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Ever gone to / shipped to Japan and back, any comments welcome

18 November 2011
Falcon Heights, MN - no Falcons - no Heights
I am in the bucket years and I have always contemplated shipping my car to Japan and see some sights and maybe get to some NSX meets.
If you have done this could you provide any suggestions what to do or what not to do.
What company did you use for transit, and were you happy?
Did you ship to and pick up from the same place.
I was thinking shipping to ... Tokyo and having it tended maybe more south; any problems on this besides cost?
What permits, licences, etc (can you drive a car around Japan with a US plate)?
Any specific places to visit?
I though maybe Tochigi, Japan (where my car was made), SUZUKA NSX Meeting, or NSX Fiesta as possibilities (still watching Japan NSX videos).
How often did you end up on the wrong side of the road :disillusionment:.
Could you find relatively safe parking for your car when there?
Thanks for any input, maybe this will end up in the dream closet, but maybe others might appreciate.
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Hi JW,

Thanks for the tip.
I will read over TA's (http://www.nsxprime.com/forum/member.php/23528-Track-Addict) post.
I neglected to say that I have spent some time in Asia, Japan many years ago, China, Taiwan, Thailand, etc, more recently.
I won't experience any culture shock like first timer would have.
The culture won't be an issue, just logistics and local requirements like license, insurance, and anything I have overlooked.
Thanks again for the response.
I can only tell you my experience from about 10 years ago. I shipped my US spec e46 m3 to Japan and honestly, it was very very difficult to get it properly registered in Japan. The DMV equivalent deals with most transactions in Japanese only. My wife is Japanese and we barely got it done. That’s just the language barrier part. You then get a temp tag just so that you can drop your car off for two day inspection process including weighing the car, emissions and tests to meet Japanese safety standards. My car’s headlights were spec’d for US market as LHD car and had to conform and change it to RHD spec. I forgot a lot of details but it cost me around $2000 10 years ago just for this US spec car to be allowed to be then inspected and get through the Shaken process etc. that’s a whole another inspection on top of the import entry inspection I went through. So, unless there is some provision that allows you to drive it short term? Which I doubt, I wouldn’t think this is something to do unless you plan to live there for a few years. Best to just rent a car and drive with international license if you really want to. You won’t enjoy getting pulled over by the Japanese cops either. I found out the hard way. Lol.
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Surely the above is about importing a car for someone living in Japan, not a temporary visitor using their own car for the duration of their vacation, which is how I read Albert's initial post.
This is what I found through a 2 second google search:
"Authentication of Carnet. AIT/FIA Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) is recognized when you temporarily (up to one year) import your private vehicle to Japan. Before customs clearance, the holder of CPD has to obtain an authentication of carnet at the relevant JAF offices. The CPD authenticafon fee is 3,000 yen per CPD ..."
"You can enter Japan using the Temporary Import form C5014. If Japan grants you the import, you will be allowed to keep your vehicle in Japan for one year and will be exempted from import tax. If you go over one year, you will have to pay the import tax (which is 20%, so don't go over!)."
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