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Driving a Car - A car is a luxury rather than a necessity in Japan.
It is usually entirely possible to get to wherever you are going using public
transportation. Before you get a car consider getting a bicycle (around 9,000
yen for the cheap one) to get you from your house to the nearest train or
subway station. From there you can take the Shinkensen (bullet train) or
highway bus to most large cities in Japan. Most department stores will deliver
even medium sized appliances starting at around 1000 yen or so. And you can
always take a taxi when it rains.
Buying a Car - OK, you want a car, here is the deal.
First you need a place to park it. Next, you are going to need
a "shomei shomei-sho". (Say that 5 times fast). It's a certificate of signature
and is issued by your embassy. Next, your going to need
a "shako shomei-sho" which is proof that you actually have a parking place
to park your car at home.
These are issued by your local police superintendent. Having fun so far?
You also need to
bring your gaijin card with you when you buy the car. Next, the
purchase must be registered at the inspection-registration office, a place
"kensa toroku jimusho". When you sell the car, be sure to fill out an ownership
transfer form, called a "meigi henko" and
complete the ownership cancellation procedures, called "massho toroku".
Copyright (c) 2005 by Mark
McCracken, All Rights Reserved