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Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/12 12:15
On the ride from Kyoto train station to the recently opened Hilton Garden Inn, our taxi driver got lost even with the address and GPSc his GPS might not updated yet, I thought. He turned off the fare meter while searching for the hotel so I did not have to pay the fare for this period. I really commended his initiative: his honesty. Anyway, I did pay him the full fare which was included the period of searching for the hotel, plus a decent tip. I sure hope he accepted the tip without feeling bad or insulted as many comments regarding on taxi tipping.
by Tony (guest)  

Re: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/12 15:42
In Japan, this is normal (as usual), so as a Japanese, we're not surprised about that, and no need to tip in this/similar cases.

Also, if the driver has not been a cab driver for a long time or comes from outside Kyoto city, such things sometimes happen.
Private cab drivers in Kyoto (independent from their companies) must pass a "geography test" to test their memory of famous hotels and tourist spots in order to debut as a cab driver, but cab company drivers do not have this test, so compared to Tokyo and Osaka, it is easier to be a driver than in However, taxi company drivers do not have this test, so their skills as drivers are a little lower than those in Tokyo and Osaka.

That driver would not have been honestly pleased with your tip, but he(?) would have reflected on his immaturity over a drink, i guess.
by Odogawa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/12 19:17
Not sure what your question is. Taxi driver got lost, switched off meter while searching and then departed again and potentially switching in meter again. Sounds like what a taxi driver should do in such a case. Not only in Japan. I have definitely had similar experience in Europe as well.
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/12 23:58
The driver would have been happy with or without the tip. Taxis are one of the few places in Japan where tipping is not uncommon. I doubt that your driver thought your tipping was an insult.

That said, it is the taxi driver's job to drive in the most efficient way possible. A local would not typically tip in your situation, unless the customer requested to go to an outrageously tricky place. The Hilton is a major hotel chain. The driver should have done his homework.

On a related note, a great number of taxi drivers aren't used to mechanical devices such as GPS and credit card machines, especially when the device is new. So, I wouldn't be surprised if the driver didn't know his way, but then I wouldn't think that the customer is to blame.

I'm just curious, though. How did you know the "full fare which was included the period of searching for the hotel" if he had turned off the fare meter? And what comments do you mean by "many comments regarding on taxi tipping"?
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: to: Uco: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/13 11:34
Hi Uco:

As I recalled I saw two numbers either on the fare meter display or on the receipt: the higher number and the smaller number. I paid the higher number.
On the subject of tipping: I did the search on the internet; most responses were NO due to culture; however, there were some comments from people who claimed they used to be taxi drivers, said git is okay to leave the change or tip, and taxi drivers would not get insulted or confused and they appreciate itch. As a not-too-poor retiree, I want to ggive back to community without borderh so tipping is one wayc of course, no tipping in the restaurants and others as I respect the local culture.
by Tony (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/13 12:37
About tipping taxi drivers in Japan: I (Japanese living in Tokyo) do tip a driver sometimes, when I took it for a rather late-night ride home and it was a comfortable ride, when the driver was nice, or when I was in a hurry to get somewhere and the driver simply made it in time for me, etc. I ask them to keep the change for a coffee, etc. and so far every driver has accepted it with thanks. So no reason to think that they might be insulted or something like that.

At restaurants if someone (westerner) leaves a 500-yen coin on the table (as an attempt at giving a tip), I have seen the waitress running out to tell the guest goh you forgot this!!h and giving it back. I never try it at restaurants.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/13 19:28
Tony, thank you for your response. The only times I see two different prices in a taxi is when there is the distance fare and the Express-Way fare, if the car had taken a toll road. Other than that, I never realized two prices, but if the driver accepted it, that is that.

I don't think tipping professional workers is an insult, but some workers in Japan just won't know what to do with the tip (and they're often supposed to give it to their organization anyway). Where tipping is not common, one might give items instead. For example, I once spilled something at a local store, and a clerk mopped it for me, so I later handed her some canned drinks.

As for taxis, I think a lot of locals, like AK, tip according to their "own rule". For example, I often ask for no change if my ride is worth less than a 1000 yen bill. Or if I'm in a hurry, I'll ask for no change and rush out the car.

At many places in Japan, there would be a "no, I can't accept it" back-and-forth thing if you try to tip, but I've never had a taxi driver try to decline my tip, which is fine. And I doubt they give it to their organization either, which is fine too.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/13 23:11
Lovely to hear your story, Tony. Reminds me of a nice encounter with a taxi driver in Kyoto, too. It was way back in 2016 and we took a taxi from Kinkakuji to Kiyomizudera thinking it was the fastest way. Unfortunately, traffic was really bad as there was some event going on. On the road, while stuck in traffic, the driver was saying something in Japanese with a whole lot of hand gestures. Took me a long time to understand he was trying to say he will stop the meter because it was almost 3,000 yen (if I remember correctly) but he will still bring us to Kiyomizudera.
by andrea (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Taxi driver honesty 2022/12/14 01:13
To Uco:
By the way, this was our fifth trip to Japan, this time we covered a wide area from Tokyo to Fukuoka. And we had a lot of short ride taxi trips from train stations to hotels. All worked out fine with the tipping business.
To Andrea:
Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
by Tony (guest) rate this post as useful

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