Christmas in Japan

Every December brings the season to celebrate Christmas around the world, and Japan is no exception. Christmas in Japan has many unique characteristics as part of Japan’s culture. This time we would like to introduce to you how Japanese people celebrate Christmas.

 

  • Fried chicken and Christmas cake
  • Who to celebrate with
  • Ending the 25th night

 

Fried Chicken and Christmas Cake

In the United States and elsewhere, Christmas dinner is a roast turkey or ham, but the dish most associated with Christmas in Japan is fried chicken. Since turkey is difficult to find in Japan, it was replaced with chicken instead. Demand for fried chicken in Christmas season in Japan is very high, with fast food chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and butcher shops accepting reservation as soon as December 1st. As Christmas draws nearer, fried chicken and roast chicken will be sold at convenience and grocery stores, so you will be able to see the unique Christmas atmosphere.

 

 

 

It is said that eating cake at Christmas is a staple for Japanese people. To produce a sense of Christmas, it is a common practice to arrange fruits and decorate it with Santa and other motifs. Incidentally, on the night of December 25, many cake shops will be selling their goods for half-price,  so if you want to enjoy a more cost-effective Christmas, please time your shopping as such!

The origin of Christmas cake in Japan began with a campaign in 1922 when cake manufacturer Fujiya started selling a cake decorated with cream with the catch phrase “Let’s eat cake at Christmas!” At that time, cake was a luxury good, and ordinary people could not easily buy one, but around the 1970s, the custom to eat Christmas cake spread through every home in Japan. Whipped cream and strawberry Christmas cakes are the most popular in Japan today, but there are a variety of other flavors and decorated cakes.

 

Who to celebrate with

At Christmas time, Japanese people often spend more time with their romantic partner than with their families. So, for Japanese people, Christmas and Valentine’s Day are the two big romantic holidays for lovers.

By the way, it’s the same for children in Japan that Santa Claus brings Christmas presents to good children.

 

 

 

Ending on the 25th night

A happy Christmas will be finished at night on December 25th. The shop displays and Christmas decorations are changed immediately after closing on the 25th, and on the 26th we will enter 100% New Years mode. Of course, the Christmas tree will be put away and the traditional New Years kadomatsu (bamboo decoration) will be brought out.

 

 

 

Summary
While incorporating Japanese customs, Christmas has evolved from the original for many years and Japan’s unique Christmas is now fully established. In December, Christmas songs playing throughout the town are not only Western traditional songs and pop music, but also Japanese original Christmas songs. Also in this season, TV and anime will also be broadcasting their Christmas episodes.

If you visit Japan in winter, why not enjoy a unique “Merry Christmas” in Japan?

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Safety Tips: Must-Have App for Travelers in Japan

Do you know what to do in a natural disaster when you’re on vacation?
In a foreign country with unfamiliar customs, culture, and no climate intuition, it can be hard to know what to do in case of trouble. We’re introducing a new app that can help foreign tourists to go safely even in case of emergency.

The app has the following functions.

外国人旅行者向け災害時情報提供アプリ「Safety tips」を大幅に機能向上しました!

Safety Tips
Free

5 Supported Languages: English・Chinese (Simplified/Traditional)・Korean・Japanese

Supported OS
・Android 5.0 or later
・iOS 9.0 or later

✓ Push notifications for emergency earthquake announcements, tsunami warnings, special weather alerts, and volcanic eruption information

✓ Foreigner-friendly medical facility information (information is from the Japanese government tourism office)

✓ Advanced information (details on each type of disaster, first aid methods, etc.)

✓ Evacuation recommendations and instructions

✓ Weather forecast

✓ Earthquake information

✓ Volcanic eruption warnings

✓ Heat stroke advisories

✓ Evacuation shelter information

✓ Transportation information

✓ Medical facility information

✓ Emergency contact information (110, 119, one-click dial embassy phone numbers)

Below is the home screen of the Safety Tips app.

There are many useful functions in case of a natural disaster.

There are explanations for each type of disaster, as well as what to do when right after an event, so please download it so you can travel with confidence.

You can download the app from the QR code below.
QRコード(For iPhone) QRコード(For Android)
For iPhone    For Android

If the QR code doesn’t work, please use the following URL.
・Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.rcsc.safetyTips.android
・iPhone: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/safety-tips/id858357174?mt=8

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All About Map Code Service

  1. What is Map Code?
  2. How do you use Map Code Service?
  3. Important Notes


1. What is Map Code?

Map Code is a code number system that makes it easy to set the destination when you enter it to the car GPS.
Every place in Japan can be represented by a map code of 6-12 digits.

Example: Tokyo Sky Tree: 742 740 * 81


2. How do you use Map Code Service?

① Please check if your reservation includes map code service.
You can check it in the reservation confirmation email.
If either of the following applies, your booking includes map code service:
· The map code service is included in the ToCoo! options
· You reserved under the ToCoo! Traveler Support Plan

② Please request map code search.
You can request up to 10 map codes per reservation.
Please request a map code search at least 4 days before the rental car start date.

Please send us the information of 10 desired map code destinations from the application form below:
https://forms.gle/XJVtWnX5kS2dFy9g8

For us to find a map code for you, we need detailed information such as tourist spot name, facility name, address, or phone number. We cannot find map codes with vague information.
Good examples (easy to verify the correct location):
1. Tokyo Sky Tree
1-2 Oshiage Sumida-ku, Tokyo 101-0045 Tokyo
Phone Number 000-0000-0000

Bad examples (impossible to find the map codes):
1. Hokkaido Sapporo City (the area is wide and unspecified)
2. How to get to Kawaguchiko from Tokyo (there are no map codes for routes)

③ After we receive your application, we will find the map codes within about 2 business days and will send them to you by email to the same email address you used to make the rental car reservation.

④ Enter the map code received by email in the car navigation system and start using it.
When you type it in, please include * (asterisk) and spaces.
* Some car navigation systems may not be able to input symbols or spaces. In that case, please try the following methods.

■ Spaces cannot be entered: try putting in only the numbers
■ If * (asterisk) can not be entered: try putting in only the numbers to the left of * (asterisk)
* If you do not know how to use the car navigation system, please check with your rental car outlet when you pick up the car.


3. Important notes

① Since it may take more than two business days to reply to map code search request sent during weekends and holidays, please send us your map code search request as soon as possible.

② Regardless of the rental car usage period, there are only 10 map codes available per reservation.
If you need more than ten map codes, it will cost an additional fee (200 yen per extra map code).

If you have any questions about Map Codes, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Inquiry Form

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Information About the Hokkaido Expressway Pass (HEP)/Kyushu Expressway Pass (KEP)/Tohoku Expressway Pass Plan

  1. What is the Hokkaido Expressway Pass (HEP)/Kyushu Expressway Pass (KEP)/Tohoku Expressway Pass?
  2. Availability Period
  3. How to use
  4. Important notes

*We will refer to Hokkaido Expressway Pass as HEP and the Kyushu Expressway Pass as KEP from now on.


1. What is the HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass?

An Expressway Pass is a flat plan that allows you to use specific toll ways in Japan as much as you like.
HEP is a plan that allows you to use all the expressways in Hokkaido for a fixed price.
KEP is a plan that lets you use some of the Kyushu expressways at a fixed price.
Tohoku Expressway Pass is a plan that lets you use the Tohoku expressways at a fixed price.

*There are some expressways that aren’t covered by the Expressway Pass. Please check the NEXCO websites below for more information about applicable expressways.
HEP: https://www.driveplaza.com/trip/drawari/hokkaido_expass/en.html
KEP: https://global.w-nexco.co.jp/en/kep/
Tohoku Expressway Pass: https://www.driveplaza.com/trip/drawari/tep2015/en.html

* To use an Expressway Pass, you need a special ETC card with your rental car. When you book HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass plan with ToCoo! , you do NOT need to rent an ETC card separately. The ETC card provided by the rental car company is included in the plan. You cannot use a ToCoo! ETC card.


2. Availability Period

The usage period must match the rental car usage period.
*It is not possible to use an expressway pass for a period different from that of the rental car.


3. How to use?

① Please check whether or not your reservation includes HEP / KEP / Tohoku Expressway Pass. You can confirm it from the ”Reservation Confirmed mail”.
* If you meet one of the below conditions, your reservation includes HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass.
・If “HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass” is included in the plan name in your reservation confirmed email
・If “HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass” is included in the options under the plan name (not ToCoo! options)
② Please get the ETC card at the rental car outlet.
③ Please pay the fee for HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass at the rental car outlet.
*The HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass fee is not included in the rental car fee.
Please check here about the amount.
④ Insert the ETC card into the ETC device in the rental car and start using it.
*For details on how to use the ETC card and the pre-equipped ETC card reader device, please check with the rental car outlet.
⑤ Please return the ETC card to the rental car outlet when you return the car.


4. Important notes
*You cannot change the usage period for the HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass.
*If you book the HEP/KEP/Tohoku Expressway Pass plan but decide you don’t need it, please cancel and rebook your reservation without the expressway pass. Alternatively, you can opt out by informing the rental car outlet staff when you pick up the car, but please note that some rental car companies may not be able to accept same-day cancellations for expressway passes.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here:
Inquiry Form

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Rental Car Airport Counter Guide

By pressing the icon of the rental car company next to the airport, you can see the information on the airport counter below.

New Chitose Airport (Domestic Terminal)  
New Chitose Airport (International Terminal)
Narita International Airport (Terminal 1)  
Narita International
Airport (Terminal 2 & 3)
Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal 1  
Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal 2
Chubu Centrair International Airport  
Kansai International Airport  
Fukuoka Airport International Terminal
Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal
Kagoshima Airport International Terminal
Naha Airport 相關圖片


New Chitose Airport (Domestic Terminal)

The check in counter is on the 1st floor of the domestic terminal building.
Please go to the “Car Rental Counter” shown on the map.


出典:新千歳空港ホームページ


New Chitose Airport (International Terminal)
Please check in at the information counter on the first floor. Go out from the arrival gate and proceed left, and go to the first floor with the escalator on the left at the end. When you get to the center, there is an information counter on the right, where the “?” mark is shown below.

出典:新千歳空港ターミナルビルホームページ


Narita International Airport (Terminal 1)

The reception counter is in the arrival lobby on the 1st floor.
The “14” on the map shows the counter location.

出典:成田国際空港公式WEBサイト



Narita International Airport (Terminal 2 & 3)
* If you arrive at Terminal 3, please use the rental car counter in Terminal 2 (domestic).

The counter is in the arrival lobby on the 1st floor of Terminal 2.
The “9” on the map is the counter location.

出典:成田国際空港公式WEBサイト


Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal 1 (Times, Orix, and Nissan)

Please go to the reception counter in the arrival lobby on the 1st floor. Please use the rental car counter near “Information Desk 3,” where the orange “?” mark is shown in the map below.

出典:羽田空港国際線旅客ターミナルホームページ


Haneda Domestic Airport Terminal 1 (Nippon, Toyota)
Please go to the reception counter in the arrival lobby on the 1st floor. Please use the rental car counter near “Information Desk 5,” where the orange “?” mark is shown in the map below.

出典:羽田空港国際線旅客ターミナルホームページ


Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal 2 (Nippon, Orix, Nissan)

Please go to the reception counter in the arrival lobby on the 1st floor. Please use the rental car counter near “Information Desk 3,” where the orange “?” mark is shown in the map below.

出典:羽田空港国内線旅客ターミナルホームページ


Haneda Airport Domestic Terminal 2 (Times, Toyota)

The rental car counter is located next to the Information Desk 4 with the orange “4” displayed in the map below.

出典:羽田空港国内線旅客ターミナルホームページ


Chubu Centrair International Airport

After arrival, please go to the 2nd floor information counter in the Access Plaza, where the red “?” mark is shown in the middle of the map below. The information counter hours are from 9:00-18:00.
※If you arrive outside of the business hours, please go directly to the outlet from the 1st floor Access Plaza.

出典:中部国際空港ホームページ


Kansai International Airport (Toyota, Nissan, Orix)

Please go to the reception counter of the rental car company you have reserved (Toyota, Nissan or Orix). The counters are located on the 1st floor of the Aero Plaza. It is shown as “23” on the map  below.

※for customers using terminal 1: 3-minute walk from Terminal 1 via the 2F connection passage
※for customers using terminal 2: 7-minute ride from Terminal 2 via free shuttle bus.

出典:関西国際空港ホームページ


Kansai International Airport (Nippon, Times)

Please go to the reception counter of the rental car company you have reserved (Nippon or Times) . The counters are located on the 2st floor of the Aero Plaza. It is shown as “23” on the map  below.

※for customers using terminal 1: 3-minute walk from Terminal 1 via the 2F connection passage
※for customers using terminal 2: 7-minute ride from Terminal 2 via free shuttle bus.

出典:関西国際空港ホームページ



Fukuoka Airport International Terminal

After arrival, please go to the rental car counter located on the 1st floor of Arrival Lobby (the Car and Key mark on the map) for the registration to receive transfer service. After completed registration, shuttle service will be provided. Please go to the 3rd floor and go to the shuttle bus stop for rental car, where “Rent-a-car pick up” indicated and has big red arrow pointing on the second map. The staff will transfer you to the rental car outlet.

If there is no staff at the counter, please directly call the outlet.

Toyota: 092-778-0100
Nissan: 092-433-4123 (you can use the phone at the counter)
Times: 092-432-7070 (you can use the phone at the counter)
Nippon: 092-433-0919 / 0120-65-0919 (Toll Free)
Budget: 092-735-8886

 

Arrival Lobby (1F)

“Rent-a-car pick up” is a Shuttle bus stop area for car-rental customer (3F)

出典:福岡空港ホームページ


Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal (Toyota)

There is no transfer service available. From the domestic terminal south side, it is about 5 minutes on foot. If you are coming from the north arrival gate, it is about 10 minutes on foot.

出典:トヨタレンタカー公式サイト


Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal (Nissan)

There is NO transfer service.
Please exit the south exit of the domestic terminal, then cross the front signal and walk for 3 minutes.

出典:福岡空港ホームページ


Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal (Times)

There is free transfer service available.
After arrival, please call the outlet (092-629-5656) and wait at the meeting spot, the Domestic Terminal North Exit rental car only shuttle area. The staff will pick you up in 5-10 minutes.

出典:福岡空港ホームページ


Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal (Nippon)
There are two Nippon outlets, so please be careful. 

Nippon Rental Car Fukuoka Airport-Daiichi (1)
There is no transfer service.
3-minute walk from the Arrival Area South. 1-minute walk from the subway exit 4.

Nippon Rental Car Fukuoka Airport-Daini (2)
After arrival, please call the toll-free number 0120-59-0919. Please proceed to the front parking lot near the Arrival Area North. The staff will pick you up at the car rental 「Pick-up & Drop-off zone」.

出典:福岡空港ホームページ

Fukuoka Airport Domestic Terminal (Budget)

★Customers arriving at arrivals lobby – North
Exit through exit F and cross at the zebra crossing towards a multi-storey parking lot on the opposite side. Turn left and go straight until you see a parking area for a sightseeing bus. It will have a blue sign-board saying「レンタカー、民間駐車場乗降場」which is our shuttle meeting point. Please call us once you get there. Our courtesy shuttle bus will arrive in approximately 10-15 minutes to pick you up.
Waiting time varies depending on the time of day.
※It is an on demand service so please make sure to call us. ( 092-735-8886)

★Customers arriving at arrivals lobby – South
Exit through exit A and cross at the large zebra crossing in front of you. Once across, turn right and go down the road for about 10 minutes. The branch should be visible under a large board saying 明治のおいしい牛乳.
※To make use of the shuttle service please go to the shuttle meeting point as per above and call us. ( 092-735-8886)

出典:福岡空港ホームページ

Kagoshima Airport International Terminal


For customers reserved Nissan, Budget, Toyota, Times, Nippon

There is no reception counter in the airport. To receive transfer service to the outlet, please call directly at the information counter.
※For customers using domestic flight:Please come to the Tourism & General Information Office (domestic terminal, 1st floor)
※For customers using international flight:Please come to the General Information Office (International terminal, 1st floor)

Nissan Rent a Car:0995-58-2121
BUDGET Rent A Car:0995-58-3543
TOYOTA Rent a Car:0995-58-2306
Times Car Rental:0995-58-3888
Nippon Rental Car:0995-58-2539

Domestic: Tourism & General Information Office is located at “?” mark on the map below.

International: General Information Office is located at “?” mark on the map below.

出典:鹿児島空港国際線ターミナルホームページ


For customers reserved Sky Rent a Car

There is no reception counter in the airport. To receive transfer service to the outlet, please call directly at the information counter, exit the airport at exit ① (international terminal) shown on the map below, and go ahead 30 meters to the right to the meeting place.
Sky Rent a Car phone number: 0995-58-9330

出典:鹿児島空港国際線ターミナルホームページ


Naha Airport

There is no reception counter in the airport. The rental car company will pick you up from the airport. If you arrive on an international flight, please go to the domestic terminal to the “Rental Car Pickup” place designated on the map below after getting your luggage. Go out of the exit and cross the pedestrian crosswalk.
For customers reserved Nissan, Times, Nippon, Sky Rent a Car, ABC Rent a car, please look for a “11-B” sign and wait there.
For customers reserved Budget or Toyota, please look for a “11-A” sign and wait there.

※For Budget’s customers, after arrival, please contact the outlet before proceeding to the waiting point. (Tel: 098-856-2200)

出典:那覇空港国内線ターミナルホームページ

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Must Read! ToCoo! WiFi Rental Guide

Do you know where to pick up and return your ToCoo! WiFi router? Check our arrival checklist below so your WiFi rental will go smoothly!

Picking up the WiFi Router

There are two ways for you to receive your WiFi router.
★If you would like to have your WiFi router sent to your hotel, please make sure that the name you used for your ToCoo! reservation and the name you used for the hotel reservation match! If the names are different, there is a high possibility that you will not receive the package. If you would like to change the addressee for your package, please email our customer support team as early as possible!

Currently, you can pick up ToCoo! WiFi routers at major airports in Japan from the Telecom Square Mobile Counters.

「telecomsquare」的圖片搜尋結果

■Available Airport Counter
New Chitose Airport International Terminal
Narita Airport Terminal 1
Narita Airport Terminal 2
Haneda Airport International Terminal
Chubu Centrair International Airport
Kansai International Airport Terminal 1 
Fukuoka Airport International Terminal


New Chitose Airport International Terminal
Location: Mobile Center on the 2nd floor of the arrival lobby in the International Terminal, immediately in front of the international arrival gate
Business hours: 08:00~20:00


Narita Airport Terminal 1
Location: Mobile Center on the 1st floor arrival lobby in the north wing, in front of the escalator
Business hours: 07:00~21:00


Narita Airport Terminal 2
Location: Mobile Center in front of the descending escalator, next to the tourist office
Business hours: 07:30~21:00


Haneda Airport International Terminal
Location: Mobile Center on the 2nd floor arrival lobby,  near the domestic flight check-in counter
Business hours: 06:00~23:00


Chubu Centrair International Airport
Location: Located at the Access Plaza on the second floor. It is convenient for going to departure and arrival lobbies. It is the third one of the stores at the left side of ticket gate.
Business hours: 7.00~22.00


Kansai International Airport Terminal 1
Location: Mobile Center on the 1st floor south arrival lobby, on the right-hand side of the south arrival gate
Business hours: 07:00~22:30


Fukuoka Airport International Terminal
Location: Mobile Center on the 1st floor arrival lobby, in front of the entrance (you will also pass the Mobile Center on both arrival and departure)
Business hours: 07:00~21:30

What to do when you arrive at the Mobile Center counter
① Show the email you received from Telecom Square to the staff member at the counter (reservation number starting with “B”)
②Receive the WiFi router
When you receive the WiFi router, be sure to open the pouch and confirm that all the required items are present.
*If you won’t go back to the airport on your WiFi router return date, please be sure to get the return slip (Yamato Transport TA-Q-BIN) from the staff member for returning the WiFi router.
P.S. If you don’t get the TA-Q-BIN return slip, you won’t be able to know the address for return, so please email ToCoo! Customer Support for assistance.

WiFi Router

TA-Q-BIN Return Slip (Yamato Transport)

Returning the WiFi Router


I’ll pick up the WiFi router at the airport counter, but I won’t go back to the airport on the return date.
You’ll need a TA-Q-BIN return slip. Please make sure to get the return slip from the staff member at the Telecom counter when you pick up the WiFi router. You’ll need to get an envelope yourself, but there will be no shipping fee if you use the Telecom-provided TA-Q-BIN return slip. You can post the WiFi router package from a convenience store (Seven-Eleven or Family Mart).

TA-Q-BIN Return Slip (Yamato Transport)

I’ll pick up and return the WiFi router at an airport counter.
You can return the WiFi router anytime at the airport counter, even if it’s outside of the normal business hours. You can use the Return Box next to the Telecom counter to return the rental items (WiFi router & ToCoo! ETC cards can both be returned here).

My WiFi router will be sent to my hotel, and I won’t go to the airport on the return date.
You can reuse the old envelope to return the WiFi router. Please remove the original white slip. Then, tape the enclosed TA-Q-BIN (宅急便) slip on the envelope. If you have already thrown out the envelope, please purchase a new envelope at a convenience store (Seven Eleven or Family Mart). You can post the rental items by handing it to the cashier at the convenience store.

TA-Q-BIN Return Slip (Yamato Transport)

My WiFi router will be sent to my hotel, and I will go to the airport on the return date.
You can return the WiFi router anytime at the airport counter, even if it’s outside of the normal business hours. You can use the Return Box next to the Telecom counter to return the rental items (WiFi router & ToCoo! ETC cards can both be returned here).

P.S. The WiFi router and ETC card can be returned together. Let’s put the WiFi router and the ToCoo! ETC card in the envelope together!

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All About Telephone Translator Support

1. What is Telephone Translator Support? 
2. When can I use Telephone Translator Support?
3. How can I use Telephone Translator Support?
4. Important notes


1. What is Telephone Translator Support?
24-hour Telephone Translator Support can respond to every place and situation in case of trouble or need for help. With this service, you can travel safely and securely in Japan.
Supported languages are Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.
Telephone Translator Support is not exclusive for rental car situations. It can be used in any situation, as you can see below.

<Questions during shopping>

<When you need an interpreter at a restaurant>

<When you need directions>

*The Telephone Translator Support cannot respond to any inquiries other than for translation purposes.


2. When can I use Telephone Translator Support
The service is available 24/7 if it is within the rental car usage period.
There is no limit on the number of times of use.


3. How to use Telephone Translator Support
① Please check whether or not your reservation includes Telephone Translator Support. You can confirm it from the ToCoo! options section of the Reservation Confirmed mail. If Telephone Translator Support is included in the ToCoo! options, your reservation has the service included.

② Call the dedicated Telephone Translator Support phone number and tell the operator your reference number.
*We will send the phone number and reference number to you by email 1-3 days before your rental car start date.
*The translation service is only for telephone correspondence, so it can’t be used with WiFi phone services such as Line phone, WhatsApp phone, etc.

③ Describe the situation to the operator and tell them what you need translated, then hand the phone to the other party.

④ After finishing with the interpreter, please hang up the phone.


4. Important notes

① Translation service can only be used when you are physically facing the person who you would like to translate. It is not possible to interpret for people who are not with you at the time of the phone call.

② Telephone Translator Support cannot be used as a customer service line. The translators cannot respond to any inquiries about ToCoo services, problems (such as car trouble), or any other negotiations.

③ You can’t use telephone translation service if you don’t have the reference number. If you do not receive an email with the dedicated telephone number and reference number by 1 day before the car rental service begins, please contact us from the following Inquiry Form.

④ Any call charges will be paid by the customer.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the Inquiry Form on our website.

 

 

 

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All About ETC Cards & Expressway Passes

This article will explain all about the ETC system. Not sure which ETC card is right for you? Keep reading and find out!


What is an ETC card?

It’s a card that can be used with the ETC system. If you use the ETC system, you don’t need to understand Japanese, you don’t need to use cash, and you don’t have to stop at toll gates, so it’s a very convenient system. The ETC card reader device is equipped as standard in all rental cars in Japan, so all you have to do is put the ETC card into the ETC device and you’re good to go! There are many different types of ETC card passes and services available, so keep reading and we’ll go through the main ones.


What is an expressway pass?

An expressway pass is a special ETC card with the pass preloaded onto it so that you can use the expressways as much as you want. There are various kinds of ETC passes, but there are 4 that you can reserve from ToCoo! Also, you can’t reserve just an ETC pass on its own, so make sure to book the rental car with it.


Each ETC option covers a different area! Keep reading to find out more.

Area Unlimited ETC Card Pickup Place
ETC Card  Nationwide × Post Office/Hotel
TEP  Nationwide Post Office/Hotel
ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass  Nationwide Post Office/Hotel
TEP Hokkaido Hokkaido Post Office/Hotel
TEP Kyushu Kyushu Post Office/Hotel
HEP Hokkaido Rental Car Outlet
KEP Kyushu Rental Car Outlet


About the ETC Card Types


1. ETC Card (nationwide)
You can book a standalone ETC card without any expressway passes. After you return the ETC card at the end of your reservation, your actual used toll fees will be charged to the credit card you register.  After the ETC card is returned, we will confirm the toll road usage details with NEXCO, the highway provider in Japan. If you rent a ToCoo! ETC card, you can pick it up from your hotel or a post office, but please note that rental car companies don’t offer delivery service for packages,  so you can’t get it from the outlet.
We recommend the Free ETC Card Plan!
Check it out here! → ToCoo! ETC Card Plan

ETC System Area


2. ToCoo Expressway Pass (Nationwide)
The ToCoo Expressway Pass, or TEP, is a special ETC card that is only offered by ToCoo! It’s an unlimited expressway pass for all of Japan. TEP can only be reserved from the TEP plan, and the TEP fee is paid at the time of reservation, so it’s super convenient.  All you have to do is pick it up from your hotel or a post office and basically forget about it until your return date! Total driving freedom.  You can pick up the TEP ETC card package from a hotel or post office, but rental car companies don’t offer delivery services for packages, so you can’t get it from the outlet.

Check out the plan here! → ToCoo Expressway Pass Plan


TEP Coverage Area

4. ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass (Nationwide)
The ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass is a special ETC card similar to TEP, but unlike TEP, the ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass can be added on as an option to almost any reservation. Just like TEP, the ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass fee is paid at the time of reservation, so it’s extremely convenient. You can pick up the TToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass ETC card package from a hotel or post office, but rental car companies don’t offer delivery services for packages, so you can’t get it from the outlet.
★ What’s the difference between TEP and the ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass? The difference is that the ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass can be added onto any existing plan. Because of that, it’s also a little more expensive than TEP.

More info here! → ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass

ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass Coverage Area

5. TEP Hokkaido (Hokkaido)
It’s similar to TEP, this is a special ETC card offered only by ToCoo, which offers unlimited expressway use only in Hokkaido, so we recommend it for anyone who is traveling to Hokkaido! You can reserve it under the TEP Hokkaido plan. You can pick up the TEP Hokkaido ETC card package from a hotel or post office, but rental car companies don’t offer delivery services for packages, so you can’t get it from the outlet. One advantage of TEP Hokkaido is that you can drop off the car anywhere with it!

Check out the plan here! → TEP Hokkaido


TEP Hokkaido Coverage Area


5. TEP Kyushu (Kyushu)
Similar to TEP, this is a special ETC card offered only by ToCoo, which offers unlimited expressway use only in Kyushu, so we recommend it for anyone who is traveling to Kyushu! You can reserve it under the TEP Kyushu plan. For the ToCoo! ETC card to use for TEP Kyushu, hotel and post office pickup is available. In addition, some TEP Kyushu plans have the special option for ToCoo! ETC card pickup at the  rental car outlet! For details on where to receive the ToCoo! ETC card, please check the email from ToCoo! One more advantage of TEP Kyushu is that you can drop off the car anywhere with it.

Check out the plan here! → TEP Kyushu

TEP Kyushu Coverage Area

6. Hokkaido Expressway Pass (Hokkaido)
The Hokkaido Expressway Pass (HEP) is an unlimited expressway pass that can only be used in specific Hokkaido expressway. This pass is only offered by the rental car companies, so not every outlet offers it. Also, if you use HEP, you have to pick up and return the car to the exact same outlet. If the outlet offers HEP, you can get it when you pick up the car.
★ CAUTION! ToCoo’s ETC card can NOT be used for HEP! If you want to use HEP, please book the HEP plan and don’t reserve any other ETC cards.

Check out the plan here! → Hokkaido Expressway Pass

出典:HEPホームページ

7. Kyushu Expressway Pass (Kyushu)
Kyushu Expressway Passis an unlimited expressway pass that can be used only on specific Kyushu expressways. This pass is also only offered by the rental car companies, so not every outlet offers it. Something to watch out for is that it doesn’t cover all the expressways in Kyushu. Please check the map below and make sure that the roads you plan to use will be covered before booking it, so that you can avoid an unpleasant surprise when you return your car.
★ CAUTION! ToCoo’s ETC card can NOT be used for KEP! If you want to use KEP, please book the KEP plan and don’t reserve any other ETC cards.。

Check out the plan here! → Kyushu Expressway Pass

出典:NEXCO

Summary

It might seem a bit complicated, but we hope this has been helpful. Check your travel schedule and choose the best ETC card for you! As always, if you have any further questions, let us know down below or from the inquiry form on our website.

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Kansai International Airport and New Chitose Airport Latest Updates

Due to the typhoon damage that occurred on September 4, 2018, Osaka’s Kansai International Airport has been temporarily closed. Additionally, New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido has also been put under restrictions due to the damage caused by the earthquake that occurred on September 6, 2018. There are also many rental car outlets which are closed temporarily. If you are preparing to travel soon, please be careful and check the details.

1、Kansai International Airport Status
2、New Chitose Airport Status
3、Information for those considering cancelling their travel plans



1. Kansai International Airport Status

Status Notes Last updated
Kansai International Airport 【KIX homepage】https://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en 2018/9/7
Nissan Rent a Car Closed until 10/8 2018/10/4
Toyota Rent a Car Reopens for business on 10/12. 2018/10/12
Times Car Rental Resuming Operations 2018/10/10
Nippon Rent a Car Closed until 10/6. Reopens for business at 8:00 AM on 10/7. 2018/10/5


2. New Chitose Airport Status
Note: If you already have a reservation during the following closure dates, your rental car reservation will be carried out as usual.

Status Remarks Last updated
New Chitose Airport Normal operation 【CTS homepage】http://www.new-chitose-airport.jp/en/ 2018/9/10
Nissan Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Nippon Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Toyota Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Budget Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Times Car Rental Normal operation 2018/9/10
Hokkaido Travel Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Car Rental Hokkaido Normal operation 2018/9/10
Honda Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Nikku Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Samurai Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
NICONICO Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Family Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
World Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10
Karaoke Rent a Car Normal operation 2018/9/10


3. Information for those considering cancelling their travel plans

※If you cancel your trip, please cancel your rental car reservation as well.
Cancellation form → https://www2.tocoo.jp/en/member/login
If you can’t cancel your reservation from the website, please contact ToCoo!
【Contact】 rc-cs@coocom.co.jp

<Caution> Although we try to post the latest and accurate information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, or usefulness. Please check the website of each company for accurate information.

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ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass

Advantages of ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass

  1. Unlimited use of all of Japan’s expressways for one fixed price, available from 1 day to 20 days maximum!
  2. No need to speak Japanese at toll gates!
  3. Save time by driving through the toll gates without stopping!

Availability

The deadline to book the ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass is at least 5 days before your desired pickup date, and the maximum usage period is 20 days.

Applicable Areas

If you book the ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass, you will have unlimited access to all of Japan’s expressways.

How To Book

The ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass can be added onto any plan before booking as long as there are no other ETC options or expressway passes included (not applicable for some reservations).

Notes

*You cannot extend the rental period once your reservation has already begun.
*We will charge the actual used toll fees as incurred if you use the pass after your reserved rental period or for more than 20 days.
*The ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass can only be used with the ETC card sent by ToCoo!
*You cannot lend the ETC card to a third party.
*Any toll fees used by another person would be charged to your registered credit card.
*ToCoo! does not bear any responsibility for traffic restrictions set by road administrators.
*You can reserve the pass up to 5 days prior to your desired pickup date.

Pricing

1 day: 8,000 yen
2 days: 10,000 yen
3 days: 12,000 yen
4 days: 14,000 yen
5 days: 16,000 yen
6 days: 18,000 yen
7 days: 20,000 yen
8 days: 22,000 yen
9 days: 24,000 yen
10 days: 26,000 yen
11 days: 28,000 yen
12 days: 30,000 yen
13 days: 32,000 yen
14 days: 34,000 yen
15 days: 36,000 yen
16 days: 38,000 yen
17 days: 40,000 yen
18 days: 42,000 yen
19 days: 44,000 yen
20 days: 46,000 yen

*The ToCoo! Unlimited ETC Pass fee would be charged to the registered credit card as part of the ToCoo! options fee when the reservation is confirmed.

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