Taxis in Tokyo

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Taxis in Tokyo are a popular way to travel as a tourist in Tokyo. While most people know of the railway transit systems, taxis are still a common way to travel, especially for tourists.


Although Tokyo is a highly packed city, taxis are rarely seen and very expensive. The average taxi rate is almost 700 yen for only 2 km, or 1.3 miles. When you need to travel to multiple places, the cost can continue to rise considerably. Compare this to rides on the subway station which can cost as little as 700 yen for an entire day of travel. In addition, the price of the taxi cabs can go up by 20% during the night hours, when students are leaving the bars and clubs.

While taxis would seem like the prime choice for tourists that do not speak Japanese, the contrary is usually true, as most taxi drivers will only travel to areas where the directions have been prewritten in Japanese and very few of them speak adequate English themselves to figure out your planned destination.

Taxis in Japan do not wait outside popular areas like they do in the West. Instead, they most often can be found waiting outside of train stations for short rides to hotels and nearby areas.

In 2008, Tokyo taxis have decided to ban smoking in their cabs.

To hail a cab, pay attention to the light:

  • Red Light - Vacant
  • Yellow Light – In Use
  • Green Light – Night Charges

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