taxi / car, Osaka
I found the Cartrafic in Osaka and other places of Japan not extremely bad and I also dont remember any trafic-jam. Something that is quite confusing for any tourists are the inscriptions mostly beeing just in japanese and the fact that many of the roads are going on stilts in different levels and once that you get into the wrong lane you might be lost easily.
It is easy to find a taxi in Osaka. In fact, there is a long queau of taxi in front of the JR Station opposite Hilton Hotel and Hanshin Department Store. If you are in the downtown area like Umeda Skyline, you will have no problem taking a taxi. Just the same, I am giving you the telephone numbers of taxi companies which are available in Osaka:
816 679 38180
816 666 12181
816 632 82510
816 677 11437
816 665 92523
Taxis in Japan are expensive, to the point that if you can walk or just use public transport, do. However, we all find those moments when we have no other options so here are a couple of key pointers...
1. Most importantly, shop around. Check the rear left passenger door window. There will be a price between 500 and 660 yen. This is the price for the first 3 kms, but the mileage ratio after this is also similarly varied. This adds up to a big saving. A taxi home in a 500 yen cab will cost me around 2,200 yen (about 20 U.S. dollars). A taxi home in 660 yen cab will cost me around 3,800 yen (about 35 U.S. dollars). It makes quite a difference quite quickly...
2. This may sound sarcastic (especially given the rest of my pages) but seriously, check the front seat of the cab. If there's a half empty bottle of whisky on the seat it's probably not a good idea to get in. If the bottle is empty, it's definitely not a good idea! You'd be surprised the number of times I've seen this...
All of the vehicles in this picture are taxis. In the central areas of the city, you will never have any trouble finding a taxi. They line the main street, Midosuji, 24-hours a day, waiting for passengers.
In fact, the Osaka Municipal Transport Bureau concedes that Osaka has 30,000 more taxis than required. Now that`s a lot of vehicles.
Bear in mind the fare - expect about 2000 yen for a ten minute trip.
Taxis are very good but very expensive. ... $10 New York cab ride will cost $20 in Osaka. ... No tipping, though, so that helps a little. ... Cabs are always clean and I never got the feeling the driver took me on "the scenic route." .... Take as a last resort. .... Ride the train.
Taxi drivers, can be very crazy in japan. The streets are much smaller than the US and they do drive fast! Oh and don't try to stiff your driver. they'll prevent you grom getting out of the vehicle (The doors have no indoor handles)