2022 11/15

How to grab a taxi in Japan

The convenient train system in Japan is well known as you imagine, how about taxis?

Are they also super convenient?

Today, there is everything on this page that you should know about taxis in Japan.

This blog will tell you about the way of catching a taxi, the price, and paying and recommend convenient taxi apps that are better to install on your phone when you come to Japan!

Grabbing a taxi in Japan

Grabbing a taxi in Japan is not so difficult. All you have to do is to head to a taxi stand, flag down at a safe location to stop, or book it via a smartphone app.

The taxi stand is usually located by train stations, you will see that when you head out of a train station, and also should be some signs of a taxi over there.

When you catch a taxi on the street, make sure it is a safe spot to do so, otherwise, you and the taxi driver would struggle to stop and it could be very dangerous.

Also, pay attention to a plate on the dashboard in the lower corner of the windshield that tells you if the taxi is free to take you.

Usually, a red plate indicates that the taxi is vacant, while a green plate indicates the opposite of that.

There are Kuusha(空車) for vacant and Chinsou(賃送) for occupied shown on each plate.

Using an app probably can be quite handy for you. More explanation of this is down below.

What is a Japanese taxi like?

The Japanese taxis may be a little bit different from the taxis in your country. When you catch a taxi, DO NOT open a door by yourself.

It automatically opens for you to get in so what you need to do is just wait for the door to open.

The Japanese taxis are clean and comfortable. The drivers are well-trained and trustworthy and they can take you to your destination with comfort.

As well, a headrest is provided for the taxis so that you can sit comfortably.

What else surprises you? I think it is how formally the drivers are dressed. In Japan, the drivers usually dress up in a suit or some work uniform that may get you a very professional impression because they really dress like that!

How much does it cost and how to pay?

I know your curiosity about taxis in Japan is going to be fair.

Fare is almost always calculated by the meter except for some popular tourist and airport routes that are predetermined.

Also, Taxi fares differ to region, company, and size of the vehicle but having a standard four-passenger taxi fare usually starts at nearly 500 to 700 yen for the first 2 kilometers and increases by about 90 yen for every added 300 to 400 meters.

Please make sure that the meter of the taxi works after you leave.

Side note: The cost also increases about 20 percent when it is late for example typically 10 pm to 5 am and using the freeway is added to the fare as well.

You can pay in multi-cal ways such as by cash, card, e-card(Pasmo, Suica, Icoca, etc.), and so on.

No tips are needed in Japan.

・Any Japanese taxi rules?

There are some taxi etiquettes existing obviously.

As mentioned, a door opens for you by itself, and sitting in the front seat would not be a good idea because it is not common unless the back seats are fully taken.

The drivers professionally take you to the destination so being quiet and not bothering them is required.

A mask is also required to wear during this pandemic time.

How about eating in a vehicle? This is not recommended but having water or some other liquids would be acceptable for most cases.

Solid food is not a good idea because the smell of it would stay in a vehicle and the next customer might feel uncomfortable to be.

Please respect other people’s business, that is our culture.

・Any taxi scam?

I have heard of taxi scams in other countries.

I cannot say there is no scam in Japan for sure but it is very rare. Japanese people are so honest and professional as well as taxi drivers.

But, if you encounter scams by taking a taxi, you can always check their name card set in a taxi. It usually has a name of a driver, a name of a company, and so on.

Convenient taxi apps

I will recommend you some convenient taxi apps that work in Japan.

Uber is the first one that everybody knows how convenient and good this is.

There is unfortunately no Uber X yet in Japan because of the law but you can pick either Uber Black or Black Van.

Uber in Japan works with taxi companies unlike in other countries work individually.

DiDi is also a big one. This works for many cities in Japan and you can call a taxi by app and pay online.

I will recommend GO as well. This app covers more than 100,000 taxis covering all 47 prefectures of Japan. Super convenient and super easy to use!

Enjoy an easy and comfortable Japanese taxi ride!

Taxis in Japan are always an option to travel freely.

It is easy, sanitary, and comfortable.

However, it may cost more than taxis in your country in most cases so it is better to get to know about the system of taxis in Japan as explained in today’s topic.

Hope you have a memorable and enjoyable time in Japan!