The Troubles of Living in Rural-ish Japan sans Driver’s License

Hey, would you look at that! A second post in the space of a week!

Clearly, I’m procrastinating something other than this blog.

But that’s beside the point, really―I’m writing another blog post! Please be proud of me.

Autumn (or fall, for all you Americans out there) is finally here in Fukui, and I couldn’t be more excited. The leaves are now a mix of green, yellow, orange, and red, and every street corner suddenly seems infinitely more photogenic than normal. It’s a wonderful time.

Despite living in a somewhat rural area of Japan (read: small city with sparse public transport), I don’t have my driver’s license. Right before I moved to Fukui, I was living in Melbourne, Australia where I could more or less get away without ever needing to drive, thus I never bothered to actually get my drivers license. When I applied for the JET Programme, I assumed that I would end up somewhere that I could get by without needing a driver’s license, and in my situation that is true… to an extent.

The thing with Fukui Prefecture is that a lot of the most beautiful nature spots aren’t all that easy to access via public transport. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to take a train and transfer on to a bus to get you close to your destination, but more often than not, the destination will be a fair walk away from your stop and the train and bus lines will only come once an hour. Again, that’s if you’re lucky―some buses only make stops once every three hours! So, you can see my pickle here.

Having grown up in a tropical climate back home in Australia, autumn in Japan has to be my favourite season. (Yes, I am completely aware that this is a very Basic White Girl™ opinion of me to have, but I can’t deny the truth of the matter.) So, naturally when autumn comes around and the leaves start changing, all I want to do is get out and take it all in, but I’m limited to my close surroundings because I can’t drive and public transportation is abysmal. It’s fan-freaking-tastic.

Clearly, hindsight is a real bitch and I’m kicking myself for not getting my driver’s license like I told myself I would when I was in university. Or maybe I should just make more friends with people who can drive. Fukui does have the highest ratio of cars per housefold in all of Japan, after all.

Until then, enjoy my Instagram feed which is essentially just photos of the same five places taken from different angles, normally on my way to or from work.


2 thoughts on “The Troubles of Living in Rural-ish Japan sans Driver’s License

  1. I need to say this: I love your style of writing! You gained a new follower 😊 also, I know the struggle of not having a driver’s license. I live in a little town and the bus only comes once every hour… And in the weekends it’s even worse… I finally got the driver’s license two months ago and, I must say, now I know what truly freedom is.


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