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what happens if you:

  • posses a Japanese driving license
  • posses a Japanese car
  • posses a valid parking spot (車庫証明)
  • switch from a working visa to a tourist visa and later go on a trip in Japan, thus stop-paying/losing the valid parking spot?

Having a parking spot in Japan is needed only when buying a car? If you depart for a 2-months tour, will you still need to have/pay-for a valid parking spot?

Thanks

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    If the traveler does not secure a valid parking spot, what will happen to the car if payment for the valid parking spot expires or is used up? Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 20:22

2 Answers 2

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Legally you can only own a car in Japan after the police verify that you have a parking space within 2 km of your registered address. Now there are no subsequent police checks but the writing on the wall is clear that to possess a car, you need to have a parking space.

Now if you depart by giving up your parking place, the only way you can keep your car is by renting a public parking place. And, in Japan the parking fees are astronomical. For example, in central Tokyo the monthly parking fee can be JPY 25,000 to 60,000.

Secondly, it's not just the parking fee but the once-in-two-year car health check (shaken), insurance and all other formalities.

The bottom-line is that even if you find some gray areas to keep the car, you may end up in troubles. So, better to avoid it.

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You are required to show proof of parking when buying a car or moving, but there are no checks in the meantime that you still have the place to park.

However, you're going to run into the reason this policy exists: overnight street parking is illegal in Japan. So if you don't have a place to park overnight, where are you going to leave your car?

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