Tokyo - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

It's best to buy a car in country as it's right-hand drive and used cars are quite inexpensive. If you buy in country you can also be certain you're getting a car that is a good size for Japan. We bought a local minivan for about $2500 and it was great! We have three kids and we drove all over the country with it; often with one additional visiting family member also with us. - Nov 2020

Get one here for much less than you’d get at home. Used cars are cheap, especially for diplomats. - Mar 2019

Nothing too big. We have a car that we use for the Base, Disney and a few other places. Parking on the Compound is an average sized spot. - Jun 2018

A small one, for sure. Roads are narrow and parking is often in a mechanical rack system. We do not have a car and have not needed one at all, with public transportation plus great delivery services. - Mar 2018

Do not bring one, unless it's Japanese spec. Or, buy a secondhand car locally. - Mar 2017

Any. - Feb 2014

You need a right-hand-drive vehicle of any size, although some have brought their left-hand-drive cars. - Apr 2013

Buy locally, very cheap. - Jan 2011

I didn"t have a car in tokyo and had absolutely no regrets.public transportation is prolific, reliable, and relatively inexpensive. If i were to bring a car, though, I'd stick with a small car (sedan) and not an SUV. Gas is expensive and Tokyo streets/parking spaces are not sized for SUVs. - Oct 2008

You can bring a car but because it is left-hand drive, most people don't. Many people get cars here (many are passed on within the embassy community). I wouldn't recommend bringing a big car as the roads are often very narrow. - Jan 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More