How to Use a Taxi in Japan

How to Find and Call a Taxi

Many taxis run in urban areas, so it is usually easy to hail one when required. When you raise your hand, the taxi should pull over, however, it is best to check it is empty before doing so. In many cases, if you see “空車” on a display board in the corner of the windshield, the taxi is available. You can easily check a taxi is empty if the light on the roof is on at night.

There are usually taxi stands outside most train stations, hospitals, and other places where customers frequently require them. So you can ride from there.

In addition, you can phone for a taxi. It might be a good idea to ask the front desk of your hotel to call one for you. If you call for a taxi yourself, tell the taxi company your name and where you want to be picked up from. If the date and time you want to use a taxi has been set in advance, you should make a reservation over the phone.

You can check the telephone number of the taxi companies in Tokyo.

How to Ride in a Taxi

Generally, in Japan passengers sit in the back seat of the taxi. The left rear door opens automatically, so please enter after it opens. The front passenger seat is also used if there is a large number of people. Please open and shut the door of the front passenger seat by yourself as it is not automatic.

After taking your seat, fasten your seat belt. You must wear your seat belt in both the back and front seats regardless of whether the taxi is driving along highways or local streets.

Next, tell the driver where you want to go. If the driver does not speak English well, either show the address of your destination, or point to it on a map.

Created by NTT TownPage based on “Riding in a Taxi” on the Oita Prefecture Taxi Association website.

How to Get Out of a Taxi

The taxi fare is displayed on the meter next to the driver’s seat. The amount shown is the sum of the minimum fare applied from the beginning of the trip and the ride fare, which increases depending on the distance travelled and time taken. In addition, you will have to pay an extra fare if you take a taxi late at night or in the early morning.
Pay the amount displayed on the meter when the taxi arrives at the destination. Please do not try to negotiate a discount, and note that tips are not required.
If you use a toll road, such as a highway, please pay the extra fare. You can often pay by both cash and credit card, however, there may be instances when you cannot use a credit card. In addition, note that the range of credit cards that can be used may be limited.
It is advisable to ask for a receipt as it may be helpful if you leave something behind in the taxi and need to contact the taxi company. If you are not given the receipt, ask the driver to issue one.

When getting out, there is no need to close the rear door as it closes automatically.

Created by NTT TownPage based on “Riding in a Taxi” on the Oita Prefecture Taxi Association website.

Edited by NTT TownPage

(Updated in October 2017)