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  #1  
Old 22nd February 2008
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Default Getting my bike to Japan

Hey there! I lived in Japan for two years and will be going back for an extended vacation this summer...
Does anyone know how much it would cost to ship my bike over there from Northern California?
Also, I am cool for a couple months with just an international license, right?
Also, in case I decide to stay longer, what do I have to do to get a license over there?
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  #2  
Old 10th March 2008
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Default

I have the same question.

Anyone know anything about Nagano?
Whats it cost to ship a bike out there (from SoCal?)

Looks like I will be heading out there for work next month.
3 month duration.

I'd like to ride when I am out there.
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  #3  
Old 10th March 2008
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Foreigners can drive (on the left hand side mind you) in Japan with a recognized international driving permit for up to one year after entering the country provided they have not already done so since 2002. Since 2002 any number of months driving in Japan from a previous time will be deducted from your one year allotted time so that only a total of 12 months can be used altogether from multiple visits. Recognized international driving permits must be obtained in your home country, usually through the national automobile association, before you leave for Japan.

Japan recognizes only international driving permits, which are based on the Geneva Convention of 1949. A few countries, including Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland, however, issue international driving permits, which are based on different conventions. The permits issued by those countries are not valid in Japan.

When staying longer a fully Japanese license is required. If you have a driving license from a country, which has not concluded an agreement with Japan yet, such as the United States, China or Brazil, you will have to take a written and practical exam in order to obtain a Japanese driving license, a process which typically takes several attempts even in case of experienced drivers.

Canadians, however, just need to show up and prove they have lived in their licence issuing Provence for at least three months prior to arriving in Japan.

I am not sure why the USA has not concluded an agreement to make it easier.

For shipping costs I would provide the crated weight and demensions to several freight forwarding companies they are pretty competative.

Cheers;
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  #4  
Old 10th March 2008
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If you are not under SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) it will cost you big time with import fees, tariffs, recycling/disposal fee, emissions testing, and taxes. I don’t think you can register it with an International Drivers License and will need a green card. Expect to pay to get a Japanese license and proof of parking. Can't register without a parking space verified by the local police department. Also being a foreigner expect to get hit with more fees. Shipping is the least of your worries.
I'm in Yokosuka Japan and trust me they do not like anything being imported and will make you pay more than it is worth to have it here. Also you are going to pay by the cc, one reason most cars here are under 660cc. There may be an importer service that takes care of the above for you. Maybe a short term process that does not require all the above. I purchased a $6,000 Japanese car here and paid almost $2500 in fees under SOFA, non SOFA would have been a lot more. Look into leasing.
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