I often receive emails from our readers about taxis in Japan and whether they have child seats available. Here is a recent question and my answer below!
My husband and I are moving to Tokyo soon with our 6 month old child. I have two questions: we are currently debating whether or not to buy a car in Tokyo. We will be living in central Tokyo. Is it necessary to buy a car?
If we decide to not buy a car, I was just wondering if I did want to take a taxi in Japan, what are the regulations regarding car seats?
Thanks for providing such a useful blog!
That’s exciting that you will be moving to Tokyo! Personally I wouldn’t buy a car as it is easy to walk and catch trains everywhere (and sometimes it can be hard to find parking), but it is really up to you and what you feel most comfortable with. We often rent a car when we want to go away for the weekend, for example to Nikko or Mt Fuji. You could always come and check everything out, and then if you feel you’d prefer a car you could always buy one. The other benefit of walking and catching trains is that it is such good exercise! I find I do so much walking that I don’t need to do anything else:)
Regarding taxis, they don’t have child seats so I put the seat belt around myself and have my son strapped to my front in our Ergo baby carrier. It is not as safe as a proper child seat of course, but it is the best option available. I checked this topic on the Tokyo Mothers Group (closed group on Facebook – highly recommend joining!), and it seems most mothers do the same.
There is also a taxi service called “Cocoro Taxi” where half of the taxi drivers are women and they provide infant & child seats and special services for mothers with children. The website is in Japanese, but if you ask a friend I’m sure they can help you register and book a taxi through this site:
Hope this helps and all the best!