Since Hokkaido is big, it is often necessary to travel large distances to move from one place to the next. In particular, if your plans include driving across some large cities with many traffic lights and heavy traffic, using expressways will lead to substantial time savings. Use them wisely.
Paying the expressway toll
There are two options: payment by ETC card, or payment in cash or by credit card.
If you choose to pay by ETC card, we recommend the Hokkaido Expressway Pass for Foreign Visitors. This pass gives you unlimited use of Hokkaido’s expressways for a fixed price! Be sure to purchase the Hokkaido Expressway Pass when you rent your vehicle.
Advantages of the Hokkaido Expressway Pass
- A fixed price gives you peace of mind!
- You don’t need to speak or read Japanese!
- It saves time!
Available in five languages: English, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean
Paying by ETC
1. Always insert your ETC card all the way into the slot and remember the expiration date!
Securely insert your ETC card into the vehicle onboard device. Be sure to remember your ETC card expiration date. If you forget to insert your ETC card or allow it to expire, the tollgate bar will not operate and you will have to stop the car.
2. Check which lanes allow ETC!
Before entering, check which lanes allow payment by ETC. Be aware of ETC lane directions, signals, and signs as you proceed through the tollgate.
3. Do not exceed 20 km/h when entering the lane!
Enter at less than 20 km/hour and drive slowly through the ETC lane. The ETC system requires that you enter at less than 20 km/hour and drive slowly through the ETC lane.
Carelessly entering the wrong lane or forgetting to insert your card can result in unforeseen delays such as preventing the tollgates from opening and closing and blocking the cars behind you. Therefore, to ensure the safety of yourself and others, please always reduce speed to less than 20 km/hour and drive slowly through the ETC lane.
4. The ETC system and exit tollgates
- ETC is an automatic system that allows you to pay the toll without stopping the car. The system is based on wireless communication between the antenna installed at the tollgate and the ETC onboard device in your vehicle.
- In order to use the ETC system, you must have a vehicle onboard device, and an ETC card issued by your credit card company must be inserted into the device.
Rental car companies also have cars equipped with an onboard device and an ETC card; please check with the company when making your rental car arrangements.
- At the Entrance and Exit tollgates, use one of the lanes marked ETC.
Direction signs indicating the position of ETC lanes are installed at the approach to the Exit tollgates. As you approach the tollgate, refer to the sign and proceed to an ETC lane.
Source East Nippon Expressway Company
Paying in cash or by credit card
1. At the Entrance and Exit tollgates, use one of the General lanes.
2. Collect Your Ticket
At the Entrance tollgate, collect your toll pass ticket from the automatic ticket machine. The ticket will show the vehicle classification, name of the entrance interchange, date and time of issuance, and other information. (*Some entrance tollgates allow cash prepayment.)
2. Pay to a Member of Staff
At the Exit tollgate, hand your toll pass ticket to the attendant and pay the toll with cash or a credit card. Cash payment must be in Japanese yen.