Survival Japanese – using the taxi

Although trains are the most convenient way to travel in Japan, it sometimes is better or faster to use the taxi. Taxi drivers in Japan generally do not speak any English, so that it is useful if you now a few words and phrases to communicate with the driver. You can also print this page and show the sentences to the driver.

Giving directions

Kanji 「東京駅」お願いします。
Furigana 「とうきょうえき」おねがいします。
Romaji [toukyou eki] onegai shimasu.
English To [Tokyo station], please.

Kanji 地図を持っています。
Furigana ちずをもっています。
Romaji chizu o motte imasu.
English I have a map.

It is most useful to have a map IN JAPANESE LANGUAGE of the place you want to go. Since the system of Japanese addresses is complicated almost every place has a map on how to get there. Ask someone in your hotel or the person whom you visit to get you a map for the taxi driver.

Kanji 「右」お願いします。
Furigana 「みぎ」おねがいします。
Romaji [migi] onegai shimasu.
English Turn [right].
  • 左 – ひだり – hidari – left
  • 真直ぐ – まっすぐ – massugu – straight ahead

Kanji ここです。
Furigana ここです。
Romaji koko desu.
English Stop here.

Money / taxi fare

Kanji いくらですか?
Furigana いくらですか?
Romaji ikura desu ka?
English How much is the fare?

Kanji レシートお願いします。
Furigana レシートおねがいします。
Romaji reshiito onegai shimasu.
English A receipt, please.

Kanji カードで良いですか?
Furigana カードでいいですか?
Romaji kaado de ii desu ka?
English Can I pay by credit card?

Please be aware that it is not common to tip the taxi driver – they will decline it in most cases. If you want to pay by credit card, you should ask the driver in any case before using the taxi. Many taxis accept Japanese but no foreign cards, so that the stickers with the logos of the credit cards on the windows of the taxi can be misleading.

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