A: In May 2011, the Japanese authorities eased the entry requirements to Japan for foreign tourists from 61 countries. Nationals of these countries and regions are not required to obtain a visa to enter Japan when the purpose of their visit is tourism. Upon entry, tourists are permitted to remain in Japan for a period of stay, the length of which depends on which country you are from. Information can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website.
Tourists from the UK can remain in Japan for up to 6 months for travel and leisure purposes without the need for a VISA.
A: In Japan, driving is done on the left side of the road. Roads are well maintained and of a high standard. Foreign tourists can drive in Japan, as long as they possess an International Driving Permit in addition to the driving license of their own country. This must be applied for and obtained before leaving for Japan. Road Signage is generally in Japanese and English in major tourists areas and expressways.
In the winter, extensive snow clearing operations keep the roads pretty clear. However, with the sheer amount of snow falling the driving conditions can become pretty challenging. As a result we strongly recommend that only experienced snow drivers get behind the wheel. 4WD vehicles are widely available and all rental cars in snowy areas will come with winter snow tyres. These are essential for grip. Snow chains are an inexpensive alternative and can be applied to regular tyres to provide that extra grip required.