An 88-year-old man drove for about three kilometers in the opposite direction on the Tomei Expressway in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, police said Saturday.
The heavily-traveled express links Tokyo and Nagoya, but nobody was hurt during the incident which occurred at around 2:50 p.m. Friday, Sankei Shimbun reported.
Police said that the small car being driven by the man crashed after it crossed over the median barrier, but the driver was not hurt.
According to investigations, the man was initially driving in the correct direction and heading off the Hamamatsu Interchange when suddenly he made a U-turn in front of the toll collecting station. He then proceeded to drive his vehicle in the opposite direction of the same inbound road he had just come from.
The man managed to drive along the expressway, as oncoming vehicles swerved to avoid hitting him, for three kilometers until he crashed.
Police said the man, who lives in Nagoya, told them he was going to the hospital and said he had no idea that he was driving in the wrong direction.