I drove on the highway today! I'd been looking forward to it/dreading it for weeks! Yesterday I talked with a bunch of people, and they all said that highways in Japan are a lot easier to drive on than American ones, because the top speed is generally only 100 kph, which is like 60 mph, plus the tolls in Japan are so high that they never get really crowded. But that's the kind of tip that I can never really believe until I see it for myself. And after the instructor directed me to the onramp, merging was simple. And then driving down the highway was a lot easier than driving down a street, since there are no awkward right turns, no parking lots that people are going into or out of, no people who run out into the street, just a big road to drive down fast. I thought that I'd have some sort of bizarre highway allergy, and I couldn't quite believe that I'd ever be the sort of guy who could drive on a highway, but once I was there, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world.
I was not really surprised that people kept passing me, since I never got above 85 (on a highway with a speed limit of 80) but the other kid, who drove after I did, drove a lot faster than I did, and even when he drove at 95 (same highway, same speed limit), people still passed him.