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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 ;)
- 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.
- 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!"
- 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.