When you are traveling to Japan for the first time or any country for that matter, it is a good idea to find out how you can call a taxi cab. Different countries can have different rules regarding how a taxi cab is called and the proper etiquette, including Japan. While many use the very efficient Japanese public transportation system, there are times when the trains have shut down and when it is simply not convenient to rely on public transportation. Also, public transportation can be less convenient in public locations and in Kyoto.
Catching A Taxi
In most areas of Japan, you can hail a taxi from anywhere. However, there are a few areas, including Ginza in Tokyo, that require that you line up at a taxi stand. The worst time to catch a taxi is after the trains have stopped running and lines can be very long. An easier way of getting a taxi is to telephone a Japanese taxi company ahead of time. Even before you need a taxi, it is a good idea to grab a phone number off the taxis nearby and to add the number to your cell phone.
Knowing If A Taxi Is Vacant
There is a plate on the dashboard in the corner that will indicate whether the taxi is vacant or not. A red plate is an indication that the taxi is not vacant. Make sure to flag the taxi down in a place where it is safe to stop.
Paying The Fare
Japanese taxis come with a taximeter that determines how much you will pay. You do not have to negotiate the rate. In addition to paying for the distance, you will need to pay a waiting fare for whenever the speed of the taxi drops below a specific point. Ask the taxi company for when the waiting fare kicks in.
Useful Japanese Phrases
The word for taxi in Japan is pronounced takushii. "Where do I catch a taxi" is: "Doko de takushii ni noru koto ga deki masu ka?" "Can you take me to this place" is: "Kono basho made onegai shimasu."
Finding A Taxi With An App
If you are heading to Tokyo for the first time, it can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of a taxi. Fortunately, there is an app now that allow for you to connect to a nearby cab in a few minutes.
After you've returned from Japan, if you're looking for a cab in the United States, visit http://www.acablewistonidaho.com/ or a similar website.