Lamborghini Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole

One of the most iconic cars of the eighties, and every kids favourite poster car of a generation. This stunning Lamborghini 5000 Countach quattrovalvole finished in Rosso Siviglia with gold Route OZ Alloy wheels was spotted at a recent classic meet up in Western Tokyo, along side it’s white counterpart. Super rare and immensely beautiful, head over to our Facebook page shortly to find screensaver versions.


Car Accessories


Cars built and registered for the Japanese market are renowned for having higher specifications than their European & North-American counterparts, and so while many years age the standard accessories people bought for their vehicles mainly consisted of aesthetic products, we’ve also seen the addition of lots of exciting gadgets, gifts and other fantastic kit launched in recent years

Whether you’ve simply moved to Japan recently and need to find a good quality child seat for the school run, wish to take advantage of the glorious autumn weather for a barbecue by the river, or take some HD video footage from your nineties Japanese sports car, we have compiled a list of some of the more popular accessories that we have either used, or recommended over the years.

Full details on each accessory can be accessed on our accessories page of our website. Any questions you have can be asked in the comments section of each individual page.

A day out at Fuji Speedway


Through a request from our good friend Peter Blake, we managed to arrange a day for him to visit ‘Fuji Speedway’ in Shizuoka prefecture, to attend one of the many closed race meetings around japan.


Peter, a professional photographer and fellow Tokyoite, wished to take some pictures in an environment familiar to his subject for the day – a ten-year-old Japanese karting-champion. Unfortunately, school got in the way of that, however Peter did manage to grab a few good shots from the pit lane, including one of Kimura san, the mechanic who takes care of the privately owned Formula 3 Lola.


Original images are available for purchase over on Peter’s website, The Authentic Image, with some more detail about his day at Fuji speedway over on his blog.

Renting a Car in Japan

Car Rental

There are a vast number of reasons why one may need to rent a car in Japan. Luckily, there are many options available, from small hatchbacks, vans and trucks – offered by a number of the domestic manufacturers, all the way through to the luxury premium rental market, including Mercedes Benz, Audi, Porsche & Ferrari to name a few.

Perhaps the best known, with the most number of locations across Japan is Toyota Rent-a-Lease, with a wide array of vehicles to choose from at reasonable rates. English service is also offered at a few select locations.

How do I rent a car then?

In the case of TRL, there are three ways: via the internet (Japanese only), by phone or in person. Simply select the model of vehicle desired, the location from which you wish to collect it from, and the length of period for which it is required. Other information required will be a contact number, number of passengers etc.


Vehicles will be prepared with a full-tank of petrol (gasoline) supplied a short period before the time of actual booking. Before taking possession of the vehicle, individuals will need to supply a valid drivers license of the driver of said vehicle and pre-pay all rental fees up-front – 5% discount for payments made by credit card.

Individuals will also be presented with details of the insurance/compensation system for any misdemeanours/accidents that occur during the rental period.

Lastly, before taking receipt of the vehicle, you will be asked to inspect the vehicle for any damage. It is important you check properly, so you are not left liable for any damage upon returning the vehicle. Make sure to do a full inspection of each body panel, taking particular attention to skirmishes on the wheels, bumpers, front wings (fender), the rear three-quarter panels and the interior seats. The following terminology may also come in handy:

  • キズ (ki-zu) – Scratch/blemish
  • 凹み (heko-mi) – Indentation
  • (ana) – hole
  • シミ (shi-mi) – stain

Returning the vehicle

Prior to returning the vehicle, individuals will need to refill the tank. It is quite common for the rental shop to ask for proof of this, and so obtaining a receipt from the petrol station (gasoline stand) is highly recommended.

Upon returning the vehicle, shop staff will inspect the vehicle for any damage and check that the vehicle has been refuelled. Additional fees may apply for any discrepancies with either.

Lastly, simply sign off on the printed document and obtain your receipt of payment.

Additional Notes

Multiple drivers can be registered to drive a rental car, providing a copy of each drivers’ drivers license is presented at the time of collection

ETC card readers and navigation units are a standard option on vehicles within HV・P・W・RV・V class. ETC cards however are not supplied.

The Shaken Certificate


Update: This page has been updated and moved to the blog section of our website, under the new heading Shaken Certificate Glossary, and will be removed from here permanently in the near future.

All sections of the shaken certificate are covered in this post with Japanese and English translations for all headings.

NB: It is a legal requirement to carry the shaken certificate in the car at all times while driving. Failure to do so will result in points on ones license and/or a maximum fine of JPY500,000.