Hello everyone! After a one week hiatus, we are back with more news than ever. Seems like everyone had something new to report after the New Year holiday, and we are here to lay them all out for you.
- Uber had big moves in Osaka and Tohoku area – Uber had announced
expansionof their Uber Taxi service in Japan. Local taxi operators in Osakaarea and Sendai/Fukushima/Aomori in Tohoku will start accepting Uber Taxi orders from now on. This is Uber’s second wave of expansion, after theannouncement and start of service in Nagoya last December.
- N700S implementation time confirmed – JR Central will start phasing in N700S trains to the Tokaido Shinkansen from July 2020 to 2022. N700S improves
onoperating safety and accessibility over previous models, just in time for the Olympics! Aside from new built N700S locomotives, existing N700A locomotives will be modified to N700S specs.
- Booking.com become first in Japan offering online overnight ferry booking – Meimon Taiyo Ferry, a local ferry operator, had teamed up with international booking site Booking.com. Booking.com will handle online bookings for packages of Meimon Taiyo’s Osaka to Kyushu overnight service. While most cruise lines in Japan offers in-house online reservations for tickets the cabins, this is the first in the ferry cruise sector, as Meimon Taiyo enlist help from outside (international) company.
- Odakyu ditching plastic straws from Romancecar trains – Odakyu will stop using plastic straws for all onboard drinks served on their Express train Romancecar. Paper straws will be used instead. Statistics show that one hundred and ten thousand straws were used on drinks served for the Romancecar service in 2017 alone. Thus, banning plastic straws should be a big boost in reducing plastic waste. Odakyu will also stop using plastic straws at their own hotels.
- Blades will be banned on buses and taxis from April 1st – The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport
andTourism had issued a ban on carrying blades on buses and taxis. It will come into effect by April this year. It is a response to an incident in June 2018, which a criminal had stabbed several people on a Shinkansen train. All rail companies had banned cutlery for passengers voluntarily after the incident. Now, MLIT steps up the ban on bus and taxis as well. The rule is: any blades that are six inches or longer must be placed in a case, wrapped in wrapping paper, inside a sturdy box or bag. The wrapping must remain intact when in a taxi or bus. Blades that are less than six inches in length could be carried without wraps, but it must be placed in a bag during the ride.
- There’s an app for ecbo cloak – At last, ecbo cloak had finally released an app for their luggage storage service! Users can register new accounts, add their credit card info for payment, and book storage, all from the app. It’s available in English for iOS and Android.
That’s it for this extra large edition! Thank you for your support, please spread the word about Travel Japan Local! We now have more than 1800 followers on Facebook, and our Instagram is very close to the 100 follower mark. Help us by telling your friends, and subscribe to our newsletter! See you all next week!