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Friday, February 09, 2018

Renting a car in Japan - Tabirai

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Recently, I just came back from a 2 weeks trip in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka & Kyoto) and I am just soooo in love with this amazing and beautiful country. It has so much to offer be it culture wise, cuisine or the breathtaking sights. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Japan and Hokkaido definitely tops my to-go-place next!

I did a brief google search on where to go in Hokkaido and those circled in red below are the usual popular places to visit when in Hokkaido:
I plot into google maps to see how far each destination would be from Sapporo (which is the biggest city in Hokkaido)~
  • Sapporo to Niseko (a leading snow resort with lots of powder snow) - 2 hours(by car), 3 hours(by train)
  • Sapporo to Furano (beautiful lavender and flower fields!!!) - 2 hours (by car), 2.5 hours (by train)
  • Sapporo to Noboribetsu (Hokkaido's most famous hot spring resort) - 1hr40mins (by car), 2 hours (by train)
  • Sapporo to Otaru (Harbour city with a canal) - 50 mins (by car), 1 hour (by train)

It seems that alot of travelling would be involved when one is in Hokkaido and having a car would be so much easier to move around. For instance, a one way trip via the JR line from Sapporo to Noboribetsu would cost approx SGD$25/person already. So it does make more sense to rent a car when you're in Hokkaido, especially if you are travelling in a group!

Today, I'll share with you guys more about Tabirai Car Rental ( in Japan!

3 main features of Tabirai Car Rental:
1. Tabirai only post cars from major rental companies. It offers overseas users reasonable prices compared to regular prices (maximum 50% off from fixed prices) 

2.  Guaranteed installation of English car navigation system

3. In addition to rental car charges, basic insurance, collision damage waiver (CDW), English-car navigation(GPS), consumption tax are included in a price display that is easy to understand and secure. Insurance from individual car rental companies (NOC compensation insurance) is optional and can be added on the date of car rental (as desired).

Here's how the online reservation process is like, it's pretty easy!

Inputting necessary details like the dates you wanna rent/return the car, pick up and drop off point etc
7 STEP1_TOPページ

Choosing the type of car you desire
8 STEP2_検索一覧ページ

Confirming the details of your rental car
9 STEP3_詳細確認ページ
PS: As shown above, the cost to rent a car for a day including tax is about 3500yen (SGD$42). If there are at least 4 of you travelling together, that's only $10.50/pax which is really affordable. On top of that, with driving, you get to enjoy sights along the way and you could also stop as and when you like! And that's what I like about road trips!😍

Inputting your personal details such as name, contact number and email address
10 STEP4_予約情報入力ページ

Reconfirm all details, make sure everything is correct!
11 STEP5_予約確認ページ

And the booking is done, easy peasy! No online payment is even needed!😉
12 STEP6_予約完了ページ

  • Once the reservation is completed online, the rental is guaranteed. Simply go to the meeting place or rental car company office on your desired pick up date
  • Member registration and credit card information are unnecessary at the time of reservation. Payment should be made at the car rental office on the departure date (pick up date). Credit cards are the recommended method of payment.
  • You can cancel your reservation and send a message to the rental car company by logging into the ‘Reservation Information Box’

Frequenty Asked Questions by Users:

How do I obtain a card to pay for the expressway (ETC card) and arrange for a discount service ‘Expressway Pass?’
After making a reservation, you will receive a reservation mail with a confirmation number and a password that you can use to log in under the 'Reservation Information Box'. Log into the Reservation Information Box and send a request to the car rental company using the ‘message’ function (some car rental offices do not offer ETC card rental).

I want to utilize the car rental company's own insurance (NOC compensation insurance), which makes payment for NOC (Non Operation Charge) unnecessary. How can I apply?
Please apply at the rental office on the day you receive your rental car.

What is not included in the 'Tabirai Car Rental Reservation' price?
- NOC compensation insurance fee (optional, as desired) 
- ETC card rental fee (around 300 yen)
- Highway/Expressway tolls
- Gasoline cost

I can't wait for my next trip to Japan already!

For more, check out Tabirai's website:
Secret tips for renting a car in Japan:
Rent a car in Okinawa:
Rent a car in Hokkaido:

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  1. Wao, thank you for this comprehensive guide!!!

  2. Hi Shenny,

    Do I need to have a valid drivers license in japan?

  3. Hello, just wanted to tell you, I liked this article. It was practical.

    Keep on posting!