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Car Rental Takayama

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
178 posts
62 reviews
Car Rental Takayama

We are planning to visit Shin Hotaka in March.

Seeing there is 7 of us I think a car will be more economical than the Nohi bus.

The only car rental company I can find in takayama is Toyota (and you can't book onling in English on the website).

I have a few questions...

1. It seems there is no way to book a car in Takayama online. I will have to ring a Japanese number to book. Can I just confirm that.

2. Late March will be school holidays. Do you think we will miss out if we wait to book until we arrive?

3. Will there be snow on the roads? We're not used to snow on the roads.

Any help is appreciated.

Deb

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
63,039 posts
175 reviews
1. Re: Car Rental Takayama

Go to Tocoo where they have English support. The rates are also very good.

www2.tocoo.jp/?file=rentcar_inbound/main

You should book ahead to guarantee rates, availability, and also to avoid any issues with language. You can then just bring your reservation printout to the counter for processing. Make sure you have an International Driving Permit (should be available from your local motoring club NRMA).

Regarding snow, there could be snow on the roads. For safety reasons, book a car with 4WD and snow tires.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
178 posts
62 reviews
2. Re: Car Rental Takayama

I looked at Tocoo but I don't think they have an office at Takayama anymore?

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara
Level Contributor
9,403 posts
3. Re: Car Rental Takayama

If you're OK with a Toyota, contact:

http://rent.toyota.co.jp/en/index.html

Theirs is located right across the street from the JR station.

Shin-Hotaka is about 80minute-drive away from Takayama, and once you cross the tunnel called Hirayu snow-capped Northern Japan Alps loom ahead.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
63,039 posts
175 reviews
4. Re: Car Rental Takayama

You are right. I am surprised there is no more Takayama representation on Tocoo. Thererfore, go with Shot's recommendation, or if you want to rent from Tocoo, consider renting from Gifu which is not that far away.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
178 posts
62 reviews
5. Re: Car Rental Takayama

And will the roads be icy/snowy at that time of year?

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara
Level Contributor
9,403 posts
6. Re: Car Rental Takayama

Roads in late march in this part of the country are usually not free from snow. But the conditions will be a whole lot better than in Jan/Feb. I may possibly be wrong, but I guess the rental cars are equipped with snow tires. But if I were you, I wouldn't drive, should it snow as heavily as when you'd need tire-chains. No one can predict the exact conditions without a crystal ball, you know. That said, I guess within the city of Takayama you'll be quite alright with just the snow tires, but once you get out of Hirayu Tunnel and approach the Shin-Hotaka area, you'll see a lot of (piled-up) snow on the shoulders of the roads. Maybe someone at your rental car office will have hands-on experiences about driving in that area in late March, so prior to your booking do ask.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
178 posts
62 reviews
7. Re: Car Rental Takayama

Maybe we should wait until we arrive to see what the road conditions are like.

That might help us decide car v bus.

Thanks for yopur help Shot. Awesome, as always.

Nara, Japan
Destination Expert
for Nara
Level Contributor
9,403 posts
8. Re: Car Rental Takayama

No problem. Am glad I could help.

Hope the road conditions will be good enough for you to drive safely.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
63,039 posts
175 reviews
9. Re: Car Rental Takayama

Just make sure you have a back-up travel plan if you end up not getting a car. Availability might be limited if you wait to book until you get there.

Brownsville,Oregon
Level Contributor
1 post
7 reviews
10. Re: Car Rental Takayama

We (3) are hoping to be able to pick up a rental car in Takayama April 16 to visit both Hirayu onsen area (spending night there the 16th) then go to Shirakawago the day of 17th, before returning car to Takayama the afternoon of the 17th. Thought of doing it all by bus, but would have our luggage with us and would also like the flexibility of visiting other villages. (Our time schedule is limited/ have a total of 3 nights in the Takayama/Hirayu area/have room res. in Takayam 15th and 17th.)

Worried about not being able to get reservations until 3-4 days before (as res. can only be made in English by telephone if one is in Japan)

Wondering how it went with you DebDeb07? Were you able to rent a car in Takayama? Did you do so in advance? How were road conditions?