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A Night Drive through Tokyo

Driving Through Tokyo In A Nissan GTR – Living the Dream (Part 1)

For most driving enthusiasts, we can all recall the first time we played Gran Turismo and Tokyo Xtreme Racer. The medium of video games allows us to escape into our television screens and enter a culture of racing. The long hours of customizing the ride to perfection, tuning gear ratios to balance acceleration/top speed, and let us not forget, adding the right body kit to suit our style is a means to escape from reality. For anyone living in North America, video games were the first introduction to Godzilla. A moniker to the Nissan GTR, Godzilla destroyed the competition on the illegal race course of Shuto Expressway. The GTR was the weapon of choice on the street racing scene, due to its handling prowess and ability to handle massive boost from aftermarket turbo systems.

After many hours of exposure to video games, the seed was sown to turn a video game into reality. At age 13, it was easy to dream of the day when I would drive a GTR in Tokyo. One can always dream, but reality has a way to stop us in our tracks through the means of time and money. I made sure to turn this dream into a goal, so it could be realistic enough to become a reality. For anyone that is reading, I’m saving time and hopefully money, by providing all the necessary information to turn a shared dream into a reality. After 18 years of dreaming, I pulled the trigger. So first things first, how much will this cost?

Step One: Research
Google is a great resource for finding the right rental agency in Tokyo. We all know that most of us are not millionaires and buying a Nissan GTR to bring back to the United States is out of the equation.

The first listing that shows up is Premium Rentacar. I did my due diligence and it has several reviews on Google that are positive.


Rates:
12 Hour Rental is $330.59 USD
24 Hour Rental is $413.46 USD
7 Day Rental is $2479.18 USD

Gasoline Cost:
From nearly empty to a full tank of premium fuel: $67 USD

Toll Cost for Shuto Expressway:
The size of the GTR, is a large vehicle: $17.98 USD

Rental Car Insurance from Allianz: $63 USD

Public Street Parking in Tokyo for 24 hours: $40 USD

Nissan does not provide a Japanese delivery service as compared to the European Luxury Brands. If any Japanese car manufacturer happens to read this article, I hope you create a new service to cater to future buyers. Japan has amazing roads; it makes perfect sense to buy a performance vehicle and make memories in the car’s country of origin.



After 7 emails, providing a $495.54 USD deposit, my US passport information, and a copy of my US Driver’s License, I was set to drive a Nissan GTR for a full 7 days.


It took a full 36 hours to adjust to right hand driving due to jet-lag. I had to constantly remind myself to stay on the left side of the road.

The streets are narrow and you begin to understand that the GTR (Godzilla), is far too big for Tokyo.

Each time you enter the highway, it will cost $17.98 USD. Getting lost and circling around Tokyo will end up costing $125.86 USD in tolls. Make sure you know your exact destination before driving out.


(Photography Credit: Tony Yang)

Driving through Tokyo, windows down, and blasting Aero Chord is a priceless memory. Being a fan of Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, entering Shibuya Crossing for the first time was an ethereal experience.

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About Gregg Lanez - Contributor

At age 11, Gregg was a victim of a hit and run accident. After four stitches to the side of his skull, and left with a permanent indentation to his head, it would be safe to assume that he would develop a fear of cars. Yet the minute he earned his driver’s license, his love for speed has taken him to explore his own limitations behind the wheel. Holding an International Driver’s License has given him the opportunity to drive through the mountains of Montenegro and Japan. He still owns his first car, a Mitsubishi Eclipse GT and daily drives a Range Rover Evoque. He has a career with Celgene Corporation as a Patient Support Specialist, helping cancer patients obtain their treatments. Gregg also serves as an Environmental Commissioner for Jersey City, advocating sustainability initiatives and green infrastructure.

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