This post was last updated on February 1st, 2020 at 06:10 pm
When you think of Japan, you probably think of the beautiful cherry blossoms, the world-famous Samurai, the delicious sushi or the land of the rising sun. You visit ancient temples here where locals make sacrifices to the gods or enjoy the beautiful nature around Mount Fuji. Japan has something for everyone. Many travelers explore this country by train, but did you know that Japan is also a great country to explore with a camper? We will tell you everything you need to know about renting a camper in Japan!
Renting a Camper in Japan
If you are planning a trip to this beautiful country, your first thought is probably not to do this by camper. You think more about the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or various countries in Europe. However, renting a camper in Japan is becoming increasingly popular!
It is not only very fun and unique; it is also a good alternative to avoid all expensive hotels and discover the country at your own pace. Of course, you do not drive your camper to Japan. Fortunately, nowadays there are enough good and reliable organizations where you can rent a camper. But what should you think of? In this blog, we are happy to help you on your way.
Driving on beautiful roads
Fuji in the background
Requirements and Traffic Rules in Japan
Renting a camper in Japan is great fun. In addition, the rules regarding having a driver’s license for renting a camper in Japan are not too bad. If you opt for a very large camper, that is of course different. With an international driver’s license, you can drive a car in Japan. Check your local office to find out how to get an international driver’s license, or you might already have one.
TIP – Some rental companies can set specific requirements for tenants.
For example, you may have to have a minimum or maximum age, or you might need to already have a driver’s license for a number of years before you can rent a camper. The most important rules in a row;
- You have a valid driver’s license + International Driver’s License;
- The minimum age to rent a camper (or car) is 18;
- Some rental companies raise that age to 21 or 23+.
Traffic Rules in Japan
The traffic rules are about the same as in many countries, including your own. The only big difference is that the Japanese drive on the left side of the road. However, this is not because it was once a British colony, in Japan they have a different reason for that. A samurai carries his sword on the left because they are (often) right-handed.
The signage on the main routes is fortunately in English. The Japanese are generally good at driving, so if you are lucky you will not encounter many bad drivers. If you decide to buy a Japanese SIM card during your trip, you can also use Google Maps for navigating on the road.
Freedom to stop anywhere and just enjoy the view!
How to Rent a Camper in Japan
Renting a camper in Japan is basically the same as renting a car. The easiest way is via the internet. Nowadays there are so many rental companies online where you can rent a camper. Some options are;
All rental companies have their own advantages and disadvantages. We can imagine that it is easier to rent a camper through a company in your own country. Most of the time that is also possible.
Cost of Renting a Camper in Japan
Renting a camper in Japan can save a lot of money compared to staying in hotels. That makes a difference in your budget for Japan. It is also extra adventurous! You can deviate from the beaten track and visit all the places you want. If you are looking for a camper of average size, you often have space for up to four people.
Many smaller campers have a tent on the roof to save space in length and width. It is also often difficult to park a larger camper somewhere.
If you choose a camper of average size you can count on around $70 to $80 a day. An overnight stay at a good campsite varies from $10 to $60 per night.
Toll Roads and Gasoline
Japan is a country with a decent road network. Please note, this is especially true if you stay on the main roads. There are also a lot of toll roads that you encounter along the way. You can avoid these roads to save costs, but you often end up on roads where you can drive a maximum of 60 (35 mph) or even 40 kilometers per hour (25 mph).
The costs that you save on the toll are therefore probably lost on extra gasoline. On the highways, you can often drive 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph). Petrol is reasonably priced in Japan, around a dollar per liter.
Best Time to Rent a Camper in Japan
The best time to visit Japan is during spring, fall and during the summer months. The coldest months are January and February. The hottest are usually July and August. You can actually travel through Japan with a camper all year round.
It depends on your own preference. It is quite cold between November and February. You should, therefore, skip those months. For the rest, it depends on how you want to experience Japan.
Do you want to see the famous Cherry Blossoms? Then you have to rent a camper in the spring. Do you prefer sun, sea and summer temperatures? Then you better come in the summer. It’s up to you!