Experiences involving transportation in Japan
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
Do I need a special license or permit to drive my guests to and from my experience or my accommodation listing if I don’t charge them for the ride?
Generally, you don’t need a special license or permit to drive someone if you do not charge them for the ride. However, if the ride is incidental to commercial activities (e.g. your experience), it is likely to be seen as a “service for a fee”, and the Road Transportation Act will apply to require individuals who provide such transportation to obtain a “general passenger automobile carrier business permission”.
There are only two limited exceptions where you may be able to give a ride to your guests without being required to obtain a general passenger automobile carrier business permission:
- If you are hosting an experience only, and you drive your guests to/from the nearest bus or train station to the site of your experience, and this ride is strictly provided at no charge to the guest (either directly or by adding the cost of the ride to your experience fee) and you clearly state in your listing description that the ride is “optional” and provided “at no charge”.
- If you provide accommodation only to your guests, or your guests also participate in an experience hosted by you, and you drive your guests to/from the nearest bus or train station to the accommodation, and this ride is strictly provided at no charge to the guest (either directly or by adding the cost of the ride to either the accommodation fee or the experience fee) and you clearly state in your listing description that the ride is “optional” and provided “at no charge”.
Driving your guests around is generally a tricky area, so we encourage you to check with your local transport bureau or speak to your lawyer to make sure you are following the laws.
If I want to charge for the ride, do I need a special license or permit to drive guests to and from my experience or my accommodation listing?
Yes, you need to obtain a “general passenger automobile carrier business permission” (一般乗用旅客自動車運送事業許可) under the Road Transportation Act (道路運送法). This Act imposes very strict prerequisites (e.g., experience as a professional driver is one such requirement), but if you have relevant prior experience (e.g., as a taxi driver, etc.), it may be possible for you to obtain such permission. More information on the requirements for the permission is available here. The application process for the permission is complicated, so we encourage you to check with your local transport bureau or your lawyer for more information on the application process.
How else can I help my guests get to and from my experience or my accommodation listing?
How you handle your experience and your guest’s transportation needs is entirely up to you. You may choose to:
- give them a ride for free if such ride falls within the limited exceptions,
- ask your guests to get their own transportation to and from your experience or your accommodation listing,
- accompany your guests to and from your experience or your accommodation listing using public transportation such as a bus or train, or
- help your guests flag down a cruising taxi or call a taxi for you and your guests to share.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will involve combining transportation with another activity (for example, serving or providing alcohol, food or a guided tour of the city), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).
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