Belgian Economic Mission to Japan #BEmissionJPN
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Taxis and public transportation

Taxis

Taxis in Japan are relatively cheap compared with taxis in Belgium. For an idea of fares, a seven-kilometer Tokyo ride taking about 25 minutes should cost between ¥2,500 and ¥3,000 during daytime. During nighttime, between 22:00 and 05:00, highway tolls and surcharges of 20-30% comes on top of it. Japanese taxi drivers rarely speak English, so have your destination written down to facilitate the driver. Most taxis use a navigation system. Since the pandemic most taxis have introduced automated payment systems that accept credit cards. You can find taxis at hotels and train stations, but you can also hail a taxi from the street by sticking your arm out at the curb.

Uber is present in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto but not so common. It is more expensive than a regular taxi. An Uber base fare is ¥103 (€0,75), followed by ¥67 (€0,49) per minute and ¥309 (€2,16) per kilometer. They do not have a big fleet; there are not always cars available, but at night they will not surcharge.  

 

Public transportation

Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto have a very well-developed transport network. However it is not that easy to navigate independently if you do not know the city or do not read Japanese. People are requested not to eat and drink in the metro, to refrain from talking on the phone and to avoid loud conversation. Food and drinks are allowed on the Shinkansen.

The Japan Railways (JR) is the easiest way to travel unlimited through Japan. The Japan Rail Pass; a rail pass only to be used by non-Japanese passport holders on a tourist visa, providing unlimited travel on JR trains, starts at  ¥29.650 (€214,45) for 7 days and  ¥47.250 (€341,75) for 14 days when purchased outside of Japan. Purchase is also possible at some locations in Japan, but becomes more expensive.

Please note that to be eligible to purchase a Japan Rail Pass, you need to get a stamp on your passport as "Temporary Visitor" when you enter Japan. When you use an automated gate at the airport, no stamp/sticker will be stamped or put on your passport. Therefore, it is necessary to either use a manned automated gate or ask a clerk to apply a stamp/sticker in your passport. Also, the Japan Rail Pass is not valid on the "Nozomi" and Mizuho" express of the Tokaido, Sanyo and Kyushu Shinkansen lines for both non-reserved and reserved seats.