On most streets hailing a taxi is easy. Just raise your hand for an oncoming taxi as you would in your home country. If the light in the passenger’s side window is green, the taxi is already occupied. If the light is red, then the taxi is available. At night, a light on the roof of the taxi also indicates that the taxi is vacant.
The rear doors of taxi cabs open and close automatically. You don’t need to open and close them yourself, in fact it is better if you don’t. All taxi cabs have meters, and taxi drivers are generally honest, so you don’t need to worry about being cheated. There is no need to tip in Japan. You simply pay the fare shown on the meter.
Most Japanese taxi drivers cannot speak English. And it is not good idea to show the address because there are so many guesthouses around Kyoto station. Taxi drivers sometimes can not find where the guesthouse is. Fortunately the majority of taxi drivers have their cell phones. Please don’t hesitate to ask them to make a phone call to our guesthouse. We will be very pleased to explain how to get to the place to your driver.
** Most Japanese taxi drivers are kind and honest. However there may be very rude drivers among them. When such an occasion arises, you should take a picture of their ID on the front window. Our house manager will make a phone call to the taxi union with a complaint instead of you.