The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has decided to issue a "Japan Expressway Pass" all-you-can-drive pass valid nationwide for international visitors. The Ministry will not stop the sales of existing flat-rate all-you-can-drive passes limited to the regions of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Chubu, Chugoku/Shikoku, and Kyushu.
The Japan Expressway Pass will be sold nationwide at 275 car rental stations from 13 October 2017 for 20,000 JPY (seven days) or 34,000 JPY (14 days). Foreign travelers and Japanese people with permanent residency abroad holding a driver license valid in Japan will be allowed to purchase a pass.
Meanwhile, NEXCO East, Central and West are working together to number each expressway route (e.g. E1, E56) for both Japanese and foreign drivers. The numbering should be completed by 2020. Besides, NEXCO East, Central and West will enrich their services for foreign drivers, notably hiring staff speaking foreign languages at service areas, offering free Wi-Fi services, and providing expressway maps in foreign languages.
The Ministry also decided to extend the areas for its "Smart Fee" administrative trial. If a car is equipped with ETC 2.0., the driver can leave the expressway for a short amount of time without paying an additional fee in order to stop by a "Michi no Eki", place to rest or buy local products situated along a local road...
The following 17 "Michi no Eki" have been added to the scope of this "Smart Fee" trial (totaling 20 places):