Today’s Word is: Kurotaku (黒タク)
Kurotaku is a type of taxis that are a little more upscale than regular taxis, and are generally painted in black. (Kuro = black / Taku = Taxi)
Taxis in Tokyo are typically yellow or green, like these toy cars shown here.
On the other hand, kurotaku taxis are priced about the same as regular taxis, but they generally use better cars to provide comfortable ride for passengers, and drivers are more experienced.
The above photo is a Toyota Crown Sedan Super Saloon painted in black for taxi use. Although they can be caught on street like regular taxis, it feels more like riding a hire (ハイヤー)*.
*Hire is another Japanese-coined English word meaning a vehicle for hire. Instead of regular taxis on streets, you can only call a hire to make an appointment. Then the hire company will send you a car to your desired location. Generally it’s more upscale than normal taxis, and its rate is higher than normal taxis. However, they do offer flat rate pricing for long-distance travel, so depending on your destination (such as a ride to airports, golf resorts, etc.), it could end up cheaper than using yellow/green taxis.
Also, another option for traveling in Tokyo is using Uber, as it was launched last year. And of course, the city has huge public transportation services including trains, subways, and buses.
You have lots of traveling options to choose from in Tokyo!