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Taxi Services In Japan

Updated on August 4, 2015
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This author is a former I.T. graduate turned vagabond who travelled extensively and has lived and worked in Japan for many years.

Japan Taxis Are Expensive

To the average cost conscious traveler in Japan, taxis are an expensive and unnecessary way to travel compared to the efficient public transportation. However, taxis are often the only way of getting around after midnight because trains and buses have stopped. Fares are fairly uniform throughout the country. Flag fall is posted on the taxi windows starting at 600 to 710 yen for the first 2km, after that it's about 100 yen for each 350 meters. There's also a time charge if the speed drops below 10km/h, or if the taxi stops.

Taxi Roppongi Tokyo Japan
Taxi Roppongi Tokyo Japan | Source

Tipping In Japan

Tipping is not necessary. A 20% surcharge is added after 11pm or for taxis called into the area by radio. There may also be an extra charge if you book the taxi by phone. Taxis can take up to four adult passengers (one person can sit in the front). Drivers are sometimes willing to bend the rules and allow small children to sit on your lap. Don't open the door to get into a taxi. The driver does that with a remote control. The driver will also shut the door when you leave the taxi. Drivers are very trustworthy, and will rarely drive you the long way around.

Taxi Roppongi Tokyo Japan
Taxi Roppongi Tokyo Japan | Source

How to use a cab with no Japanese

If you can’t speak Japanese communication can be a problem with taxi drivers, but don’t fear it, here’s how you deal with it. If you can't tell the driver where you want to go in Japanese, have the name written down in Japanese. Ask at your hotel for help to write the location to where you want to go, then go hail a taxi on the street, as it will be cheaper than booking one. Keep business cards of places you will return to, as they usually have the name, address and a map, which can be used for finding your way back.

Taxi Roppongi Tokyo Japan
Taxi Roppongi Tokyo Japan | Source


Taxis are expensive, so don’t use them unless you are with 3 other people to share the costs and you are trying to out run a tsunami. If you plan carefully a taxi should not be required.

Roppongi Tokyo Japan

roppongi tokyo:
Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan

get directions

Have you ever used a taxi in Japan?

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© 2015 Dave


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