Japan Expressway Pass: Exclusive Expressway Discount Pass for International Visitors

Previously, we wrote an article about how traveling by rental car gives you significantly more options on how to enjoy yourself once you arrive in a hot spring area, since there are many picturesque sightseeing locations around hot spring areas like ours that are inaccessible by public transportation.

Today, we wanted to share some more delightful news for international visitors who plan to travel Japan by rental car!

Starting October 13, 2017, you can purchase a pass that allows you unlimited access to expressways all across Japan.
It’s called the Japan Expressway Pass, and it will cost 20,000 yen for 7 days or 34,000 yen for 14 days of unlimited access.

The pass will be available at 275 rental car shops across Japan.
Unfortunately, you cannot purchase the pass in Gunma Prefecture, which is where Shima Onsen is located.
However, it will be available at rental car shops in Haneda Airport and Narita Airport, which are the airports closest to Shima Onsen, as well as in other major international airports.

Japan Expressway Pass Shop List

People with non-Japanese passports and Japanese citizens with permanent residence in other countries will be eligible to use this pass.
(Please note that you will also need a driver’s license that allows you to drive in Japan.)

All you need to do in advance is reserve an expressway electronic toll collection (ETC) card and a rental car that is compatible with the Japanese Expressway Pass from a shop that offers the pass.

Pick up your rental car from the shop on the day of your reservation, and please enjoy a pleasant journey by car.

(Please note that the pass cannot be used on expressways in certain areas, such as the Tokyo metropolitan area or Hokkaido.)

Traveling Japan by car allows you to enjoy the countryside that cannot be accessed by public transportation, so your trip is sure to be a deeply memorable one!

Japan Expressway Pass: Click here for more details

If you interested in Japanese style Onsen, Please click here
Shima Onsen Kashiwaya Ryokan >



  1. Van Tomokiyo says:

    What rental car companies offer temporary rentals of ETC cards?
    Also, which locations of these car companies, offer an ETC card rental.
    I just had a bad experience with Times 24, from Shin-Yamaguchi. I only found out, only after going through an ETC terminal(over and hour away and 40 miles away)that there was no ETC card in the ETC ‘equipped’ receptacle. All card rental companies should post this on their websites, along with having to have an International Driving Permit; and a notice that usage of the toll roads in Japan require an ETC card, at an additional rental, prior to using the ETC system.

    • e_kashiwaya_editor says:

      I recommend TOYOTA Rent a Car.
      Please refer the FAQ page as https://rent.toyota.co.jp/eng/faq/option.html
      They say,

      Q: How can I rent an ETC card?

      A: ETC cards can be requested at the time of your online reservation.
      ETC card rental is available with a one-time fee of 330 JPY (tax included 10%). Expressway tolls are not included in this fee. Please pay the actual amount of the tolls that have collected when you return a car.
      Not available at some shops such as on remote islands. There may be instances where rental is not possible due to reservation conditions.

      Thank you!

  2. Elodie says:

    Hello, does the Japan Expressway Pass for tourists still exists ? I don’t see any info about this pass on the Nexco website, they only talk about the central or tohoku pass. The link https://en.driveplaza.com/trip/drawari/japan_expass/ doesn’t work anymore :'(

    I wonder if the rental car companies still provides such a nationwide pass, i will be traveling across Japan for 11 days and i don’t want to buy many passes.