Driving in Okinawa

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Driving in Okinawa 2012/11/13 19:25
I plan to drive when I go to Okinawa. Please tell me your experiences. Is it safe? Are the police strict like in Australia where I'm from, especially with the random/surprise police checks and hidden cameras? How about speed limits on local roads & high/expressways?

In comparison I drove in Hawaii once and it was nowhere near what it was like driving in the mainland US. So laid back and not so much fuss with the police lol. Can you compare this to Okinawa and mainland Japan?

Thanks all for your replies.

Oz

by Oz (guest)  

Re: Driving in Okinawa 2012/11/14 11:30
I plan to drive when I go to Okinawa. Please tell me your experiences. Is it safe?

Have you driven in Japan before? Driving in Okinawa is virtually the same as driving anywhere else in the country. It is safe, but only as safe as you make it.

Are the police strict like in Australia where I'm from, especially with the random/surprise police checks and hidden cameras?

No idea how it compares to Australia, but the police do conduct the occasional speed traps and sobriety checks. Speed cameras are common seen, but not usually running. I think the most common thing that I see are seatbelt checks at expressway entrances.

How about speed limits on local roads & high/expressways?

Local roads are usually 40/50 kph while expressways are 80 kph. Most people drive 10-20 kph over the posted speed limit.

See this page for more info:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2022.html

In comparison I drove in Hawaii once and it was nowhere near what it was like driving in the mainland US. So laid back and not so much fuss with the police lol. Can you compare this to Okinawa and mainland Japan?

I'm not sure the comparison holds up. I've driven all over Japan and the only place that felt significantly different to me was driving in Hokkaido and that's because the roads were so much wider and everyone seemed to drive so much faster. If anything, I'd say that driving in Okinawa was exactly like driving around mainland Japan.

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Driving in Okinawa 2012/11/14 11:52
yea I have driven from Osaka to Okayama during GW last year. That was a killer but we got through it.

You are right, police target seatbelts and cars drive 10-20 km over the speed limit.

Thanks for your reply.

Me thinks I have to renew my International Driver's Permit.

by Oz (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Driving in Okinawa 2012/11/14 14:26
Me thinks I have to renew my International Driver's Permit.

I think there is no renewal of IDP, You can use it only for the first one year of your stay in Japan, After which you have get JP DL
In case you are out of Japan for 3 month continuosly then the clock resets.

by kb (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Driving in Okinawa 2012/11/14 14:41
yea there is, well for us Australians. It only last for 1 year or until when your home country licence expires if before that.

I don't live in Japan and am only visiting :)


by Oz (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Driving in Okinawa 2012/11/14 14:59
Are you sure it can be renewed? It is my understanding that they just issue you a new one.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Driving in Okinawa 2012/11/15 00:27
I drove around Okinawa during my trip last year. Compared to my home country, Canada, it was the most relaxing, easy going driving I have ever done. I found everyone else on the road to be a calm, cautious, courteous driver. Even Naha was comfortable to drive in after I got used to being on the "wrong" side of the road.

Speed limits are very slow compared to what I am used to. 40 km/h on roads and single lane highways outside of urban areas and 80 km/h on the toll highway.

by snooch (guest) rate this post as useful

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