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Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 03:59
Hi all,

How do you recognize whether you can park you rental car or not (and if yes, then is it free or do you have to pay a fee), if there are no obvious signs that make it illegal? For example, is there a specific sign "Private parkplace, do not park here" etc.

For example, some places from the Google Street view:
Gravel patch near the tiny road in Shimoda
https://www.google.com/maps/@34.6810178,138.977381,3a,75y,253.39h,92.8...

Those parkingplaces, marked with white lines:
https://www.google.com/maps/@34.6810178,138.977381,3a,75y,253.39h,92.8...

Parking place with other cars:
https://www.google.com/maps/@33.6793068,135.3504907,3a,75y,340.93h,80....

Those places seem not to have any common traffic signs which do not allow parking. However i am sure in Japan there are some written and unwritten rules which specify how you should park in addtion to the traffic regulations so any tips are appreciated because i do not want that locals think "well, the driver of that car has a brain full of disabilities".

Best regards,
Lauriandres

by Lauriandres (guest)  

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 11:56
The first photo is (obvious to me) part of the road – people turn right into that road a bit earlier, so that gravel bit has formed over time, or people use it to make a u-turn. It is not a parking space to me.

The second link is the same as the first one.

The third link is a parking lot with numbers assigned, which indicates to me that it is assigned to users/commuters to that building, so private parking (part of private property, so there is no road sign).

by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 13:52
In addition, there are basic no-parking zones (by law), even if not marked in any way, like within 5-meters from an intersection, within 10-meter from a railroad crossing, within 10-meter from a bus stop, etc. (Road Traffic Act)
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 16:03
Thanks to everyone,
Of course, i understand those common rules regarding the distance from the crossroad, railroad etc.
Are there any other de factor (but not de-jure) rules, which is good to follow so i do not cause any anger or "hey, look, a silly foreigner has parked a car" situations?
In general, should the signage "parking only for ... customers" also be easily understandable if i do not understand japanese language?

Some more example:

https://www.google.com/maps/@26.8059577,128.3167407,3a,75y,78.03h,97.6...


https://www.google.com/maps/@26.8634167,128.2637639,3a,75y,126.63h,78....

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.6804811,135.3592095,3a,75y,357.79h,75....

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.7351031,140.6969326,3a,75y,55.09h,78.6...


Does Japan has a ZTL zones similar to Italy?

BR,
Lauri
by Lauriandres (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 16:15
"In general, should the signage "parking only for ... customers" also be easily understandable if i do not understand japanese language?"
Isn't that the standard assumption even without a sign? What makes you think that restaurants and hotels create parking spaces for random people to use and thereby block for potential customers?
by /\ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 16:26
Among those 4 youfve listed anew, only the first one looks to me like a public parking space at a scenic point.
The second one I cannot tell (I cannot even tell from the view if the area to the right is fenced off, and what those structures are), and the third & the fourth ones are obviously for the visitors to those establishments only.

As far as I know (Japanese living in Japan, only an occasional driver), there is no equivalent to ZTL in Japan.
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 16:34
The first one is most likely the parking area of the nearby cafe / inn - and the second one is the parking lot of the cemetery. (That's what the small structures are AFAIK, Okinawan graves.)
by /\ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 16:36
If you use common sense. Then you should have too much isses.

Of the new pics. First 2 have large concrete areas that are clearly public use.

The 3rd one. Up a driveway in front of a hotel. Clearly hotel parking.

The 4th one. Off street in front of two shops. Clearly for shop parking.
by H (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 18:28
There's basically no street parking in Japan, in my experience. Parking lots look like parking lots, with spaces marked, and you will very often pay, particularly at busy spots and on weekends. At tourists place there will be someone ready to take your money and direct you in. You can park at the supermarket and sometimes there is a car park at combinis, but those spots are only for shoppers.

Another great reason for not driving in big cities, or between places that are well-connected by train. We drove on Hokkaido, and used hotel parking that we booked, and parking at the sites we visited, and the same when we drove in Chugoku-Chiho. Particularly in the latter we didn't use the car too much when we got into the towns, preferring to walk or use the tourist buses when we saw the length of the queues for parking lots.

As someone else said, don't assume a gravel area is for parking-it's likely to be there to give drivers some wriggle room for turning around or similar.
by Who? (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/14 20:31
What do you plan to do?
Get out for a few minutes to take photos?
Park for several hours?
by . (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/15 01:18
Local drivers typically look for a sign that says pay parking (there usually is a \ sign indicating the fee) or ask the locals. For example, it's always safer to ask someone, "May I park here or is it just for customers?"

That said, (while your first post has been answered) the 4 photos on your 2nd post all look to me like places where random parking is either welcome or tolerated. I say this, because I commonly do road trips to places like those in the countryside.

For example, your 1st photo of Route 70 looks to me like free parking for a viewpoint, although it could belong to an establishment that is not in the photo. The 2nd one of Okinawa also looks like a typical "feel free to use" kind of public-run space with a tourist map board. The 3rd one of Wakayama looks like the lot technically belongs to the hotel, but if there is no gate, then how could you avoid random visitors? If it's for a short time, and the lot is not crowded, I'm sure it's tolerated. The 4th one of Route 38 clearly belongs to the restaurant, but if it's not crowded, people might park for a short time and buy a souvenir at the restaurant.

In resorts where cars are the main means of transportation, there are a lot of free parking, and many of them are open to visitors for random purposes. But again, to avoid the "hey" thing, always ask at an establishment. And if they sell knickknacks or drinks, buy something. It would help the local economy.

I hope it helps.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Not so obvious parking rules in Japan 2020/7/16 14:56
Uco - thank you for the excellent answer.
Although the Covid situation is at the level as it is i have not lost hope to visit Japan in 2021.
by Lauriandres (guest) rate this post as useful

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