Some of Fukushima’s most stunning tourist spots can be difficult to get to by public transport. This includes Ouchi-juku, Shiramizu Amidado, Mt Kohata, Goshikinuma, Kitakata’s Warehouse district etc.
Using taxis can often make getting around the prefecture really easy.
This guide will explain how to take taxis in Fukushima, and will hopefully be relevant for people travelling around other areas of Japan too!
1.) About Credit Cards
Before you take a taxi, here’s something to consider!
As with taxis in other areas of Japan, many taxis in Fukushima don’t accept payment by credit card or other forms of payment. If you want to pay by credit card, I recommend asking your taxi driver when you’re about to get in the car if you can use credit cards or not, to avoid a difficult situation later on!
2.) About Tipping
As with nearly every other situation in Japan, tipping is not required when taking taxis.
Your driver will give you back your exact change.
3.) How to Call a Taxi
If you are at a hotel, station, or sightseeing spot, one way to call a taxi is to get a member of staff to call one for you.
This could be someone who works at the closest Tourist Information Center, a member of hotel staff etc.
4.) How to Catch a Taxi Out & About
In the busier cities in Fukushima, you’re likely to see taxis around the town.
If the taxi is displaying an LED sign that says “空車“, this indicates that the taxi is vacant.
If you put your hand out for them, they are likely to stop for you.
5.) Explaining Where to Go
If you want to go to a famous tourist spot, tell them the name, point to the place in a pamphlet and show it, or write it down for the driver.
If you’d like to go to your hotel, it’s helpful if you have the hotel’s business card on hand, as this will include the address written in Japanese.
Showing Google Maps or a similar app on your phone porbably won’t work – if your phone is in English, then the maps will be in English, and your driver wont be able to read it!
If you don’t know how to find the Japanese name for the sightseeing spot you want to go to, try and find a Wikipedia Page for it – go onto the page, and then change the language to Japanese to find its translation!
Some of the points that I’ve written about above were featured in a useful video created by Fukushima Prefecture. You can watch it below.
6.) Travelling There & Back by Taxi
If you will only be stopping somewhere for a relatively short amount of time & you’d like to take a taxi on the way back, it’s a good idea to ask the taxi driver to come back and pick you up after a certain amount of time.
You can do this by showing the driver a message.
If the area you are in is pretty remote, then I would recommend booking a return journey with the driver before you get out, to save you the trouble of trying to locate a taxi when you want to return.
I put together a document which might come in handy! It’s packed with helpful phrases to show the driver. Please click on the image below to load the full-size document.
7.) Take the Right Type of Taxi
As well as the standard taxis that you can find around the world, Ebisu Circuit in Fukushima is also home to Drift Taxis – where customers can experience drifting around one of Japan’s most extensive and impressive drifting circuits! So, make sure not to get them confused!!
I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions or suggestions for ways that I can improve this post, please let me know in the comments below!
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