Saw this image while going through some of the older files in my library, and it brought back some memories of my visit to Japan this year. I took this shot of some taxi cabs in Ebina, Kanagawa Prefecture, where we spent the first three nights of our trip visiting friends. Taxi cabs, of course, are different over there than in the States. Don’t try to open that passenger door yourself, or you might have it swing out and hit you! The driver actually controls the opening and closing of the rear door.
But this image also reminded me of a strange incident I had in Shinjuku, a major district in Tokyo. We arrived at the train station in this area after traveling from the south, and upon exiting the station, we realized that we had no idea where our hotel was. Not typically a problem when I have cell phone reception, but we were without connectivity, so we had to find it the old fashioned way. My first instinct was to hail a cab. So I walked up to one in front of the station, and as the door swung open, I asked (in Japanese) “can you take me to this hotel please?” He replied by telling me he had no idea where it was, even though I was showing him the address and saying the hotel’s name over and over.
So I figured, uh oh, if the cabbie doesn’t know where it is, it must be far from here! After walking around for what seemed like forever, we finally found a koban (a small police box assigned to a specific area). I knew the officer would know the hotel if it was close. Sure enough, he gave us simple directions to the place, which we discovered was only about a 3 minute walk from the station where we started!!!!
What was up that cab driver?! Did he really not know where this hotel was? Oh well.