People who drive in Tokyo may have had a rude shock on April 1 when a new toll system went into effect for the Shuto Expressway, the road network that crisscrosses the city from on high. Though the changes had been publicized beforehand, they are perhaps only comprehensible in practice. Tolls on all routes became more expensive, but cheaper alternatives are available.
According to the March 29 edition of the Asahi Shimbun, the main purpose of the new pricing system is to “unify” tolls throughout the Shuto Expressway network in terms of distance traveled. Before April 1, the maximum toll was ¥930. It is now ¥1,300, but the amount you pay is now ¥36.6 per kilometer for a standard-size car, an increase of about ¥10 on average, with the lowest rate at ¥300. Larger vehicles pay more and so-called kei jidōsha mini-cars slightly less.