Hanshin Expressway's Traffic Signboards
Signs for the Hanshin Expressway Entrance
Typical traffic signs for the Hanshin Expressway's entrance are as follows. Also, some blue signboards on ordinary roads indicate the direction to the Hanshin Expressway.
Directional signs on Expressway Interchanges/Junctions
On the Hanshin Expressway, interchanges connecting two/three routes are called "Junction" or "JCT". Signs are basically shown at JCT point, 400 meters and 800 meters to the JCT (some variations are possible). Please follow the route number and main directions shown on the signboard.
Excepting for the Loop route, distance information is set. You can check the distance to the next exit and main places along the route. When you approach to the destination exit, please drive carefully.
Exit signs are placed at the exit ramp, 400 meters and 800 meters to the exit (variations are possible). Exit ramps are mainly on the left side of the thru traffic. However, some exits are on the right side of the thru traffic. Therefore, drivers should carefully watch the arrow of the signboard and choose the appropriate lane.
Parking Area Signs
Parking area signs are installed on the entry of the parking area, 300-400 meters and 600-800 meters to the parking area. Symbols indicate the facilities of the parking area.
Kilometer's Points / Kilometer's posts
A. "Kilometer posts" mark the distance in kilometers from the origin of the road. They are a rough estimate of the distance traveled.
Other signs and roadside facilities
Roadside emergency phones are installed on the Hanshin Expressway. Once you pick up the phone, it automatically connects to the traffic control center.
In the case of an emergency, dial 110 to call the police.
Hanshin Expressway's road administration vehicles are equipped with automatic interpretation aids for some languages.
Tip: Driving on the Loop route
The Loop route has a one-way ring road of 10 kilometers. However, it connects six routes from both the left and right side of the thru traffic and the Loop has many exit ramps as well. Therefore, careful driver planning is recommended. Even if you don't choose the appropriate route, please do not stop and do not drive the wrong-way. The Loop route is relatively short and you can come back to the same place soon.
Tip: Avoiding Peak Periods
Because the Hanshin Expressway is in an urban area, there are rush hours in the morning and evening. Traffic jams are frequent. In the case of rain, traffic congestion is more severe.
On the weekend, selected routes having tourist sites sometimes are congested.
In some holiday seasons, such as end-to-beginning of the year, "Golden Week" (from end of April to the beginning of May), summer school break, and some weekends having national holidays in a row are likely to be congested. If you drive during these periods, careful planning and allowing sufficient travel time are strongly recommended.
Tip: Road Works
Because the Hanshin Expressway is in an urban area, road repair is done late at night. However, some roadwork is done during the daytime during the weekends. In this case, heavy traffic congestion is expected; please carefully check the traffic VMSs and your drive navigation.