Driver's License and other issues

For information on Japanese driver's licenses for cars and other vehicles, traffic regulations, and traffic signs, please refer to this document from the National Police Agency:

Overtaking Vehicles

As a rule, drivers should only pass other vehicles while in the right-hand lane. Please do not pass other vehicles while in the left-hand lane.


Please adhere to the speed limit posted on road signs and traffic signs. Also, keep your distance from the vehicle ahead to prevent an accident due to the sudden braking of that vehicle. It is important to watch your speed on a loop route or other urban section of roadway, especially when there are a lot of curves.

Stopping or Parking

Stopping or parking your vehicle in a vehicular lane or in the passing lane is prohibited, except where exempted upon directive of the police, etc.
In case of a breakdown or other unavoidable reasons, please park your car in an emergency parking zone if it is possible.

The Breakdown Lane

The breakdown lane is not for regular vehicular traffic. Please do not travel on it or park your car on it unless you have a breakdown or for other unavoidable reasons.

Going the Wrong Way

You may NOT make a U-turn or back up, even if you go in a mistaken direction at a junction or if you pass your intended exit. Also, be careful about your direction when rejoining the main highway from a parking area.

No Walking on the Roadway

Walking is prohibited on the expressway, except in an emergency if you have had an accident or breakdown.

No Pedestrians or Bicycles

It is prohibited to enter the Hanshin Expressway on foot or on a bicycle.

Two-Wheeled Vehicles

The Hanshin Expressway does NOT allow two-wheeled vehicles under 125 cc. However, small motorized vehicles are allowed on Rt. 32 Shin-Kobe Tunnel (Class II motorcycle: 50 cc - 125 cc).

The Back End of a Traffic Jam

If you find yourself at the back end of a traffic jam, please turn on your hazard lights immediately to warn vehicles behind you of the sudden slowdown or stoppage to avoid a rear-end collision.

Loop Route

The loop route is one-way only. It also has many junctions, exits, and entrances, so please drive carefully on this route.


On the road, both the driver and all passengers must wear seatbelts. Motorcycle riders must wear a helmet. Any child under the age of six must ride in a child seat.

Mobile Phones and Smartphones

Please do NOT use a mobile phone (for voice calls, email, or the Internet) when you are driving.