Driving in Japan 102

I’m a terrible driver in Japan.

So I have been driving everyday for a week now, and I have come to realize that in Japan I’m a terrible driver. More puzzling still I’m too safe of a driver.

I think this needs a little explanation…. besides stopping at red lights, there don’t seem to be too many driving rules around here. As some of you know my biggest pet peeve while driving is when people don’t signal before turning. Is such a minor thing, but come on! It really is not that difficult to do so, and such a little action can go a long way.

Around here people do signal… as they are turning. I believe that by that point is not necessary to signal anymore as they are already there. I did however say that it bothered me when people did not signal, and to their credit they do signal, even if is a little too late.

Also people run yellows ALL the time. I could most likely cause an accident by stopping as the light turns from yellow to red than by just running it! Overall my Canadian driving skills are no good here. I consider myself a pretty safe driver. I tend to keep at the speed limit (although some people say I drive too slow, that’s because said people go 20 over the limit!), I also signal and keep a safe distance between myself and other cars… most of the time.

Perhaps I need to become a more aggressive driver…

Keeping you posted!

Driving in Japan 101

Today I drove for the first time in Japan.

First it should be mentioned that they drive on the left side of the road! I thought the only countries that drove on the left side of the road were England and Australia. Well… now we can add Japan to that list.  So everything is the opposite! Canadian left hand turns here are right hand turns and when you come to a red light there is nothing you can do but stop (you cannot do left hand turns with a red light).

You also have to be aware of cyclists and cars that like to run red lights on the last second. Overall I’m pretty proud of myself. I didn’t hit anything or anyone and although EVERY car passed us (ok, so I was driving at the speed limit 50) I made it safe and sound. My job requires me to drive quite a bit so, I had to get behind the wheel sooner or later. The car is tiny,,,, is pretty genius! I think it was designed for someone my size and I think we are going to get along just fine. Although, I keep getting confused with the windshield wipers and the signals, because again they are the opposite from American cars. So every time I tried to signal, I kept turning on the windshield wipers. Is actually pretty amusing!  =p

I also went to a grocery store called “Fuji Grand” and on the first floor you find groceries as well as personal and household items. On the second floor is nothing but clothing, shoes and accessories. I think my friend Elysse should be mentioned here because she told me about all the shopping that can be done in Japan and I think she would have become overwhelmed by everything on that floor! =) When I was in there I kept thinking of her.

Some of you have asked for pictures, but unfortunately I haven’t bought the lens for my camera since I haven’t had a day off. I will hopefully get it on Sunday (as my going away present from Scotia) and then you will have pictures. Also I was asked to categorize my entries to make them easier to follow along, but how do you do that?

Keeping you posted.