Getting a Japanese Driver’s License, Part 2: Practice

April 21st, 2010 in Daily

Reporting back in with progress from the J-License acquisition quest… I’ve logged a bit over two hours (and ¥18,000) of driving time with GOTO DS. Cost is steep to practice, but I have to say its made me a lot less worried about taking the test. I brought my two course maps with me and my instructor, Nakajima-sensei, helped me annotate them after practice. Language wasn’t a major barrier during practice for those who are worried, but there are some key words you might want to familiarize yourself with before going in (left, right, behind, stop, push, release…).

Below is a PDF of my documentation from both courses. I’d post the full text of this here as well, but it will get a little unwieldy in this page format. If you notice any mistakes, or if you had a different experience with your practice/test, please let me know and I will revise!

PDF: Kagoshima Prefecture Driving Test for MT (Ver. 2)

If you remember all of the steps in this file, you should pass unless your test proctor is a complete ____.

The raw course notes:

I am headed to the test center this week to take the test. More soon.

UPDATE: Major headache. Please read and don’t do what I did:

If you have a valid “issued on:” date on your license, don’t make the same mistake I did by telling Chiyosa / Unten Menkyo Shikenjo (License Center) that my original license was issued 10 years before this current renewed copy. As soon as I said this, they told me I had to show them a document stating the date of issue for my original license from the DMV in America… even though the letter they receive will be in English and they won’t be able to read it.

All I did was call the center to ask when I should arrive and take the test, and it ended up with me having to wait an unnecessary 2 weeks to get this form sent from home. See how frustrating it is? Don’t ask, don’t tell.

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