What you may not know about Taxis
Are you familiar with the Japanese taxi system? Do you think it’s so expensive that you prefer to use other alternatives? Do you think about the existence of a benefit or advantage of using a taxi which could be better than using say a train or bus? In this article I would like to share with you some of the circumstances where taxi could be very helpful to you in Tokyo.
As a tourist or an expat living in Japan, you may have observed the trains are mostly used and very densely populated. People rarely use taxis in Tokyo due to its high price.Well, one of the reasons why the traffic in Tokyo is relatively low compared to other developed cities around the world is related to the preference of the use of trains and metro. Many large companies do not allow their employees to commute by car. Moreover, the idea of commuting school or work with a car is not popular even with multiple car owners.
In spite of your beliefs and views about taxis, here are some ways using a taxi may be more conveniently for you.
Convenient for Sightseeing
Have you heard of the Tokyo Sightseeing Taxi Service? This is a service that allows you to contact outstanding drivers with a lot of sightseeing knowledge and can provide high-quality service. As a part of Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Tourism Promotion Project; there are several taxi companies who offer this service. One of the companies with this service is NIHON KOTSU. This company has 3400 taxis in central Tokyo and offers various services. These are English speaking operator, Dispatching App, VIP ( Van type taxi) and Tokyo Guide taxi.
Another taxi company with this kind of service is Hinomaru Tokyo. The services of Hinomaru Tokyo include: Fixed-fare airport taxi, Fixed-fare pick-up service between Narita and Haneda. Tokyo sightseeing taxis enable transportation withouts stress, with which tourists can enjoy luxurious sightseeing in Tokyo at their convenience. You can book a day trip taxi, or take a leisurely taxi tour to Nikko, Mt. Fuji, and Hakone. You can use an app service known as Taxi Rakunori. This allows you to make reservation from a mobile smartphone and PC anytime any day. Generally speaking, the driver in charge of the sightseeing starts by describing the itinerary for the day, he helps you with individual needs and provide tourist information as you travel around together. The Sightseeing taxis are very helpful especially if you are new in Tokyo. They save you from the stress of having to deal with the complex train and bus systems. The train and bus systems require transfers from one station to another which may necessitate asking for information (in Japanese).
For short distant Travel
Imagine when you arrive, you have a lot of belongings with you. It is very inconvenient to move around with heavy suitcases and bags, therefore, I recommend you (if you are traveling a short distance) to use a taxi. Taxi’s are not that expensive as we may always think. Moreover, since January 2017 it was reported by the Japan News newspaper that the price for taxis operating in Tokyo was reduced from 730 yen for the first 2 kilometers to 410 yen for the first 1.052 kilometers. This development will mostly favor those who ride for less than about two kilometers. If you are in a group it is even more convenient because you will pay the same amount of money. It is nice to know that taxis charge you by the kilometers you travel and not by weight. It will be very convenient if you travel in a group because you can share travel costs and save more money compared to taking a train or metro where you all will have to pay separately.
When you miss your last train
Missing the last train could leave you stranded. It is a very unfortunate thing that should not happen to anyone, especially expats and tourists. It may be really hard to think of what to do next. One option in this case is to use a taxi. Some people may think it is not a good option due to its price, but let’s do a little calculation comparing other options involved;
a ) Sleep at the train station or outside at the park
b) Go sleep at a hotel room
c) Go to an internet cafe or sing at a karaoke all night long
The first option is not safe nor healthy for you, besides endangering your health in winter. Even if Japan is a country with a low crime rate, we cannot say there is no crime at all. If you have money on you, it is highly recommended you use a taxi to get home rather than putting your health and life at risk. In option B, it is most likely that you spend more money on a hotel room than the taxi you may be avoiding. Well, even if there may be cheaper hotel rooms than a taxi, I advise you to think, your family or friends may be happier to see you back home, besides it is safer and nicer to sleep in your bed. In option C, going to an internet cafe or singing all night without sleeping may not be healthy for you, think of how you will feel the next day, you might have an important appointment planned. Going home is just what you need to do. A taxi will safely take you to your home.
In many circumstances, using a taxi will be a great idea. I once had an interview and unfortunately, i missed a bus. However, thanks to the taxi I took, I was able to make it to my interview and luckily, I got the job. Of course, I paid more money because it was a taxi but I also saved my interview and got back my money from the job after working there. Sometimes we need to be prudent in our decisions.
Using taxis may be better and even more convenient compared to other transport sometimest. All we need to do is to decide depending on the situation and where we find ourselves. If we think a little more further about, Advantages, Benefits, Circumstances and the future, we could make better choices.