How are gas stations in Japan?

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Japan was once a country full of gas stations, in the 1990's you would come across a team of uniformed attendants, both men and women who filled your car, cleaned your windshield, collected your garbage all this with style and with big smile on your face.

But currently most posts are self service open 24/7, where you have the experience of filling up your vehicle yourself. The stations keep all the technology and convenience, but they are decreasing. Today, there are more points to recharge electric and hybrid vehicles than gas stations.

Self-service gas stations are indicated by the writing セルフ (serufu) on a sign at the entrance of the place. The machine will be your assistant, and will guide you step by step on how to fill up your car. If you're still having problems, there should probably be an assistant in place. You can pay with cash, card or gas station card which offers some benefits.

Japan had a big drop in gas stations, in 1994 it had 60,421 stations and currently has approximately 35,000. This is all due to electric and hybrid cars, and the ease of public transport such as trains that run across the country.

Índice de Conteúdo

gasoline price

Gas stations in Japan have the Common Gasoline, also known as regular (レギュラー), 4 stars (higher octane) called a ハイオク and light oil or Diesel (軽油). Some famous gas stations in Japan are: ENEOS, Esso, Mobil, UnyOil and Shell.

Since 2014, regular gasoline has dropped in price from 160 yen to 100 yen, and you can now find several stations for less than 100 yen.ハイオク can be found a little more expensive around 100 yen. Meanwhile, Diesel remains in the 80 yen range.

The video below from our partner ONLY in JAPAN explains in detail the issue of gasoline prices in Japan and how to fill up in a self-service.


Moving on to the Japanese side, let's leave some common expressions at the gas station to help you fill up your car, in case you drive one in Japan in the future. Most of the phrases below you will find at self-service gas stations.

ガソリンスタンド "Gasorinsutando" Gas Station
満タン “Mantan” Fill the tank
現金で “Genkin of” pay with cash
クレジットカードで “Kurejito Kaado de” Credit card
灰皿 “Haizara” Ashtray
ガソリン / レギュラー "Gasorin / regyurā"  Regular gasoline
ハイオク "Haioku"  4 star gasoline
軽油 - Keiyu  diesel oil

I hope you enjoyed this little article. Finally, we will leave another video showing a little more about the self-service station.

YouTube video

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