The other day, I went out driving here in Japan for the first time ever. Gboy says that I, "drive too much on your side of the road." Well then. Who knew all those years of practicing to drive to the right of the line would be for naught? His point is well taken. We're in a fairly "suburban-ish" or rural area outside of Osaka (okay not rural like his aunts and uncles who live outside of Fukuoka - that's rural) but still. Having been in downtown Osaka I can tell you we aren't even close to that kind of urban living. The roads here are very narrow and often barely wide enough for two cars (pretty typical for Japan I guess). As such, if no one else is coming your way, standard practice is to drive in the middle of the road. Must learn to do this! Also, must try to use directional signals instead of windshield wipers to let other drivers know where I'm going. (Being from the US, I see them as being on the "wrong" side of the steering column over here!)
Having lived in Seattle for the last 8 years, and having been a single-car family for about 6 years during that time, I really came to depend on public transportation and did very little driving. This means that I am in some ways learning how to drive all over again. And at this point, while driving may occasionally be a necessary evil, I can honestly say I'd prefer to stick to the buses and trains whenever possible!