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Taxi driver

35 Comments

A taxi driver polishes his vehicle while waiting for customers with others at a taxi stand in front of a train station in Tokyo.

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Amazing stuff

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Taxi cab is clean ready for business.I wish taxi cab in the US were that clean and the driver's that good at what they do.

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good at what? driving like road hogs and intimidating cyclists? I got far better conversation out of US cabbies than here in Japan...."Atsui desu ne"

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Good at what they do? They almost always have to be given directions, even to fairly nearby locations, and they are some of the most aggressive drivers here. The times I have nearly been hit by a car in Japan have all but one been near misses with taxis- one almost backed over me as I walked behind his car. Who doesn't look behind them while backing?

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Well, at least the driver is conscientious enough to make sure his taxi is clean.

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What cars do they use,how about making all japan taxi operators, use latest enviro friendly Gas/Electric cars.

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Question: why are taxis the only vehicles in this country without a navigation system?

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Apsara I did have a taxi back into me when I was on my bicycle. And they fought tooth and nail to try not to pay me too much. However I milked them with the Rehabili just because they were such rotten negotiators with me. No respect for these companies. And why do they need a "Jiko GakkariIn"? Because accidents are common due to their carelessness.

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I learnt fairly recently that practically all taxis operated by major taxi companies here in Tokyo run on LPG gas (natural gas). They are also not affected that much by the fluctuation in oil prices. Kojin taxis (white ones) are usually running on regular fuel but in return the cars are usually alot nicer. Saying that, the cabbies here in general keep their cabs relatively clean which is a good thing.

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the roads near stations and other central locations are completely jammed with these guys. police doesn't say anything. more than half of the taxis running at night are without customers. and 90% of the cars running at night are taxis. something is wrong here

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I wonder if he's using Turtle Wax.

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Well, at least the driver is conscientious enough to make sure his taxi is clean.

...because he has all this time on his hands due to there being too many taxis which nobody wants to ride them since they got the fares raised cause they weren't making enough to support themselves. when i have to use a taxi i use mk as much as possible since they didn't raise their fares. if anything they should have made the fare cheaper to encourage people to ride. there are tons of taxis in HK but its hard to find an empty one cause they are so cheap.

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How so many taxi drivers can survive when they spend most of their days waiting/chatting is a mystery. One opinion I have heard is that many took this career during the bubble when everyone had loads of spare cash... times are hard, especially in provincial cities where people see taxis as an unnecessary luxury.

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In Japan a lot of drivers will also pull out the golf clubs while they wait..In Okinawa most taxi drivers carry around a Sanshin to strum on...

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His cab maybe clean but checker are the worst drives of any company!! I nearly got hit 3 times yesterday on my bike by the same cab trying to get ahead of traffic. So many people were honking at him his customer finally got out and took another. Beware of checker, they bad!! Got videos to prove it.

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Some taxis smells of cigarettes or farts when you get in. So disgusting so of course you change taxi to a moron who does not know how to get to your house despite having a GPS. Maybe 1 in every 10 rides in decent.

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Under Koizumi, taxi regulations got liberated adding to a lot more companies. They had to lower their fares recently in order to attract customers, thus their salaries went down too. Taxi companies like MK destroy the market. I feel sorry for them because they have to put in very long working hours (16) which shouldn't be allowed in the first place. They never get to take a vacation either. Labour laws should look into it. Despite all those hardships, you still get a friendly, professional and clean service.

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At least the cabbies drive safe, clean cabs and the cabbies understand the language of the land...

As opposed to cabs in New York or Chicago where the cabs are old, hand-me-down ex-police car Crown Victorias that have parts falling off, and the cabbies rarely speak any English while yapping away non-stop on their cell phones.

Plus, during a hot summer day, I think I can deal with the faint smell of cigarettes on the driver as opposed to the B.O. of the NY cabbie.

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Altria:

why are taxis the only vehicles in this country without a navigation system?

Ummm...What? When was the last time you were in a taxi? I personally can't remember being in a taxi recently that did NOT have a navigation system.

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There are way too many taxis in Tokyo, causing traffic jams and air pollution. You can literally put your hand out and get a taxi anywhere at any time in central Tokyo. That can't be good for the environment. How about forcing the companies to switch to Prius instead of crappy dated Crowns. Then again if the subway ran all night... But think how many more unemployed people there would be.... oh, I get it.

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Japan's taxi service may not over best service but better than many nations of world via the cleanliness and safe cab vehicles.

A country is as good as its cab vehicles.

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They had to lower their fares recently in order to attract customers

Ummm...taxi fares have INCREASED over recent years. Things are tough all over.

When companies started restructuring, the old guys needed to find work. Taxi driving was probably the easiest thing they could do which didn't require a lot of retraining. However, it meant a flood of inexperienced people driving around areas they didn't know trying to make a few yen in order to feed their families.

Time was, a taxi driver could find anywhere with only a minimum amount of an address and be able to find every back road and narrow alleyway to get to it. Now, not so much.

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They're ok for the most part, but I don't like it when "kojin" drive away when a gaijin walks towards the cab.

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keep waiting and polishing my friend....

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That's weird where the side mirrors are....

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slicklittlemonkey: They're ok for the most part, but I don't like it when "kojin" drive away when a gaijin walks towards the cab.

my favourite part of the japanese taxi experience is not being allowed to jump into the closest taxi... ah, the taxis are in a queue, i see... let's refuse a fare and make the customer walk 100 metres to the front of the queue whilst i wax my car. guy logic or japanese logic?!

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The whole taxi industry if frigged up here, totally daft, sure the cabs are clean, drivers ok for the most part.BUT I AM SICK OF HEARING ABOUT THEM COMPLAINING BECAUSE THEY DONT MAKE MUCH!!!

Duh, the companies are allowed to pay the drivers based on what they bring in so the COMPANIES flood the streets with cabs, THE COMPANIES dont care about the drivers & we get..........welcome to NOW.

If the govt made the cab companies pay their drivers a salary then we wud start seeing some changes, some for the better some for worse but I am sick of hearing about stupid cabbies complaining they dont make enough $$$ DOH!

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The government is to blame for flooding the streets with cabs. The drivers only get 45% of their fares which isn't much. A few months ago, many taxi companies lowered their fares to stay competitive, mainly because of MK.

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The taxis in Hiroshima are quite good: taxi drivers are helpful, the car is clean and they do the small things that make the difference: help you with the luggage, wait for you with the door opened, not speak on the phone nor see tv while driving, etc. I think Tokyo's traffic must make you crazy after a couple of years. But driving here is generally a nice experience...

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What the taxi drivers should do is implement the "Tip" system...In the USA, good service or bad service you must pay tip...must by law - no...but try not paying tip a few times and the next time you see something green in your food, it wont be guacamole...the Tip system in the USA is such a rip-off and these "poor workers" claim it's because they don't make much...boo hoo

FOP Gaijin will pay TIP for sure....since they don't know and are us to it...and the taxi drivers can even be rude! Works in Europe and the US - may work in Japan.

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@zoechan: it's called a taxi stand. You take the taxi at the front of the line, otherwise there would be chaos among the drivers.

@fusedentropy: Tipping has always been part of the deal in U.S. taxis. Not customary in Japan, very customary in the States. If you feel ripped off, ride a bike instead.

Tokyo taxis: good! quick and easy from TCAT or Tokyo Station to the hotel, which the drivers found on GPS.

Himeji taxis: no GPS, the driver couldn't find the hotel, which was only 5 blocks from the station. He got lost and actually turned off the meter.

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Coming from the perspective of somebody that drives frequently, taxis are such a pain. They stop where ever the hell they want to when picking up/kicking out a passenger which means they frequently block traffic. All too often a friggen taxi cuts me so short I have to brake hard to avoid hitting their cheap ass crowns. The only thing worse are the pedestrians who like walking in the middle of the street and the dumb ass cyclists who ride against traffic.

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gotta love the white gloves. do they still wear them?

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XXXXX,

Most of them do. That's another thing. Japanese cabbies are well dressed. US cabbies look disheveled (during the summertime, torn t-shirt, shorts and sandals), talk endlessly on their cell phones during their fare and usually stink of BO.

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@JohnBecker: very interesting how when and outsider tells a Gaijin their "customs" should change, the gaijin tell you to take a hike. Yet, if Japanese customs are not good - Japan should change to be like the gaijin...

My point was that, in Japan, Taxis should implement a Tipping system so that it could supplement their income as well as it does in the US. Sure, at the start it may not amount to much, but as it becomes "customary" to tip, the system may pay off.....

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