- No right turns on a red light (left in Japan’s case)
- Cars can cross pedestrian crosswalks while pedestrians are present
- Some neighborhood streets are only one lane wide, but not one-way.
- Pedestrians do not necessarily have the right of way
- Most people will go through a red light after it has changed, but before the signal on the waiting side has changed. Always make sure it is safe before going
- People do not hesitate to go if there is space and time. Do not assume someone will wait or yield for you
- This also applies when walking through crowded train stations and such
- Always signal all turns, no exceptions. The streets are narrow and traffic moves quickly. You must do all you can to let people know your intentions.
- Pedestrians and cyclists can be very aggressive and reckless. You must focus on the road at all times and be ready to stop in case of an emergency.
- Hesitation is the most dangerous thing on the road in Japan. Drive with conviction, and you will be on the same thinking plane as other drivers.
Naturally, driving in Tokyo or another big city in Japan can be seemingly hectic. But once you have adapted to the style of driving with precision and conviction, you will find that Japan has significantly less traffic accidents than other heavily industrialized countries.
While it is true that many cars have sensors to indicate if you are going to collide with something, most people who have been driving in Tokyo for some time have parking under any conditions dialed out pretty well. After living here, I really don’t ever want to hear another one of my friends complain about how parallel parking is “too hard”
Plenty of room right? This picture is actually from a car sensor advertisement. I mean, I have seen parking jobs even tougher than this done with older cars, but I suppose you have to be a cut above to be able to feel out something like this. Always fold in your mirrors!