driving hokkaido

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Reporter:Nicholson Yu
Hometown: Hong Kong
Age: 26
Driving experience: 5 years

hokkaido pictThe reporter has been staying in Sapporo for 2 years and this was his second time to drive in this town. We had an interview with him to learn more about the impression of driving in Hokkaido as a foreigner. He started his round trip from the rental car shop near the JR Sapporo station, through Yoichi, Shakotan by using the Sasson highways and back to the shop.

Nikka Whisky HokkaidoAlthough the vechicle was equipped with navigation system, it seems that it is not quite useful for foreigner who doesn't know Japanese. Also to keep the driver's attention on both the road and the navigatior's screen is a little bit difficult especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. A navigator which also speaks english would be helpful.

The report then said that the use of the highway was very interesting, as he knows nothing about the payment system and the Japanese traffic signals. For example, the Exit sign was too close to the exit, or the roads suddenly become narrow. The signals shown in Kanji characters only in most occasions, thus foreigner drivers are quite likely to be confused. Furthermore, the different turning custom in Japan is more than somewhat challening for foreign drivers.

Nature of HokkaidoThe reporter also praised for the service of the rental car shop. He was appreciated that the staff has provided him with maps as well as the spot information. In addition, guides on driving on winter roads may be necessary for drivers who come from Asia countries.

Finally, the reporter once again expressed his satisfaction with his trip, particularly as he could never visit Shakotan and Cape Kamui by public transport. And he would like the convenience of rental car and the joyfulness of driving to be shared with other visiters and foreigners in Japan.

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