used in Japan even if it is issued by countries of the Geneva Convention.
If you possess a driver’s license issued in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Monaco, Estonia or Taiwan, you will be allowed to drive in Japan if you are in possession of a Japanese translation.

You will need your driver’s license with a certified translation and your passport, which contains your visa to enter Japan. Since it is impossible to request a translation from abroad, we will take care of all the procedures with the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF).

When the official translation is received, you can drive in Japan. You are free to use the main roads or the small country roads. Please note that in the land of the rising sun, we drive in the left lane and the steering wheel is on the right side.

Fee: ¥8,000 per license to be translated

To reserve, please complete the reservation form – Driver’s license translation

PASMO AND SUICA CARDS

PASMO

The PASMO card is a convenient prepaid transit card containing a microchip that allows you to access the metro by simply touching the card at one of the terminals located at the access gates. The card is rechargeable and can be used repeatedly. It can also be used on other participating train and bus networks in the country. For example, you can use the PASMO card to travel on the JR lines.

In addition, you can use it to shop at partner stores (cafes, convenience stores, vending machines, etc.). This card can be purchased at specific vending machines for ¥500. This amount will be deducted from your first purchase and you can recharge your card at any time.

Suica

The suica card works in the same way as the PASMO card. It is also a prepaid smart card that allows you to use most public transportation (subway, train, bus, monorail) in Japan. The card is debited for each trip or purchase by simply touching the appropriate terminals. The SUICA card can be purchased at the vending machines of JR stations.

Thus, there is no overall difference between the Suica card and the PASMO card. Nevertheless, some clarifications are necessary:

  • These two types of cards are not managed by the same transport company as Tokyo Metro issues the PASMO card and Japan Railways issues the Suica card.
  • Returning a Pasmo card is free, while for a Suica card there is potentially a ¥220 fee.
  • You can return the PASMO card at Haneda Airport (Keikyu Station). Since there is no JR station in Haneda, you cannot return a Suica purchased at a JR station.

Please note that the SUICA card or PASMO card cannot replace a JR Pass but is often used as a complement.

NOTE : due to the shortage of semiconductors, Pasmo and Suica cards are no longer available for sale (blank cards). Customizable cards (names, first names, date of birth, Japanese telephone number) are still on sale but people in possession of a temporary visa (less than 90 days) are invited to buy the “Welcome Suica” or “Pasmo Passport” card.

For more details, please visit the websites below:

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form.

JR PASS

The Japan Rail Pass (or JRP) is a travel pass for the national railway company Japan Railways in Japan. With a duration of 7, 14 or 21 days, the JR Pass allows the use of all trains of the JR rail system, JR buses and JR ferries.

In addition, you will have access to local and express trains, but you will also be able to use the high-speed trains “shinkansen” (except “Nozomi” and “Mizuho” shinkansen), which connect the majority of the major cities of the archipelago.

Please note that the JR Pass does not allow you to take the subway or the streetcar inside the cities. However, most of the major Japanese cities have JR lines that you can use when traveling.

Moreover, your JR Pass is valid for full days and not for 24-hour periods. So, if you activate the 7-day version on a Saturday at noon, you can only use it until Friday evening.

Two types of JR Passes are available:

  • The ordinary JR Pass: it corresponds to a second class
  • Green Pass: corresponds to First Class (wider, deeper and more comfortable seat, more room in the aisles, wider windows, etc.)

The Japan Rail Pass is only available to non-Japanese nationals who are visiting Japan for a short period of time (less than 3 months), i.e. with a “temporary visitor” stamp in their passport.

For more details, please visit the website below:

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form.

POCKET WI-FI

The Pocket Wi-Fi is a simple portable device that can connect to 10 mobile devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, game consoles and digital cameras simultaneously. Once you have the device in your hand, simply turn on the Wi-Fi and you will have immediate access to a high-speed internet connection.

Moreover, the Pocket Wi-fi is discreet and light (120~150 grams), it fits in a bag pocket waiting to be reactivated. It is a solution we recommend if you are several people traveling with smartphones, tablets, computers and other devices that need an Internet connection.

Comparison of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots in Japan

Softbank (unlimited)WiMAX 5G+ (unlimited)Softbank (unlimited)Softbank (3GB/day)
Rental feefrom ¥550/day
($3.66/day)
from ¥530/day
($3.52/day)
from ¥480/day
($3.19/day)
from ¥480/day
(€3.19/day)
Actual tested speeds30Mbps10Mbps-60Mbps15Mbps30Mbps
Data-throttling limitunlimited**unlimited**unlimited3GB/day
Battery life10h10h10h10h
Ideal if you valueHigh-speedHigh-speedHigh-speed and networkHigh-speed and network
Compatible networksSoftBank 4G / LTEWiMAX 2+, 4GLTE, 5GSoftBank 4G / LTESoftBank 4G / LTE

* These speed test results do not represent any guaranteed minimum speed. Data transfer speed may vary depending on location, time of day and type of device.

** Extremely high data usage with unlimited Wi-Fi may result in a limitation for the rest of the day.

To rent a pocket Wi-Fi, please provide us with the following information via our contact form :
-pocket Wi-Fi plan
-the rental date : from xxxxx to xxxxx
-the delivery address : airport, hotel or AirBnb
Based on this information, we will send a detailed quote in order to validate the order.

SIM CARD

Connecting to the Internet in Japan from your cell phone is possible with a Japanese SIM card. If you have a de-locked phone (iPhones and Android phones), you will be able to buy a SIM card and enjoy a high speed Internet access. This can be very useful to search for a place or a route via Google Maps, to post a message or a picture on a social network or to check your mailbox.

SIM card offers

Our partner has several offers including :

Disposable Data SIM
(30GB/8days)
Disposable Data SIM
(50GB/16days)
Disposable Data SIM (50GB/31days)
Rental fee¥3,280
($21.80)
¥4,980
($33.10)
¥5,480
($36.42)
SIM Card Typenano SIM, with SIM card adapter kit (Nano / Micro / Standard)nano SIM, with SIM card adapter kit (Nano / Micro / Standard)nano SIM, with SIM card adapter kit (Nano / Micro / Standard)
Phone numberNoNoNo
SMSNoNoNo
Compatible networksNTT docomo or SoftbankNTT docomo or SoftbankNTT docomo or Softbank

For any purchase of a SIM card, please provide us with the following information via our contact form :
-the SIM card plan
-the delivery date
-the delivery address : airport, hotel or AirBnb
Based on this information, we will send a detailed quote in order to validate the order.

SMARTPHONE

If you do not have a smartphone or if you prefer to rent a cell phone on the spot, our partner proposes several offers including :

iPhone 7Redmi 9TTalk + DATA SIM
Rental feefrom ¥640/day
($4.25/day)
from ¥640/day
($4.25/day)
from ¥510/day
($3.39/day)
OSiOSAndroid-
Data-throttling limits5GB/month5GB/month5GB/month
Phone numberYesYesYes
SMSYesYesYes
Display languageAlmost all languagesAlmost all languagesAlmost all languages

To rent a smartphone, please provide us with the following information via our contact form :
-the smartphone plan
-the rental date : from xxxx to xxxxx
-the delivery address : airport, hotel or AirBnb
Based on this information, we will send a detailed quote in order to validate the order.

PRACTICAL LIFE

Electricity

Japanese plugs are type A: flat and parallel. The power supply in Tokyo is 100 volts and 50 Hertz. Most of the French electrical appliances work with 220 – 230 volts and a frequency of 50 hertz. Electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, cameras or cell phones have the ability to work with different types of power supplies. You will therefore need an adapter to connect your battery chargers.

Schedules

  • Banks are open on weekdays from 9am to 3pm. After 3pm, only the ATMs are open (sometimes 24 hours a day). On weekends, there is no access to ATMs. Attention: most of the ATMs refuse foreign cards. So, we advise you to use the ATMs of the Japanese Post Office (which display “International ATM Service”) or the ATMs placed inside convenience stores (Seven Eleven, Lawson…).
  • The hours of the Post Office are as follows: 9am-5pm from Monday to Friday, for the “local offices” and until 7pm for the “district offices”.
  • A work day usually starts at 9:00 am. So, if you use public transportation in big cities early in the morning, it is not uncommon to see overcrowded trains and agents pushing passengers to close the doors.

The Post Office

  • International post: a postcard stamp costs ¥70. For a letter up to 25g, count ¥110, and up to 50g, ¥190.

DAILY LIFE

  • Tipping: There is no tipping in Japan. It is considered rude.
  • The escalator: the people on the left are the ones who stay still. On the contrary, the people on the right are the ones going up.
  • The number 4: this is a number to be avoided because the pronunciation of this number is the same as that of “death” (“shi” in Japanese)
  • Cash: Japanese people use cash massively although credit cards are slowly developing. Don’t be surprised to see stores or specialized stores refusing payment by card.
  • Women’s cars: in major Japanese cities, some lines have women-only trains during a certain period (mostly between 7:30 and 9:30). This device aims to fight against the frotteurism.
  • Tattoos: Japanese people do not have many tattoos and for good reason, it is one of the symbols of the “yakuzas” and therefore gives a very bad image to the majority of the Japanese population. Thus, you will not be allowed to enter an Onsen (Japanese thermal bath) unless the tattoo is small and hidden with a bandage.
  • « omiyage »: if you are invited to someone’s home, the host will expect to receive an “omiyage” (small gift).
  • When entering a dwelling: remove your shoes when entering a house, apartment or office and put on the slippers provided.
  • Public transportation: avoid using the phone, eating or talking too loudly in the train, bus or subway, as Japanese people often use this opportunity to sleep after a long day.
  • Smoking areas: while smoking is not prohibited in restaurants, outside you can only smoke in designated areas or you will be fined.