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Kyoto taxies specializing in foreign tourists accept ICOCA and other transportation IC Cards

 A taxi stand for “foreigner-friendly taxies,” the first such service in Japan aimed at non-Japanese tourists, has been set up in front of JR Kyoto Station in March 2016. In August, these taxies started to accept transportation IC cards, such as ICOCA issued by JR WEST. Prepaid IC cards are convenient for foreigners who are not familiar with Japanese currency, since there is no need to handle cash on the spot. This service allows foreign tourists to use taxies more comfortably.
 In 2015, 3.16 million foreign tourists stayed in Kyoto City, up 73% from 2014. However, a survey to research taxi demand showed that less than 40% of non-Japanese tourists who visited Kyoto in 2015 had used taxies. The most common request from them was that drivers communicate in foreign languages.    
 A total of 133 drivers of “foreigner-friendly taxies” have completed training sessions to learn customer service skills, English, and Chinese, and have been certified by Kyoto City, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan, and other governmental organizations. A total of 69 taxies are installed with a credit card payment device and capable of loading two large-sized baggage items. Taxi lamps and stickers are written in English.        
 The service will be on trial until March 2017. When it is determined to be effective, “foreigner-friendly taxies” will be fully operational after fiscal 2017. 

Contact : Tourism MICE Promotion Section, Industry and Tourism Bureau, City of Kyoto
Phone or E-mail +81-75-746-2255
Website http://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/koho/eng/