picture of the day

Nap time

50 Comments

A cab driver takes a snooze while on his break in Omiya, Saitama Prefecture.

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Naps are healthy, but the engines running are not. I am always impressed with the knowledge cabbies have, and love the stick of gum women cabbies always offer.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good he has put the right foot forward !!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

have a good morning dreams Mr driver !!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They always leave the engines running while napping. I've seen tour bus drivers sleeping in buses for hours with the engines running. So much for CO2 reduction!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I agree that the idling engines are a disgrace.

I also sympathise with the cabbie's lot- a lot of them work long hours, are far from home, and aren't spring chickens any more. Let him nap.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As much as I agree with you Legs, this picture simply doesn't look professional at all.

I hate to say it but I feel that the image of Japanese taxi drivers has really gone down. The bubble economy is definitely over. I remember when I first came to Japan seeing these guys care for taxis with great pride. Of course, private drivers take even more pride.

Nowadays, you just don't see that. You see them having a confab between their cars, pretty much shooting the breeze. The vehicles themselves are not being cared for as they should be. Profit driven, hahahhaa. You can hear the engine rattling or that knocking sound as he pushes the accelerator.

The Hybrid taxis are a good idea but they are small inside. Don't expect to get 4 people in there.

Of course, it's easy to say that Japanese taxi drivers are much better than N.Y drivers. (I had a driver freak out in New York, weird stuff). Soon, these taxi drivers here will be just like the NY drivers. Why? Bubble Economy is over. Times are hard. Government allowed the ex-wives to take their children and their pensions too. You'd be P.Oed too.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Window is open, so engine is probably off. Sleep tight, Mr Cabbie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He must not sleep , because he is working time. Window is open, so maybe I think weather is very hot. I wish weather become cold soon.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They always leave the engines running while napping.

I hope you have the aircon turned off at your workplace too then.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I am assuming he is actually parked up while napping and this picture wasn`t taken down the middle of the Tomei expressway??!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope you have the aircon turned off at your workplace too then.

It is not mandatory for them to stay in the car during breaks.

a lot of them work long hours

If they were a bit more aggressive in looking for customers (instead of waiting hours at train stations), maybe they could afford working shorter hours.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is not mandatory for them to stay in the car during breaks.

I'm sorry, your point being? It's not mandatory for most office workers to stay in the office during their break either, but does that mean they have to turn off the A/C because they are on "break-time"? I just think complaining about taxi drivers who use the A/C during their break is a bit hypocritical, when most of us do exactly the same thing at work every day.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am always impressed with the knowledge cabbies have

I am always amazed at the knowledge cabbies don't have.

Of course, it's easy to say that Japanese taxi drivers are much better than N.Y drivers.

No, it isn't "easy to say that Japanese taxi drivers are much better than N.Y drivers". They may have better manners, but don't have a clue where to go most times unless you're going to a landmark or other well known place.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If they were a bit more aggressive in looking for customers (instead of waiting hours at train stations), maybe they could afford working shorter hours.

So you'd rather they wasted gas and money, and polluted the air more, randomly driving aroud loking for you, instead of waiting at one of the many designated taxi ranks?

I can appreciate that someone with a leg injury might prefer to stand and wait for a cab, but otherwise, Mohammed, go to the mountain - it isn't that far.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It amazes me that JT posters can literally find ANYTHING to argue about. Good morning all!!!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

nice picture

Hes probably 40th in line. So, its ok to snooze.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope his engine is off...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So you'd rather they wasted gas and money, and polluted the air more, randomly driving aroud loking for you, instead of waiting at one of the many designated taxi ranks?

Well I expect them to use some common sense: looking for cutomers in front of department stores, hotels or along the streets. No need to stop there for one hour: just go along and get another customer along the road. Have you been to Hong Kong? Taxi drivers in HK are as ubiquitous as Japan but you can get them almost anywhere, whereas in Japan the main activity of taxi drivers seems to be waiting at the train stations (what if you are not close from a train station? not everybody lives downtown Tokyo) and chatting with fellow drivers.

If I was the manager of a taxi company, I would pay the drivers mainly on a commission basis, to encourage them increasing revenue.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

whiskeysour

Hes probably 40th in line. So, its ok to snooze.

I often wonder how these poor guys make any money when sitting in a parking lot full of cabs. Do they get paid per fare, or are they on straight salary?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Piglet, really, do you think that they wait there for hours without cab fare? You do realise that that's not the 20 same cabs, parked out there all day. They actually move up the line quite quickly. I was talking to a cabbie a while ago, he said business was really bad, to the point of one day making only 1000yen. In these times, you'd not want to spend more on petrol than you earn. Paying them on commission? Yeah, a manager would do that.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That pervious post of mine came out very stream-of-consciousness. I did try to make paragraphs! Piglet: where do you live? because in Nagoya, I have none of the problems you refer to. And I've taken a fair few cabs unnecessarily short distances in my time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"I am assuming he is actually parked up while napping and this picture wasn`t taken down the middle of the Tomei expressway"??!

Nope, it's the toll booth and he forgot his ETC card. How just waiting in line to pay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Asleep at the wheel - must be a Japanese leader!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Gloves shield his hands ,gloves shield his feet-how come we're not shielded from the skull ?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Well I expect them to use some common sense: looking for cutomers in front of department stores, hotels or along the streets.

Piglet, do you actually live in Japan? They are in front of department stores all the time. And train stations. And driving down the street. And pretty much everywhere you would expect to see a cab.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good on him for resting up. I wouldn't want a drowsy cabbie driving me around.

In the case of this specific taxi, waiting at the station is smart. There are some outlying areas that trains don't go and buses take too long to get to. The taxi turnover is very high in front of this station.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maria, at some big stations, the retention area for taxis is quite big and once they enter the area they may have to wait quite a long time before reaching the taxi station. I live in a suburb city east of Tokyo, not far from a train station.

Most taxi drivers in Japan do not owe their own taxi, instead they are a salary of a taxi company. For some reason, many companies prefer to employ older men (unlike most countries where taxi drivers are mainly young and foreigners). I would be very interested in knowing which percentage of their income comes from their sales.

I think it is fair to say that Japanese taxi drivers are usually much less commercially aggressive than their overseas counterparts. Go to any big city in China and as soon as you heal a taxi, some will try to get the first to offer you their services (two taxis might even "fight" for you). They might have to compensate by working long hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BurakuminDes......Hhahahahahahaha...Funny.....but the Truth!!

Why on Earth did you get thumbs down? That was a perfect caption for this this picture.

Now if we could only tag Naoto Kan in this picture.

BurakuminDes, that was it. You made my day....Perfect comedic timing. I should buy you a steak. Wait, that would be bad.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I thought it was pretty appropriate too NetNinja - but I'm being massacred for the comment! I think this cabbie is working harder than Kan, to be fair!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Talk to one sometime, it's easy. I've had many a good chat with them. Many of the cabbies I've had in the front of my cab are retirees, and cabbing is the only way they can continue working, be it full-time of part-time. A lot of them are not from the city, they've left their hometown (where they can't get a job) and family (who need money) to work in the city. Thank god they don't jostle for custom like in China - I'd hate that. The station system is fair, they wait in line, we wait in line, eventually everyone gets somewhere.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have always compared Japanese cab drivers with Melbourne cab drivers. They drive like maniacs and can't speak English.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Piglet: Taxi drivers get 45% of what they make in sales, which is not much. Working 18 hours in a row isn't easy, so it is more than normal that he takes a nap. It is ridiculous that taxi drivers have to work so many hours. There should be laws like for truck drivers to only work 8 hours. Under Koizumi liberization the taxi system changed allowing in too many taxi companies. Thus we get too many nowadays.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The average monthly income (before taxes, etc) for a taxi driver in Japan in 2010 was 220,000 yen. Back in 2001 it was 250,000 yen. Average work hours was 201 hours per month in 2010. Average hourly wage in 2010 was 1079 yen. But back in 2001, the average hourly wage was 2261 yen.

As most of you know Japanese taxis run on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas or liquid propane gas). The exhaust emissions are much cleaner than a gasoline engine. CO2 emissions are actually less than a Hybrid car.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Oyasumi.

CaptainAwesome - ha ha!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You wouldn't think the picture was so nice, had you seen him peeing on the road/pavement just a few minutes earlier. Why can't the old taxi drivers use a toilet like civilized people.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

noticed his socks have five fingers? he must have athlete's foot and give it a little remedy.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Those socks are actually very comfy and healthy, very common in Japan across all age-groups and sexes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'd like to see the taxi companies bring out a smartphone app. The user's location would be found by GPS, they could even input their location and destination to a navi system before sending the request. The central servers would then use the GPS location of the taxis to determine the nearest free cab and send an alert to the driver and instructions to the navi system. Any techies know if that would that be difficult to implement?

Then more of the old fellas could take their naps until their buzzer goes off :-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@yokomoc, not techie myself but I know that most of the cabs in my area are installed GPS-navigators. The way it works is once control center receives a request from a customer, then they send nearest free cab. The driver can locate the customer by putting in the phone number of residence.

Quite easy for the company to spot the drivers taking naps under the tree.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't know in Japan but I know of such iphone apps overseas, so probably.

One thing I would be interested to know also is whether there are some companies offering subscription plan.

For example in Paris there are some companies offering a monthly subscription plan giving you access to a priority phone number and iphone app, and reduced (or free?) taxi rides. A similar system would be great here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@drscope, yeah that's what I mean - the technology infrastructure should mostly be in place already. This is just another step so that you don't have to be at a fixed residence, know the phone number of e.g. the restaurant you're staying in. The app would also allow the customer to select the route they want to travel on (if they have a preference) which would avoid accusations of drivers taking them for a ride. When the taxi arrives it would send a notification to the customer's phone which would be useful if they're in a restaurant, bar etc.

Also as the customer input the location in GPS before entering the taxi it resolves the problem of drivers not knowing where the hell they're going then doubling the fare after they get lost on the way, and also avoids the need to make a call in the first place.

With an English version the app would be a huge hit with tourists and new residents I think, who have language issues on top of the other problems. The first company to implement this would get a huge leg-up on their competitors IMO.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lol, ok Nihon Kotsu Taxis have a free app that does most of what I just wrote, and the thing I missed out (fare estimates). Downloaded.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Taxi driver puts feet on steering wheel. Taxi driver puts hands on steering wheel to drive. You pay taxi driver, he hands you change. You are now touching whatever is on the taxi driver's feet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Piglet @yokomoc I am not sure the drivers' GPS navigators are connected to internet, prob not, and to be able to locate customers' iPhones. The way I would do is make a phone call to cab company from places easy to spot. In the cab, just flick my iPhone up and show the destination. With my GPS on, I check the driver whenever I am not sure if am in the right direction. Is that bothersome?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Taxi driver puts feet on steering wheel. Taxi driver puts hands on steering wheel to drive. You pay taxi driver, he hands you change. You are now touching whatever is on the taxi driver's feet.

In fairness to the driver, he does seem to have some bitchin' prehensile feet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@cactusJack

Taxi driver puts feet on steering wheel. Taxi driver puts hands on steering wheel to drive. You pay taxi driver, he hands you change. You are now touching whatever is on the taxi driver's feet.

Very true. And I once saw a parked up cabbie reclining in his seat with his hands down his pants having a good rub and scratch. Mmm...they can keep the change in future.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have no problem with taxi drivers taking naps -- a well-rested driver is a safe driver -- but taxis with engines left running are a disgrace and should be ticketed and heavily fined. All that dioxin and black soot is being emitted from the back of the car and right onto the pedestrians nearby! What right to taxi drivers have to cover us in their filth... when their cars aren't even moving!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I always liked how some companies in Japan gave time after lunch for a nap. More compaines need to do that, I know I'd feel more refreshed if I could get a 30-40 minute nap after lunch.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and love the stick of gum women cabbies always offer.

Since my company pays for my cab rides, I reckon I've been in thousands of cabs over the past 5 years, and seen maybe 5 or 6 female cabbies. All of which were ancient and pretty much crusted over, and none of which offered me gum. Guess I must be genuinely fugly if I can't even charm the granny taxi mafia... haha.

I've also had my fair share of drunken chat with Tokyo and Osaka cabbies and concluded that these guys work an average of 15-16 hours/day and take home about 50% of their total fares at most. 9-10 fares/day seems to be the average, 4-5 come in over the radio and the rest wave-downs on the street. Then again, what is 15-16 hours/work per day? 2-3 hours driving and the rest of the time chilling behind 25 other cabbies at the station? In the countryside, they seem to earn about 40% of the total fare. Fukuoka City center (Tenjin/Hakata) comes to about 46%. I can't say anything about other areas of Japan, but I'd guess that it isn't too different.

Still, throughout Japan you can find taxis parked in the driveways of big beautiful traditional Japanese houses, while I basically sell my manhole to the highest bidder whilst struggling to find beer money after paying the rent on a crappy 1LDK. There's something very, very odd going on here, but I just can't put my finger on it...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

NY Cabbies are just like Japanese Cabbies...no one speaks English.

@Asy Asyy:

Still, throughout Japan you can find taxis parked in the driveways of big beautiful traditional Japanese houses

Maybe there were invited in for lunch or coffee.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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