Here are a couple of videos made by Jos Roder, an Australian guy who used to live in Osaka a couple of years ago.
I was on a short trip to Japan at the time, and wanted to go and see the Autumn Drift Matsuri at Ebisu Circuit. After working out the best way to rig my itinerary, it turned out that www.dr1ft.jp‘s Laurence wanted to go too, and so did Jos, who was kind enough to volunteer his drifter S14 Silvia to get there if we split the costs.
Osaka to Nihonmatsu is a fairly long drive by Japanese standards though, and the highway tolls would have cost 15,550円 according to the trip planner on the Nexco (highway company) website. We decided that this was money worth saving, so we took the low roads to get there. This seemed to be cheapest (but definitely not most stress-free) way of getting there.
Slow average speeds, no open petrol stations, traffic lights, stopping for roadworks and navigating in the dark made for a much more interesting trip than taking the boring-old highway. Laurence’s planning with the map was spot-on though, and we didn’t take a single wrong turn the whole way.