Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Take The Test!

Like driving tests the world over, the written version for Japan is full of inane and sometimes tricky-because-they-are-stupid questions.

Some test your knowledge of laws you know but which are routinely violated with near impunity by everyone from truck drivers to little old ladies on the way to the temple.

While many are very simple, others that may seem so are simply difficult because of their tortured English.

Question 1:
If you are going to drive a motor vehicle, it is important to know the rules of the road and to follow them at all times.

Question 2:
If you consume only a small amount of alcohol or sleeping medication, but still feel OK, it is acceptable to operate a motor vehicle.

Question 3:
When crossing a railway you should gear down so you can accelerate quicker if needed.

Question 4:

If there is a long line up of cars behind you and in front of you at an intersection with a green light it is acceptable to stop on top of the pedestrian crosswalk area.

Question 5:
When you approach an intersection and the light is red, it is acceptable to turn left if there is a sign with a blue arrow pointing left on a white background.

Question 6:
When turning left at a traffic light, you should sound your horn if there are pedestrians crossing the street that you are turning into.

Question 7:
When there are 2 lanes going the same direction, a car cannot drive in the right-hand lane unless they are passing a car in the left lane.

Question 8:

With a yellow blinking light, you can go through the intersection without paying attention to other drivers.

Question 9:
You were in a hurry and you saw an ambulance, so you sped up.

Question 10:

When a car turns right at an intersection, it moves to the inside of the lane before, then crosses just inside the center of the intersection.


1: Let’s face it. What is the point of this question? You have been studying the rules to pass this test haven’t you? If you didn’t answer true to this one then you should be taking an IQ test.

2: “Sure, sure, sure… I fleel fline!”  False.

3:  Umm… this depends on how enjoyable you find being dragged under tons of rolling metal. But basically the answer here is false.

4: You often don’t know when traffic is going to suddenly leave you stranded over a pedestrian crossing like a banker with a flat in South Central. But in case you didn’t know this was wrong, think again. False.

5: Tricky huh! You really aren’t quite sure are you? But in fact this is true.

6: Ideally you will be watching for pedestrians and not counting on them to flee like mice as you round the bend like a taxi driver. False.

7: Most certainly the right lane is only used for passing. Everyone except the entire Japanese driving population knows that. Been on an expressway lately? True.

8:  Mais ouis! Ze yellow blinking light is a mere amusement to make ze road more festive, nes pas? Again you should not be given keys to a vehicle if you got this one wrong. False

9: Interesting that this is a True / False test with a question that asks you about actions that supposedly took place in the past. It is like something out of Kafka. Why you were driving without a license in the first place when you saw the ambulance is suspect, and if you did speed up maybe you were trying to get out of the way. No matter what you say you are doomed. But apparently the answer they want is False.

10: Yes, yes, a million times YES! Also apparently changing lanes in THE MIDDLE of an intersection is considered advisable. True.