My Driving Experience in Hokkaido

Without even considering the public transportation, my travel mate and I decided to drive a car in Hokkaido to transfer from places to places in last summer.

While we were still in our home country, we did some research on others’ driving experience in Hokkaido. Generally, it is highly recommended by most of the bloggers. If you wish to have a flexible travelling time and keen to explore ‘hidden gem’ out of the sight of most travellers, driving in Hokkaido is a wise travelling option that you should never miss. 

Here are some tips to take note:

Rent a Car before Departure

Ensure you book your car before heading to Japan when your itinerary is confirmed. I compared most of the car rent company and in the end I chose to book through Rakuten. I found that this website provide the most attractive package and best deal compared to other English written website. I booked a Nissan March for 19,700 yen including 5,000 yen of insurance. You need to pay more for an Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) reader and card for toll. I did not go for it as I found paying by cash is more convenient for me.
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International Driving License

Before starting the journey, make sure you get your international driving license done in home country. I don’t quite remember of seeing any traffic police on the road. But, it is not a reason for you to skip doing this. In Malaysia, the cost to get an international driving license is merely RM150 (approximately 4,000 Odigold) which could last for a year. The driver’s seat is on right hand side; therefore I found no much difference driving in Hokkaido.

Fuel Stations

You need to fill up the fuel tank when you return the car. It is not hard to find fuel stations across Hokkaido. However, you may want to compare the fuel price among the fuel stations. You may check out the price indicated on the screen which is located in front of the fuel station.


We always heard about the shocking parking fees in Japan. However, we were lucky enough for not paying a penny in parking. Most of the tourist spots in Hokkaido possess free parking. This is an added point to drive in Hokkaido. 

Be adventurous

Last but not least, be adventurous to explore non-tourist spots. While we passed by a beautiful farm, we went down to take some selfies as the sunset was too beautiful. The farm owner suddenly popped up and asked if we need any help. “Sorry for not informing but we are just taking some selfies.” The lady farmer smiled and walked off. After 5 minutes, she brought us two big fat corns and the best thing is that they are free! We were so impressed by her hospitality. We were just two strangers bumping into her territory without informing, but how she treated us back was so unforgettably awesome! A big thumb up for her!!!