Monday, June 25, 2007

Driving test passed!

It has been 3 weeks since my last post but after two dozen classes taken during the weekends, I have finally passed the driving test! The driving test is not terribly difficult. Drive 2.5 kilo under the direction of the examiner, and also 2 kilo for a self directed route. They will give you the goal X and you will need to drive there by yourself. In fact for the self directed route there was a couple suggested routes that was practiced a zillion time. So you do not really need to decide anything.

After you have passed your driving test they will give you the graduation certificate, with that I do not have to take the driving test at the examination center. I still have to go for the paper test before I can get my license.

One highlight during the course was a 3 hours lessons to the highway. There are two main purpose of this lesson, 1-Although I am learning to drive using manual transmission they have allocate a couple of hours for you to drive using automatic transmission (given the majority of cars are using AT here). 2- They also want the students to experience what it feels like driving on a highway. The lesson was shared by 3 students so you only get about 50 mins to drive. But for my school they took you from Tokyo to Yokohama and it really felt like driving! The weather was really good that day and I can even see the Mt. Fuji. It was so nice.

It was a nice experience to go to a driving school in Japan. Probably this is one of the most difficult place in the planet to get a driving license and there is a very strong emphasis on safety. Close to 40%-50% of the lessons are on safely alone. I hope I can drive safely in future too. My advice: if you are a foreigner, don't have a license and want to drive at Japan. get your license from your home country. Depends on your nationality you might be able to convert it into a Japanese license. A time and money saver!

1 comment:

Dave Cahill said...

Hi Fred!

I found your post via Google and thought I'd ask your advice - I have been in Japan only a few weeks, but my rural location and the prospect of biking in the rain are making driving look very attractive.

I know getting a license in my home country (Ireland) is the smart choice, but I don't know when I'll next be back there for long enough to learn.

If I was to take the crazy option and take driving lessons at a Japanese school, what level of Japanese do you think I'd need? I only started learning in the last 6 months, but I feel I'm picking things up quickly since I arrived.

Lastly, is any introductory highway code type material available online? I might start decoding that as a way to up my driving-related Japanese!

If you get a minute to reply that would be great - here are my contact details.