Hot to use a Taxi in Japan

Japanese taxi

Japanese taxi

Overview

Using taxi in Japan may cost more than your country.
It is an expensive way for moving methods.

Normally, taxis may be unnecessary for traveling in Japan.
Around famous tourist spots are sufficient by other public transportations.

However, taxis is the only way for transporting after trains and buses stop operation around midnight.

Mostly people in Japan use taxis only on business, when drunk or some times when trains stop in sudden accidents.

Good parts of Japanese taxi

  • Most drivers are very polite and drive safe.
  • All taxis are very clean. Never seen an unclean taxi.
  • Smoking is not allowed

Bad parts of Japanese taxi

  • Mostly drivers can’t speak English
  • Some drivers(mostly new drivers) only know famous destinations.

How much does taxis cost

Taxi rates are calculated by distance and time.
The cost are a little different by taxi companies.

Here are details how the rates are calculated

  • First 2km costs around JPY650 to JPY780.
  • After 2km, JPY90 costs for each 288m.
  • If the taxi speed gets under 10km/h, JPY90 costs each 1Minute and 45seconds.

How to catch a taxi

Mosly in large cities you don’t have to worry catching taxis.
Allots of taxis are waiting for riders around train stops and roads nearby.

Around train stations, you get in line at taxi stand.
taxistand

By the road, you can simply catch a taxi by raising your hand.
stopping a taxi

Colors of taxis are various like Black,Green,Yellow,Red and more.
Every taxi has symbols on top of the roof.
I’ve never seen a car with a symbol on top that isn’t a taxi.
taximarks

Negotiating for Costs

Most of the drivers can’t negotiate for rates.

They are being monitored by their navigation systems and fee calculator.
Some of the taxi groups have fees for touring around famous tourist spots.

On the otherhand, because of the monitoring, then can’t rip-off for additional costs.
(Part of drivers might detour for the destination, but should is less than other countries)

Railway station Shinkansen stops

kyoto station

Bullet train stations

The Shinkansen has types of train that represent where they stop.
Here are the types.

  • Local
  • Express
  • Super Express

Toukaido-Shinkansen

Nozomi Super Express

 Nozomi
(Super Express)
Hikari
(Express)
Kodama
(Local)
TokyoYESYESYES
ShinagawaYESYESYES
Shin YokohamaYESYESYES
Odawara-Few a dayYES
Atami-Few a dayYES
Mishima-Few a dayYES
Shin Fuji--YES
Shizuoka-SomeYES
Kakegawa--YES
Hamamatsu-SomeYES
Toyohashi-SomeYES
Mikawa Anjyo--YES
NagoyaYESYESYES
Gifu Hashima-SomeYES
Maibara-SomeYES
KyotoYESYESYES
Shin OsakaYESYESYES

Nozomi Super Express

The Nozomi runs more than 300 per day.
It stops at Major Cities like Tokyo,Nagoya,Kyoto and Shin Osaka.

You may not have to check the timetable for the train, because it stops as stations more than each 10 minutes.

Hikari Express

The Hikari stops more than Nozomi.

It is a bit complicated for its stops.
Hikari mostly has different stops releted the time and day of the weekend.

You should check before catch a Hikari.

Kodama Local

Kodama stops as every station for the Shinkansen.

Time is required to get to your destination.

Overviews of Shinkansen the bullet train in Japan

shinkansen-nozomi

Overview of Shinkansen

The bullet train in Japan is called the Shinkansen.

IT is operated by JR-Lines groups.

There are 6 companies in the JR-Lines which runs public transportation.

The Shinkansen runs all around major cities in Japan by 5 of the JR-Lines.

Most people in Japan prefer using the Shinkansen more than Airlines.

It is because really simple to ride and faster than planes.

Max operation speeds

Here is a list for bullet train speed by each Shinkansen line.

Shinkansen LineMax SpeedMajor city
Toukaido285km/hTokyo to Osaka
Sanyo300km/hOsaka to Hakata
Touhoku320km/hTokyo to Aomori
Jyoetsu240km/hTakasaki to Niigata
Hokuriku260km/hTakasaki to Kanazawa
Kyushu260km/hHakata to Kagoshima
Hokkaido260km/hAomori to Hakodate

Each line has features like lines which run in cities that have heavy snowfalls are slower.

Most lines have different types of cars.

Time required and fee

FromToDurationNon Researved SeatResearved Seat
TokyoKyoto2h18min13,080JPN13,910JPN
TokyoOsaka2h33min13,620JPN14,450JPN
TokyoHiroshima3h54min18,040JPN19,080JPN
TokyoNagoya1h41min10,360JPN11,090JPN

It may be better to fly if you are going far than Hiroshima from Tokyo.

Accidents

In 1995, a 17 year old student was dragged along the plat form.

He was rushing to get on the train before the door closes and got his finger stuck in the door.

No one took notice and was dragged 160 meters and after falling of the platform he was ran over by the train.

This is first and only casualty by the Shinkansen in Japan.
(Not counting suicides. Suicides happen about once a year.)

Shinkansen is a safe choice for transportation.

How to ride the Shinkansen

You can buy tickets at the JR Stations.

It is better to avoid Friday and Monday because it is crowded with business men.

There are basely three types of tickets that you can get for the Shinkansen.

Non reserved Seat

It is the cheapest ticket but you may not have a seat when it is crowded.

On the other hand, you are free ride any time for 1 or 2 days after you buy the ticket.

Reserved Seat

Your guaranteed for a seat by paying for a reserved set.

Your seat is booked for date and time of the Shinkansen.

In case you missed the train, you are able to ride the non-reserved seat only for the same day.

Green Seat

It is like the First Class seat in airplanes.

All seats are reserved and costs about 30% to 40% more than the non reserved seat.

The Green Seat is very quiet and mostly only few people are in the car.

Buying Shinkansen tickets on the internet

Sad to say but buying tickets online is not available for foreign tourists.

It is not impossible but the service is only in Japanese and a credit card only for Shinkansen specialized is needed.

I hope this service gets better before the Olympic in Tokyo 2020.

conclusion

If you are visiting and want to visit more than one major city, I recommend that you try the Shinkansen.

I see a lot of tourists on the Shinkansen.

I may cost a bit but is safe and comfortable.

Riding the Shinkansen may be a good memory for your trip in Japan.