The last weekend my husband and I got to lent the company car from where he works, so we could make a trip to IKEA (I thought it would beneficial to have more than two chairs if we were to invite someone over…). On Friday I was in Tokyo and on my way back in the evening I met with my husband at the station and we went to the company together to get the car. Unfortunately this evening two things came together that make it (for me) harder to see/drive: night (darkness) and heavy rain.
So I have to confess that although I have been driving for over 12 years now, that I was a little nervous. I have never driven in left-handed traffic and the company car is one of those Keijidousha, which I am not used to, either. For all those who don’t know what a Keijidousha is, it’s a quite small, light, cube-like car with a very slim hood. They are pretty popular here in Japan (and I really haven’t seen them anywhere else) though I think they are not that save. If you hit another car with your front there will be virtually nothing left/the engine will be right on your lap.
Though speed limitations are good to get a slow start, here in the city the limit is 30-40 km/h. Another thing I’m not used to is that most of the cars here are automatic. I really like driving a manual, but I think in this instance it was good I didn’t have to try to change gears with my left hand while concentrating on cutting no one of in traffic (or worse).
In Germany I am used to stop in front of a traffic light, here in Japan the traffic lights that apply to you are across the intersection and I think I stopped more than once way beyond the stop line. But all in all it went quite well and after a day of driving I think I got somewhat used to it. That doesn’t mean I wont be sweating the next times we drive somewhere, but I think if we get a car I might get used to driving in the left lane 🙂