How to Japan

How to Japan: Passport/International Drivers Permit

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So you’ve got it all planned out with your buddies, and it’s finally set in stone; you guys are actually going to Japan. After all the hype about it, and constantly saying, “we should go, we should go,” you guys man up and do it.

Now that it’s decided, what do you do now?

Well, first things first. Passport. If you have a valid one, great. If it’s expired, it’s time to renew, and if you haven’t traveled out of the country yet (I hope most of you have because it’s a crazy experience), then it’s time to apply.

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Get a copy of your driver’s license, grab $30 if its your first one, or $110 to renew, and run down to the Post Office and ask to apply for one. The paperwork takes 10 minutes, at most, to fill out, and then send it off. If you’re like me, totally forgot you needed a passport, waited until the last minute and need it as soon as possible, than for $60 you can expedite it. I ended up paying the $60 and it showed up in 7 days. Now, this is case by case, so don’t plan on 7 days and end up missing your flight, plan for 2 weeks.

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Now, does your license work in another country? Yes, and no. It only works with an International Driver’s Permit. This is even easier to obtain. Google your nearest AAA store, head down with your license and passport, and pay $20 for the permit. They’ll snap a quick picture of you and that’s it. You’re done. They will hand you a small booklet, that’ll last a whole year and now you are ready to run the streets of Japan in your hire-car Honda N-Box…at least it has a lot of room for wheels/tires. Oh yeah, make sure to keep that, and your passport, on you at all times or else you can else up in a sketchy situation, if you get pulled over, since you can’t speak Japanese. Not that it happened to me or anything… /sarcasm

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Next How to: I’ll go over flights, hire (rental) cars, and deals.

Take care, guys!

Joe