How to take a taxi in Japan?

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If you're in Japan without a car, chances are you'll end up stuck somewhere. Despite the thousands of train lines, once in a while you will end up needing a taxi, especially if you missed your last train. In this article we will see tips and step by step on how to take a taxi.

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where to find the taxi

If you are at a train station, big or small, there will always be several taxi drivers outside waiting for passengers to show up. If you are far from a station, you must make a call.

To get the number of a taxi driver you can follow these tips: 

  • Write down the number of a taxi driver near the station.  
  • Search the Internet for: タクシー( takushii ) but the name of the city. The results should show some places and the contact phone number.
  • Look for taxitaxi.jp or taxisite.com. The site is in Japanese, but it is quite easy to use.
    • Click on the town hall you are in;
    • On the page that opens, click on the city;
    • Sometimes you may also need to click on a ward;
    • A list of taxi companies will appear, write down some numbers;
  • If you are with a coworker, or in a hotel, just ask them for help. Just Say: タクシーをよんでください” (takushii o yonde kudasai);

calling the taxi

This can be the hardest part if you don't have any knowledge of Japanese. Below we will leave a dialogue, from the connection with a taxi driver.

When answering the phone, you can say: Could you come get me?

お迎えに来てもらえますか
Omukae ni kitte moraemasu ka?

After he says yes, he will probably say: What is your address or where do you want to have it picked up?

住所 は どこ です か
Juusho wa doko desu ka?

Tell him your address in Japanese (or the address where you are, or a landmark in the area).

In response, he may say: I am on my way.

今 から お迎え に 来 ます
Ima kara omukae ni kimasu

The taxi driver will give you a time estimate of when you will arrive.

Of course, the phone conversation isn't going to be exactly that way. If you don't understand what the taxi driver said, you can ask him to repeat it, or to speak more slowly.

  • もう一度いって下さい。
  • Mou ichido itte kudasai
  • Repeat please;
  • もっとゆっくり言って下さい。
  • motto yukkuri itte kudasai
  • Speak slowly please;
How to take a taxi in japan?

Arriving at the place where you intend to go 

Once you are in the taxi, the driver will ask:

  • どちらへ? ( dochira e? )
  • どちらへいきますか?( dochira e ikimasu ka?)

Say where you want to go. You can say the name of the place plus “おねがいします” (onegaishimasu = Please) which is the most polite way to ask.

You can show the address by saying: Look here!

ここへ行ってください 
Koko e itte kudasai

If the taxi driver is having trouble finding the place, or you don't know the address, but you know the streets and where to turn, you can help him by saying:

Turn right here, please.

ここで右に曲がって下し
Koko de migi ni Magatte kudasai

Turn left here, please.

ここで左に曲がってくさい
Koko de hidari ni Magatte kudasai

Go ahead, please.

真っすぐ行ってください;
massugu itte kudasai;

It is next to _______.

_______の隣にあります;
_______no tonari ni arimasu;

It is through _______.

_______の向かいにあります
_______ no mukai ni arimasu

It's near_______

_______の 近く に あり ます
_______no Chikaku ni arimasu

It's next to the police station.

交番の隣にあります
Kouban no tonari ni arimasu

So when you get to the place you want to get off, say: Here is good;

ここでいいです
Koko de ii desu.

It's not difficult to take a taxi in Japan, it's also worth remembering that taxi doors usually close by themselves, so don't try to close the door on your own, so you don't feel embarrassed.

Source: survivingnjapan

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