The Car Lovers Guide to Japan! Part One, Eating and Getting Around Inexpensively

Here is what the card looks like.  Your information is on it so if you lose it, the help desks found at every station can look up your card and issue you a new one. When entering and leaving a station a machine scans your card and charges it.  The prices for transportation are cheap, you can ride all over for just a few bucks.

At this point, I would like to thank our hosts DSports boss Michael Ferrara, Mikiko and the ever suffering Tyler Hirashima. DSport works hard to make your trip stress free, painless and to get you inside access to industry places that you would never otherwise get to go to. They were also gracious after-hours hosts and tour guides.  Christa and I opted to do our own thing for a lot of the trip as I know Tokyo and Yokohama somewhat well as I had worked here for a summer many years ago when I was at Nissan.

Once you get your train pass and want to venture forth, take a picture of your home train stations Kanji so you can recognize it on the signs and trains.  Fortunately, the main lines around Tokyo have signs in English and Japanese.  Some of the smaller lines leading to the suburbs are Japanese only and knowing your home stations Kanji can be a lifesaver!  This is the Kanji for Shinagawa station right across the street from our hotel.

Most Tokyo train stations are neat, clean and huge!  They are crowded but the Japanese are very polite and everything is efficient. To be polite you need to remember that the left side is for walking slower and the right side is faster, the opposite of America.  Unlike Americans, Japanese are very aware of there surroundings and move in an organized fashion so a lot of people can get around easily without bumping into each other or slowing anyone down.  To have good manners, watch what everyone else is doing and copy it, be aware of not holding up others or getting in the way like walking two or three abreast slowly taking up several lanes.  I wish Americans were like this!  Also, it’s very bad manners to eat and drink while walking. If you get tempted by train station grab and go food.  Eat it standing in one place.  If you eat and drink while walking, expect to get some dirty looks.  In Japan, it’s also bad manners to speak loudly in public.


  1. Japan is easily in the top 3 best places to travel, even after going twice I would go again in a heartbeat. It’s beautiful everywhere from the ski slopes of Hokkaido to the pop up street food shops of Fukuoka.

    Not eating food while walking is good advice, I had a nice old lady stop and thank me for sitting down to eat. We did drink beer in our water bottles the whole time though, it was summer and we were hiking to mountain shrines, 10/10 would do it again.

    The food is amazing, even hole in the wall places are incredibly clean, trying yakitori, ramen, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba is easily the second best thing to do after visiting the landmarks.

    I’ve been looking at importing a turbo 4wd Kei car since the first time I saw one Covered in snow in Niseko.×576.jpg

  2. “be aware of not holding up others or getting in the way like walking two or three abreast slowly taking up several lanes. I wish Americans were like this!”
    Can’t agree more! it’s beyond belief how Americans are so not aware of their surroundings and have no shame of hindering others

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