6 Best Taxi Booking Services in Japan
Comfortably Catching a Taxi with Reservations in Japan
Taxi is one of the most convenient forms of transportation. Though it is more expensive than other transportation, once you get a taxi, you can go to a destination directly. Especially when the weather is not good or people have a lot of stuff, the demand for taxis is very high. Moreover, as public transportation in Japan is very complicated, catching a taxi is easier and more convenient especially when you visit Japan for the first time.
According to the Internet’s development, many taxi booking apps are showing up currently. You can book a taxi anywhere and no longer need to find a taxi on a road only if you install those taxi apps on your phone. Though it costs about ¥400 as an additional picking-up service fee, the estimated arrival time is available on the apps, and the payment can be completed through them.
Moreover, you can ask for any special request like a wheelchair through the apps, so there is less possibility of miscommunication between a driver and customers.
Go Taxi is the most popular taxi booking app. It has the biggest number of available areas. Uber is now becoming common in Japan as well as other countries. You can see a driver’s face on the app before you book. DiDi is available in big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and so on. It regularly has discount promotions especially for first-time users. S.RIDE lets you book a taxi with just one swipe with your finger. By shaking your phone, Fulcul arranges a taxi that is within 500 m from your current place. Airport Taxi serves a private taxi booking for moving between airports and your destination or your current place.
Now, let’s have a look at the details of each app and find the best one for you. It would be helpful for the efficient journey to pick up the best app depending on your destination in Japan.
Go has been the most popular taxi booking app in Japan since it was released in 2020. You can designate a place where you want to catch a taxi and a destination through the app. Ordering a taxi through the app costs a normal fare for the riding and picking-up fee.
There are 3 additional options. First, a high-tech AI booking option is available from 15 mins after the current time till 7 days later. AI arranges a taxi for you based on the booking time and the traffic situation. That’s why the arrangement is more punctual than a normal booking.
Second, if you use a priority pass, AI automatically looks for a taxi for 30 mins and gives you a priority dispatch during busy times. If AI fails to find an available car, you would not be charged for the pass. The priority pass is very useful when the weather is bad or after the last train.
Third, you can select a driver, car type, and amenities in a car. This service is very helpful when you have a special request like a wheelchair.
You need to pay an additional fee to get any service above them, but it is still worth it.
Area: 34 prefectures except for Yamanashi, Fukui, Wakayama, Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Yamaguchi, Kochi, Kagawa, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima, and Okinawa.
Payment: You can pay in a car or through the app. If you pay in a car, both cash and card are available as well as other electronic money like Suica, Pasmo, Paypay, and so on. You need to register your card information if you pay through the app.
Uber has its origin in the USA in 2009 and launched its business in Japan in 2014. As an Uber driver is an individual in some foreign countries, some Japanese people think using Uber service seems to be less secure than using public taxi companies. In Japan, however, as an Uber taxi belongs to a taxi company, the security is assured. You can see a driver’s face on the app as well.
Uber Taxi doesn’t have an additional fee for midnight, but the price should be changed depending on the situation. For example, in rush hour in the morning and after work, it costs 1.2 times more than usual.
Another service of Uber is Uber Premium, which is a higher-quality taxi booking service. If you order a taxi through Uber Premium, a high-grade driver will come to pick you up in a black expensive car. The price counting is ¥103 for the starting fee plus ¥67/min and ¥309/km. In Tokyo, the minimum price is ¥823.
The most convenient thing is you can pay separately through the app when you share the ride with friends.
Payment: You can pay in a car by either cash or card. You need to register your card information if you pay through the app. VISA, Master Card, JCB, American Express and Diners Club are available.
Language: More than 30 languages like Japanese, English, French, German, Chinese, Korean, etc.
DiDi has its origin in China and is expanding its service among the main cities in Japan like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. The most attractive point of DiDi is the cheaper price than other apps because there are discount coupon codes regularly. For example, you can get a coupon for a base fare-free for 10 times when you use DiDi for the first time. This special price is available only through the app payment, so you need to register your card information on the app beforehand.
Area:Hokkaido, Miyagi, Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Aichi, Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Okinawa.
Payment: If you pay in a car, cash, credit and Paypay are available. You can pay through the app as well.
S.RIDE lets you order a taxi just by swiping a button on the screen with your finger. S.RIDE is a taxi booking service mainly targeted for business people. It has its own QR code named S.RIDE wallet. With the QR code, you can not only pay but also reissue the invoice if you lose it.
Only in Tokyo, the date-specified dispatch is available from 20 mins after the current time to 6 days later.
Area: 23 wards in Tokyo, Mitaka city, Musashino city, Saitama, Kanagawa, Nagoya, and Osaka.
Payment: You can pay by card or cash in a car. Its original QR code, S.RIDE wallet, is valid too.
Language: Japanese and English
5. Airport Taxi
Airport Taxi is a service that specializes in airport transfers between airports and your designated locations. You can choose either Alphard for 8 people or high-ace for 10 people at the most.
The price setting is reasonable and easy to understand. For example, from the main city of Tokyo, it’s $98 (¥14,700) to Haneda Airport and $151 (¥22,700) to Narita Airport. Airport Taxi has its service in Osaka and Okinawa as well.
You need to book it 5 hours before you need a taxi. Online booking and phone call booking are available.
Area: Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Okinawa, Haneda Airport, Narita Airport, Kansai Airport and Naha Airport.
Payment: You need to pay online when you make a booking via its website. Bank transfer is also available.
Language: Japanese, Chinese, and English.
Special Offer: only for Japan Web Magazine readers, all orders with Airport Taxi have a 1,000 JPY discount using this coupon code!
Coupon Code: JWM2023
Fulcul doesn’t require registering a membership. All you need to do is to install the app and shake your phone. Then a taxi will find you and come to pick you up. There is no additional fare for picking up, but if there are few taxis you can’t be assured of your ride.
Area: 23 wards in Tokyo, Mitaka city, and Musashino city.
Payment: Only pay in a car.
Language: Japanese and English
Thank you for reading till the end!
Did you find the best app for you? The different points are available area and price. Let’s compare each app on the point which you put importance on.
▽Subscribe our free newsletter!▽
If you would like to know more about the Japanese taxi system, please read the articles below.
▼Let’s find more about traveling in Japan▼