Do any taxi apps. in Japan offer WAV taxis?

  • Do any taxi apps. in Japan offer WAV taxis?

    Posted by xnpd189 on October 7, 2023 at 4:12 am

    Based on just a bit of searching, I can’t find any apps. that specifically offer WAV taxis. Uber doesn’t seem to offer them in Tokyo. I haven’t been able to try GO or S.RIDE yet (they require Japanese phone numbers).

    From what I can see, all the WAV taxi options are small/local/independent companies, and they usually seem to be related to “nursing care” — bigger vehicles suitable for stretchers, etc. I was hoping for an easy way to book minivan-sized taxis instead. I’ve read articles about JPN Taxi, which looks perfect, but can’t find great info. on how to book them.

    (At the moment I’m focused on Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima, but curious about how things are more broadly around the country.)

    Josh Grisdale replied 8 months, 1 week ago 2 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Josh Grisdale

    October 7, 2023 at 4:03 pm

    You are very correct in your statements about the accessible taxi companies being small and independent. Which means they also usually don’t have English websites to find them either. Two notable exceptions are @oshidori and @wilgo who are on this site.

    I didn’t realize you needed a Japanese phone number for Go and S.Ride. But I guess that makes sense for registering likely sending an SMS confirmation code… will you be getting a SIM card when you are here? If so, you could maybe register when you arrive? (Both apps do let you select a JapanTaxi by the way. )

    I’m not sure about Osaka etc, but in Tokyo the JpnTaxis are fairly common and you can get them at train station taxi carousels or even flag them down on the street. (They were partially made for the Tokyo 2020 games.) Also, if your journey is starting from a hotel, if you ask the front desk, they can call you a taxi and request it be a JpnTaxi from dispatch.

    But I used one in Karuizawa and in Kyoto before, so they do exist there, but maybe not as common.

  • xnpd189

    October 10, 2023 at 5:40 am

    Thank you for the detailed information!

    Yeah, GO requires a Japanese phone number to register. S.Ride requires just any phone number, but my US number just didn’t seem to work. Getting a SIM card at the airport is an option, but I’d prefer to have as much prep. work done ahead of time — poking around in the apps, seeing what the options are, etc.

    I have a few weeks before my trip, so I ordered a Mobal SIM card (, which they’ll ship to the US. I’ll see how that goes.

  • Josh Grisdale

    October 10, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    Please do keep us updated as it may be helpful for others in the future!

  • xnpd189

    October 18, 2023 at 2:47 am

    Thanks – yes, I’ll post updates on what I discover.

    I was able to get a Japanese phone number with a SIM card from Mobal ( delivered to the US – but, unfortunately, it doesn’t have roaming, so I still won’t be able to register with GO or S.Ride until I arrive.

    I did contact GO’s support. Their response was helpful, but a bit vague – yes, they generally allow access to WAV taxis, but they couldn’t give me details on whether WAV taxis are actually available in any specific city.

    (Also, FWIW, somewhat surprisingly, Uber doesn’t appear to allow access to WAV taxis in Japan.)

    • Josh Grisdale

      October 18, 2023 at 9:54 am

      Yeah, even in Tokyo I have had times where the WAV option didn’t show up. But, if you chose JpnTaxi they have a ramp… so I’m not sure why they distinguish them. Maybe WAV drivers have more training?

      Uber isn’t really a thing here as the taxi industry successfully kept them out pretty much and if you do use it, I think they just dispatch a taxi. Uber Eats made a successful entry though!

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