on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Why I’m Loving Taxis in Tokyo

In Japan on December 29, 2010 at 10:41 am

I’m a New Yorker. I find taxis to be off-putting. I don’t know if it’s the pine odor mixed with the smell of ripe pits, or the constant nauseating jostling, but I’m just not a fan of taxis.

In Tokyo, I am a different person. Completely helpless when it comes to navigating their complex subway system on my own, I am not only dependent here on taxis, but I have come to enjoy them.

Why I’m loving the taxis in Tokyo:

  1. Taxis glide over the smooth streets with expert precision. No potholes or craters blemish the smooth facade of Tokyo’s streets making for a sleek and comfortable ride.
  2. Taxis are everywhere and easy to catch. Outside of every subway stop for the most part, you will find a que of taxis. If you’re not near a subway stop, you can hail a cab the good ole’ fashioned way. If a taxi is on the street and empty, it is available.
  3. Taxi doors open and close automatically. This catches me by surprise every time. The taxi pulls up and before you know it the doors are open, ready to receive you. * Note to the wise, make sure you put your legs and arms in before those doors close 😉
  4. The aesthetic appeal is just plain quirky. Taxis are multi-colored and instead of having side mirrors by the windows, two large circular mirrors rest on the hood of the car, giving the appearance of the car wearing spectacles.
  5. All taxis are GPS capable. You will not have to worry about the cab driver telling you “Sorry, I don’t know where that is, unless you can give me directions you will have to get out!”
  6. You will not have to gag on that conspicuous pine scented car freshener odor. Taxis are clean and odor free.

* Note: Most taxis have a starting rate of 710 Yen. Which depending on your destination does not make for a cheap ride.

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