Japan Highway Tolls and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system

MSI Blog

Japan Highway Tolls and Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system


Tucked away in the countryside there are lots of beautiful country roads  for motorcycles  but almost anywhere within the main regions even far outside of the bigger towns you will inevitable be slowed down by a red light every several hundred yards.  So  when you are on a tour and have to bridge a distance of – lets say  200kms – to the next destination you simply do not want to miss … what do you do ?  Staying on a country road – the speed limit there also usually between 60 and 80 km/h – may cost you between 3 to 5 hours – so you choose to take on that drive on a japanese expressway, unfortunately all of them toll roads and expensive ones to say the least.  If you are lucky your motorcycle has a built-in ETC card reader and your rental company supplied you with an ETC-card ( as in the pictures with ETC reader including card under the seat and green light indicator in cockpit )  then you are all set. You simply drive – slowly – through the blue toll gates and the amount is electronically withdrawn from your ETC card. I you do not have reader or card  you have to slow down at the green Cash Highway entrance booth, stop, fetch an ETC paper ticket from the machine and again slow down and pay in Cash at your destination exit.


Now, as the speed is limited to 100km/h and in some rare areas only to max 110km/h   it is still not the experience you get when driving in France or Germany   but in terms of time saving it nevertheless is the fastest way to travel on own wheels in Japan and while on tour  sometimes inevitable to get to the next destination in time.  In addition to Highways  many of the most scenic roads are also toll roads, especially around Mount Fuji, the Izu Skyline Road, Iseshima Skyline road and so on  and yes, it does take funds to maintain them to be in proper shape  but sometimes one wonders  why all is that expensive??..   Just an example: around 400 kms, ETC fee Tokyo to Kyoto around 10.000 Yen…

It really IS expensive   but considering the time needed otherwise….???


Have a nice ride and enjoy your trip.


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