My brother would visit me with his family and his friend’s family soon just following Bon holidays (Mid of August). We are then a gang of 6 adults and 2 children planning to explore the Kanto area within 10 days. I have been in Japan for just couple of months (live in Fujisawa), and think that navigating in Tokyo with a rental car or van would be difficult and pretty expensive. If I am wrong, kindly suggest me the best way to plan our trip. In detail, I am planning to cover Disney theme parks, Akihabara, Asakusa, Shibuya and Shinjuku in Tokyo; and Kamakura, Yokohoma, and Hakone in Kanagawa region. If time permits, Yamanishi region is preferred to be visited. So far, I thought of traveling to Tokyo by train and use a rental van to hang around in Kanagawa. I would appreciate, if someone could show me the right direction and/or direct me with a nicely written discussion. Thank you.
I think a car/van is good for countryside trips and could be fairly economical.
@CheapoGreg wrote an article about using a cheap rental car brand (Niko Niko) https://tokyocheapo.com/travel/transport/nikoniko-rentacar-super-cheap-rental-cars-in-japan/
I’d say it’s not such a good idea for going around central Tokyo though, as rental fee + parking fees, will probably work cost more than subway fares for 8 people. Plus the subway is so fast and efficient.
There’s also a discount train ticket in the Summer, the Seishun 18 which gives unlimited travel for 5 days on local trains (i.e. no shinkansen or limited express). There’s an article about it here: https://tokyocheapo.com/travel/holidays/the-seishun-18-ticket-and-5-escape-routes-from-tokyo/
Hope that helps!
Just a note on Niko Niko Rentacar - we’ve had reports that they aren’t too friendly to international driver’s permit holders. However, if you’ve got yourself a Japanese license, you’ll have no problem. An option if you don’t have a Japanese Driver’s License is Times Rentacar. Otherwise, the big companies like Toyota Rentacar, Nippon Rentacar and Orix etc. can deal with international permit holders - but they’re a little more expensive. If you don’t have an international permit (you have to get one before leaving your home country) and you can’t get a Japanese license, you might be out of luck.
Thanks a lot @CheapoGreg for detailed info. I got the IDP, but not a Japanese Driving license holder. Does it mean that I will not be able to get a deal at Niko Niko Rentacar?
According to comments on the post, Niko Niko Rentacar don’t accept the international driver’s permit. There’s no English on their website either, so I guess they’re just not interested in international customers.
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