Quick Takes – April 28th, 2019

Welcome to this week’s Quick Takes. In this week’s news, Ecbo Cloak opening their own storage “shop”, sales tax and dine-in/eat out, hop-on/hop-off bus and Uber Taxi in Kyoto.

  • Uber Taxi going to Kyoto: After much expansion, Uber Taxi is finally arriving in Kyoto. Teaming up with local taxi company MK Taxi, the service will start with immediate effect. Using the Uber app, passengers can order taxis from MK.
  • Hop-on/hop-off bus to start in June: Speaking of Kyoto, JTB had teamed up with two bus companies for a new hop-on/hop-off tour bus service, scheduled to start this June. The service is an expansion of Skyhop Bus, which now operates in Tokyo. It runs around the major tourist locations in Kyoto. There are one day and two days passes available for the bus, which cost 3500 yen for the former, and 6000 yen for the later. There are voice guide in seven languages (English/Spanish/French/German/Korean/Chinese and Japanese) available. And amenities like WiFi/wet towels/blankets/hand warmer are available, according to the seasons.
  • Sales tax woes, to-go or dine in at a convenience store?: Sales tax in Japan will increase from 8% to 10% by this October. And for food, there’s additional confusion as the tax rate will only increase if your food is to-go; dine in tax rate will not change. Yet, with convenience stores offering tables and chairs for customers to eat inside the store, how would the tax rate become if you eat inside? The article here explores how this is confusing to owners, employees and customers alike.
  • Ecbo Cloak open their own storage “shop”: Finally, Ecbo Cloak is again in the news, this time for their own storage “shop” opening. The shop is a joint venture with JR Hokkaido and Hokkaido Kiosk, a train station gift shop operator and sister company to JR Hokkaido. This operation will bear Ecbo Cloak’s brand, locate inside JR Sapporo Station, and offers 100 suitcase size storage slots (i.e. cabin size or bigger). The grand opening will be on June 30th, opening hours will be from 10 am to 8 pm daily. Charge for one piece of luggage will be 900 yen/day. This shop will be a test site for similar facilities, as the lead of shops and locker spaces that Ecbo Cloak currently operates in Sapporo.

That’s it for this week. It’s been a rough week in the editorial room here, and we are going into some needed transitions after the travelling in Late March. Things should go right back to normal next week though. Stay tuned!