Have you ever thought about driving a car in Japan? If you live in a big city, there is good transportation so you do not need a car. But if you live in the countryside, it is much better if you have a car. For example, Hokkaido and the Tohoku area especially have a lot of snow during the winter so it will be very convenient if you have one for the snowy season. Of course, if you have a car during your trip in Japan, you can go anywhere you want so it will make your trip more fantastic!
Sooner or later you have to put gas in your car. It may be difficult for you the first time, but do not worry. I will explain how to do it below.
First of all, there are two types of gas stations in Japan. Also Japanese people call gas stations Gasolin Stand(ガソリンスタンド).
The first type of gas station is a full service gas station. All you have to do is stay in your car, order what you want and pay the bills. You do not have to go out from your car. The employee will do everything for you. After you park at the gas station, an employee will come to your car and then you can order what kind of gas and how much gas you want.
These are words you should know.
☆Regular gas: レギュラー(regular)
☆Premium gas: ハイオク(haioku)
※According to this reference, 1 gallon is about 3.7 liters.
In my case, I always say “regular 2000 yen bun onegai shimasu.” It means “put in 2000 yen worth of gas, please.” Or I say “regular mantan onegai shimasu.” It means, “please fill the tank all the way.”
After you say how much gas you need, the employee may give you a towel so you can use to clean the inside of your car. While the employee puts the gas in your car, they clean your windshield and side mirrors with towels. This is a free service so you do not have to give any tips. Then after the employee puts in gas, he or she will come to your car again and then you can pay the check. You may wait for your change or receipt. Also do not forget to give back the towel you used! Finally, you can leave the gas station after you get the change and the receipt. I guess this full service gas station will be easier for you if you still have trouble in Japanese.
The second type of gas station is a self-service gas station and this may be a little troublesome for you. You have to operate a special machine here and put the gas in by yourself.
I will show you how to use it below but you can always ask the employee who works there for help.
You have to operate this machine after you park. First, you can choose how you will pay the bill. In this paper, I only explain how to pay with cash. First, please push the bottom of 現金 (This means cash.)
Then if you have a T-card, please insert your card. You can save points or you can use points when you pay. If you don’t have one, please push the bottom of なし(It means you don’t have it. )
Then you can choose what kind of gas and how much gas you want. If you want a full tank, please push the bottom of 満タン. If you want to decide specific price and liters, please push the bottom of 定量定額. Make sure you double check which kind of gas you want and please push the correct button in the bottom right next to the kind of gas you want to get. In this picture, if you want to get regular gas, it is the middle line, which is pink. So please choose 満タン or the 定額定量 button in the same pink line.
If you want to decide specific price or liters, please push the correct button.
If you have a T-card, you can choose to pay the bill by card or not.
After that, insert money into the machine. And please push the 現金投入 button (It means insert money.) after you finish inserting money.
Make sure your order is like the screen as this picture. If it is okay, please push the確定 button (It means you settled your order. )
You are almost there! If you need a receipt, please push the 発行する button (It means you need a receipt.) And if you don’t, please push the 発行しない button (It means you don’t need a receipt.)
Finally, you can open the fuel tank and put in gas! Please be careful with which nozzle you use. You can usually check it on the screen, so don’t worry about it. I mentioned this earlier, but whenever you are having trouble, please feel free to ask the employee. I am sure they will help you and tell you one more time how to use it.
Congratulations! You finished everything you have to do! Now you have gas so you can go to new place! I hope you can have a safe and wonderful car trip with gas stations in Japan!