Most travellers heading to Japan don't factor cars into their plans. Tokyo-bound visitors can explore everything by foot or subway, and those journeying elsewhere can hop on a high-speed bullet train (or, if you're flush with cash, a luxe carriage). Still, there's nothing quite like roaming around a new place from behind the wheel, going wherever the expressway takes you — and to make this easier for tourists, the country has just launched an unlimited road trip pass.
With Japanese highways operating on a toll system, the Japan Express Pass will allow holders of foreign passports to venture as far and wide as they'd like, all for one set price. Well, almost; they do come with a 10,000 kilometre limit. Available in seven- and 14-day packages for between AU$228 and $400, they're designed to encourage more folks to venture beyond the Japan's cities and soak up its rural sights.
If that's on your itinerary any time soon, the passes will become available from 275 car rental stores across the country from October 13. You will still need a driver's licence that's valid for use in Japan — which means an International Driver's Permit and a current Australian state driver's licence. That's what you'll need if you're keen to try your hand at Tokyo's MariCar, a real-life recreation of Mario Kart that lets you race through the streets of the city, so you probably want to make sure you have it anyway.