Gas prices aren’t the only thing to worry about when driving in Japan! The cost of tolls will shock you!
If you've ever driven over a bridge or on a highway that requires a toll, you know how big of a pain in the butt it can be to the traffic and your wallet. They usually need somewhere to exact change, have some disinterested toll worker collect your money without a word, and then send you on your way a few dollars poorer. If you ever wanted to drive across Japan, you'd better get used to a lot of that.
Japan's entire expressway is made up of a large network of freeway-standard toll roads. Every single expressway you drive onto will require you to pay at some point in time in order to pay the upkeep and construction costs. The cost for an ordinary passenger car to drive on Japan's expressways is 39.36 yen per mile, which roughly equates out to about 39 cents a mile in United States currency.
Tolls are collected from all the routes and pooled together in a single fund that repays the network. Japan expects the expressways will be completely repaid 45 years after their privatization, which is right around 2050.
Without using Japan's ETC card system (which caps payments to 1000 Yen maximum), driving the 325.5 kilometer journey from Tokyo to Nagoya would cost a whopping 7100 Yen, or about $1134! Maybe take a plane next time!