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Gentsuki bike/scooter license

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  • Gentsuki bike/scooter license

    Hello,

    Sorry if this question is already covered on here, but I was wondering if anyone could give me some insight into what you need to get a gentsuki bike license? I'm from the US and I heard it's really difficult to transfer to a Japanese driver's license. To be honest, I'm not really fussed about having a car, but I thought it might be convenient to get something like a little gentsuki bike or scooter.

    Does anyone know what you need to do to get a license? What about insurance? Also, if anyone has one and has any thoughts about whether it's worth getting one or not I'd be really interested to know.

    For reference we'll be living in either Tokyo or Saitama.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    You have 2 basic choices: exchange your current US license (which involves a road test) and use that to drive a 50cc bike

    --or--

    get a japanese scooter license from scratch. You will be unable to drive a rental car if you go this route.

    The exchange process involves several trips to JAF and the license center, and is rarely completed in under a month. Each trip will consume half a day.

    The j-scooter process is a weekend course or two, don't know too many details. You will need to speak some Japanese to complete the course, there is probably a written test in there somewhere.

    If you live in Tokyo you will use either the Samezu or Fuchu license centers. If you live in Saitama there's a different one up there.

    Hard to say which route is easier / faster / cheaper, other than you are expected to know less Japanese on the exchange route.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have 55000 Kilometers on my scooter that i bought new here in Japan. The class is a one day class,the test in English and cost about 8000 yen. Its really easy,but takes all day,and its on weekdays only.
      Its only 50cc but I go just as fast as the other bigger bikes do,traffic is traffic and its easier to get around on a small scooter than a bigger manly bike. Its cost about 10000 Yen to insure and 1000 for city tax.
      I spend about 5000 yen a month on gas,it really saves a lot of money. I dont get raped by trains,If i use my scooter 250 yen,train 1000 yen round trip.And it faster than waiting for a train.
      Good luck

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rakuda View Post
        I have 55000 Kilometers on my scooter that i bought new here in Japan. The class is a one day class,the test in English and cost about 8000 yen. Its really easy,but takes all day,and its on weekdays only.
        Its only 50cc but I go just as fast as the other bigger bikes do,traffic is traffic and its easier to get around on a small scooter than a bigger manly bike. Its cost about 10000 Yen to insure and 1000 for city tax.
        I spend about 5000 yen a month on gas,it really saves a lot of money. I dont get raped by trains,If i use my scooter 250 yen,train 1000 yen round trip.And it faster than waiting for a train.
        Good luck
        5000 yen a month for gas??? You be traveling long distances!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hml View Post
          5000 yen a month for gas??? You be traveling long distances!!
          I am and its faster and cheaper using a 50cc scooter than the trains or a car.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rtfm View Post
            You have 2 basic choices: exchange your current US license (which involves a road test) and use that to drive a 50cc bike

            --or--

            get a japanese scooter license from scratch. You will be unable to drive a rental car if you go this route.

            The exchange process involves several trips to JAF and the license center, and is rarely completed in under a month. Each trip will consume half a day.

            The j-scooter process is a weekend course or two, don't know too many details. You will need to speak some Japanese to complete the course, there is probably a written test in there somewhere.

            If you live in Tokyo you will use either the Samezu or Fuchu license centers. If you live in Saitama there's a different one up there.

            Hard to say which route is easier / faster / cheaper, other than you are expected to know less Japanese on the exchange route.
            Really good info! Thanks so much A day or 2 after I posted this, one of the "Living in Japan" features covered the process involved in getting a scooter license, so my timing must have been good! I heard that for US drivers it's a pain the tuchas (as my yiddish gradmother would say) to convert your driver's license, and that most people fail the road test at least 2x before managing to pass. Are there any companies/services which help you pass the road test to convert your license? I would gladly pay to have to avoid returning to the DMV multiple times...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rakuda View Post
              I have 55000 Kilometers on my scooter that i bought new here in Japan. The class is a one day class,the test in English and cost about 8000 yen. Its really easy,but takes all day,and its on weekdays only.
              Its only 50cc but I go just as fast as the other bigger bikes do,traffic is traffic and its easier to get around on a small scooter than a bigger manly bike. Its cost about 10000 Yen to insure and 1000 for city tax.
              I spend about 5000 yen a month on gas,it really saves a lot of money. I dont get raped by trains,If i use my scooter 250 yen,train 1000 yen round trip.And it faster than waiting for a train.
              Good luck
              Thanks! I think I might try this, at least to get me mobile, and get my license converted in the meantime. I personally like the idea of a scooter because it's a lot cheaper than a car and a lot easier to find parking it seems. Once we have kids I'm sure getting a car will be a necessity, but until that time, zipping around on a cute little scooter sounds perfect. Especially when the weather's good!!

              Comment

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