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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Japanese Taxi in Fiji


An Indian taxi driver in Fiji with his Chuo Musen taxi from Tokyo, Japan.

If you follow JapanVisitor on Instagram, you may have seen numerous photos starting on September 19th posted of scenes shot in Fiji. But, as JapanVisitor and therefore very mindful of Japan wherever I go, I kept an eye out for Japan-related sights in Fiji.

One of the most striking was the almost ubiquitous sight of old Japanese trucks and cars. On numerous occasions we encountered trucks with Japanese logos still all over them and even the squeaky female voice announcing in Japanese “turning right” (Migi e magarimasu!) or “turning left (Hidari e magarimasu!). We even saw the orange Japanese taxi - specifically a Tokyo taxi, pictured here in the Fijian town of Sigatoka, Indian driver standing beside it, completely unchanged from its in-Japan state except for the numberplates.

Being orange with a blue stripe, this taxi is immediately identifiable as a former taxi of the Chuo Musen Taxi Cooperative which operates in the 23 wards of Tokyo as well as the adjoining cities of Musashino and Mita just west of Tokyo.

The Chuo Musen Taxi Cooperative is a small-to-medium taxi company which has over 1,700 vehicles, making it the third biggest taxi company in Tokyo after the leading Tokyo Musen and Checker Cab Musen in second place.

The only “news” we could find about Chuo Musen is that from August of last year its taxis began accepting Japan IC transport cards such as the Suica card.

What driver of this cab would have imagined that the Toyota Crown Comfort whose pedal he pumped through the gurning streets of Tokyo would finish its days in sunlit bliss on a South Pacific island?!


View pictures of distinctive Japanese taxi crests.

© JapanVisitor.com

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