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

Like everywhere in the world McDonald’s is a safe place to eat.  The menu in Japan is completely different than the American version.  The only thing that is the same is the fillet of fish.

You can get anything out of vending machines in Japan as well, even stuff like underwear and shirts! I even saw one selling raw meat. Tons of convenient vending machines are everywhere.

You can even get drinks.  If these vending machines look oddly familiar, then you have seen them depicted in the anime series Wangan Midnight in nearly every episode, which is about Top Speed racing on the Wangan or the inner loop freeway around Tokyo. These vending machines are in the famous Tatsumi parking lot where street racers used to meet to organize races or regroup.  The last time I was in Japan, this parking lot was always packed with rad cars on any given night.  Not so anymore, the night that Christa and I went there was one lonely R32 GT-R waiting and waiting.

An essential for rainy Tokyo winters is an umbrella.  Fortunately, nearly every store sells a wide assortment of cheap and compact umbrellas in case you forgot yours.

We got these handy small umbrellas and carried them everywhere and used them every day.  They were less than $10 each and packed away to nothing.  It is important to dress warmly and in layers with cloths that remain warm when wet because you will get wet.  Shoes that can be walked in all day that resist water are important too.  Christa and I made the mistake of wearing Vans our or first day and our feet were soaked and blistered. We wore hiking shoes most of the time after that! Winter temps in Tokyo range from the 30’s to the ’40s which is cold for us Californians and daily rain and light snow are not uncommon.

So that’s the secrets of how to get around in Tokyo. It can be intimidating but it’s actually easy, after a day, you will find it so good that the American way of comuting will seem more stressful, wasteful, harder and way less efficient.


Dsport Magazine


  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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