Things to watch out for when going trip (Expressways Edition)
This is a collection of rules to enjoy safe driving on Expressway in Japan
How to get on
Head for the entrance of Expressway while following the signs indicating names of Expressways or interchanges situated on open roads and signs indicating directions for Expressway entrance.
How to use ETC
Please set the ETC card correctly into the in-vehicle device. On ETC lane, lower your driving speed to no more than 20km per hour, slow down when on the lane and make sure the opening and closing bar has been opened before driving forward. In addition, please keep an appropriate distance between your car and the car in front of you
Toll booth / gate
Take a ticket at the entrance of closed toll system roads, and pay fee at the exit. A fixed amount of fee must be paid at the entrance or the exit of the flat rate section, please choose to enter the appropriate lane among ETC lane, regular lane, and common lane.
When opening - closing bars are not opened
Do not back the car, instead, turn on the hazard light, contact our staff using the interphone installed on the lane and follow the staff's instruction.
Instruction signs on Expressway
There are signs indicating directions and names of interchange around the entrance/exit of the Expressway.
- See details about the using method of the Expressway here(8.5MB)
- Please see details about signs here
- Please see details for regulations here
The obligation for all vehicle drivers and passengers to wear seat belts.
In Japan, all drivers and passengers are obliged to wear seat belts during driving. In addition, children under the age of 6 must sit on child seats.
Driving after drinking alcohol is prohibited
Drivers are prohibited from driving under the influence of alcohol. Not only the driver, but also the passengers in the car who know that the driver is drunk and still let him drive is subject to punishment.
The principle is "keep left"
Please drive on the left lane if you are on a two-lane road. The lane on the right is the lane for overtaking. Please return to the lane on the left after finishing overtaking. Overtaking from the left lane is prohibited.
Please drive at safe speed following the signs indicating maximum speed and minimum speed.
Please drive at a safe speed that is appropriate for the weather and road conditions.
Driving on the shoulder of the road is prohibited
The shoulder of the road is a place for temporary stopping of emergency vehicles such as police cars and ambulances, and other vehicles in the event of an accident. Driving and parking of other vehicles are prohibited.
Parking on Expressway is prohibited.
Parking on Expressway is prohibited except in the case of temporary stopping due to danger prevention or police order, as well as vehicle breakdown or accident.
Use mobile phone in RA
The use of mobile phones while driving is prohibited. Please stop at RA to use mobile phones. Also, using mobile phones while stopping at the shoulder of the road or zebra zone is strongly prohibited.
Signs to remember before driving
This is a collection of manners for safe and smooth driving.
Manners on Expressway
Keep appropriate distance between cars
Please keep a sufficient distance between your car and the car in front of you in case it takes a sudden stop. It is necessary to take particular attention when the road surface is wet due to rain or snow.
Make sure to give a signal by turning on the winkers
Improper lane interruption and inadvertent lane change are causes of accident. When you switch your lane, please check if it is safe for the cars in front and behind, and make sure to give signal by turning on winkers before you switch lane.
Watch out for inattentive driving
Don't be distracted by the scenery while driving as it is extremely dangerous. It is also the reason for rear-end collisions and pileups.
Littering through car windows is prohibited
Do not throw garbage, cigarette ash / cigarette ends out of the window. It is very dangerous as it may cause accidents.
Turn on lights early
Turn on the lights early in rainy weather or nightfall. Turn on the lights even in daytime when driving in the tunnel, in thick fog and in heavy rain when you could not see 200 meters ahead on the Expressway.
Low beam and high beam
Frequent switching between low beam and high beam leads to early detection of danger. However, turn down the headlights when there are vehicles in front of you or oncoming vehicles so as not to obstruct traffic.
Turn on hazard lamps when you see traffic congestion
Turn on the hazard lamps and give a signal to the following vehicles when you see traffic congestion ahead and have to lower your driving speed or make a stop.
Refrain from getting out of your vehicle if not necessary.
It is dangerous to get out on Expressway even during traffic congestion. Please change driver or take the luggage in and out at RA
Expressway – what to do when in this situation?
Please clear safely by appropriate handling even in case of accident.
Case-by-case trouble shooting methods
First of all, give a signal to the vehicles behind by doing following three things: "Turn on the Hazard Lamps", "Fire warning flare", "Put stopping warning reflex reflector on the road", then evacuate to a safe place such as outside of the guardrails. Do not stand on the street or the main line, or stay in the vehicle.
When at the wrong destination or missing an exit
When you entered a toll gate by mistake, please tell us by using the interphone at traffic ticket receiving desk at the entrance of the toll gate. If you missed an interchange, please tell the toll booth staff at the toll gate of the next lane exit. Please do not make an U-turn in any case.
Do not step on the brake suddenly.
Reduce the speed little by little, and park your car on the left side of the shoulder of the road and stop the engine.
I fell sick / ill
There are RA with first-aid stations, Please do not hesitate to tell the staff about things such as car sickness.
Report/contact information when have trouble on Expressway
- No. 110
- Emergency phones
Emergency phones are installed at every 1 km on the main road, every 200 m in tunnels. These are free of charge and you will be connected with the Road Control Center just by taking up the telephone receiver. When you take up the telephone receiver and push the appropriate button among four status display buttons of breakdown, accident, ambulance, and fire (please refer to the pictures above), the staff of the Road Control Center will respond. (If you do not know the meaning of the buttons, it is okay to push any button. Please wait if the phone is the type without buttons). If you can't talk, please inform us the occurrence of the emergency situation by a signal such as hitting to the telephone receiver when the staff of the Road Control Center answers.
Phrases to talk about your physical condition
I fell sick / ill.
- TAICHO GA WARUI DESU
I am injured. Could you please help with my wound?
- KEGA WO SHIMASHITA TEATE DEKIMASUKA ?
To make driving more fun and comfortable on Expressway
We have collected the ideas that you need to know for a fun driving experience.
It is important to prepare for comfortable driving
Please set the schedule ahead of time and adjust the departure time avoiding the time zone when traffic congestion occurs. You can rest assured if you prepare an alternative route for a sudden traffic congestion and check the remaining amount of gasoline.
Refresh by stretching
When you travel a long distance or when you are at traffic congestion, please take an appropriate break at RA, do some stretching to get rid of sleepiness and refresh your mind and body.
Stretching possible to do inside your vehicle.
Keep your back straight and pull up both shoulders. Keep that posture for 10 to 15 seconds and lower your body straight down. Repeat for about three times.
Recommended driving goods
Beverages to refresh yourself
Protection against cold
Relief from travel sickness
Products for children
Goods to keep yourself awake
International Automobile Federation (FIA) membership card
Body care goods
Plan for foreigners visiting Japan and using the rental cars to drive unlimitedly by a fixed amount of fee on Expressway.
We are making a speacial offer plan for foreigners visiting Japan. Please make sure to try it.
Central Nippon Expressway Pass
The pass offers unlimited use of Central Expressway by paying a fixed amount for a maximum period of 2 to 14 days.
Nagoya Expressway Pass
This pass is available for visitors using the CEP, which allows unlimited use of the all line Nagoya Expressway by paying a fixed amount for a maximum period of 2 to 14 days.
Aichi Toll Road Pass
For visitors using the CEP, the toll road of the Aichi Prefecture Road Public Corporation allows unlimited use of Expressway.