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Cars in Japan

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 called the "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