Types of Taxis / How to Ride
In a land that you visit for the first time while traveling, there are many times you will use taxis. Japanese taxis are operated by a lot of private enterprises, and if the cars bear the letters TAXI, basically you can use them safely without worrying about problems such as security.
There are three major patterns of usage, as follows.
①Stopping a car displaying a lamp "empty car" running on the road, by holding up your hand. Since there are times when taxis cannot stop at an intersection or a pedestrian crossing, it is an important to choose a place that makes it easier for the driver to feel comfortable stopping the car.
②Getting on from the "taxi depot" in front of the station, etc. Although there may be a line, you can ride it reliably.
③Asking the staff to call at a restaurant, etc. There are often few taxis in the suburbs, so in such cases asking the staff is very effective.
Regarding fees, basically the same system applies in each area; the preliminary fee (e.g. 410 yen to 1.052 km in Tokyo, 680 yen up to 2 km in Osaka) is decided for each area. Depending on the region, the starting fee may differ depending on the number of people who can get on with medium size and small size. The door opens automatically when the car stops. If you have large bags, you can use the trunk, and many drivers will try to help you. Basically, you do not need to give tips for these services.
The point you want to pay attention to by taxi usage in Japan is the telling the driver about your destination. Recently, each taxi company has devised measures to deal with English, but there are also many drivers who are not proficient in English or Chinese. It would be safe to show the map, detailed address, etc. on board. Although UBER also has advanced in Japan, the number of units is quite small, and the usual rate is almost the same as taxi fare.
In addition, in Japan it is illegal for people who are not regular dealers to take a toll and open a taxi business. Whereas an authorized taxi has attached a green license plate, an illegal trader has the same white number as a general vehicle, so it is called "SHIROTAKU"(white taxi). To avoid trouble, please be careful not to use these illegal taxis.