You can drive legally in Japan, using an International Driver’s Permit for a maximum of 12 months after your entry into Japan. If you leave Japan for 3 consecutive months, the clock starts again.
SECOND AND THIRD YEAR YEAR JETs
Unless you have left Japan for over 3 months between your first and second year, you must have a Japanese Driver’s license in order to drive legally. The consequences of driving without a Japanese licence under these circumstances can be severe, up to and including:
- 1 year in jail
- deduction of 12 points off your licence
- 2 year licence suspension
- 300,000 yen fine
CONVERTING TO A JAPANESE LICENCE
In order to convert your licence to a Japanese one, please go the Driving Test Guide of this site to get in-depth knowledge of the procedures involved.