Whether you’re Japanese or a foreign tourist, it can be difficult finding a good sushi restaurant when you’re in a part of Japan you’re not familiar with. Well, if you find yourself in that predicament in the city of Kanazawa, there’s an excellent solution to the problem – hire a sushi taxi!
You might be wondering what a sushi taxi is. Even in the land of sushi, a sushi taxi is not something that is standard or commonplace. But in Kanazawa city, starting this month, you can hire a sushi taxi that will take you to a sushi restaurant that suits your needs and also take you around on some sightseeing as well.
The sushi taxi service is being offered by the taxi company Oriental based in Kanazawa. They are hoping the service will help attract repeat visitors to the city. Why the focus on sushi? There are approximately 200 sushi restaurants in Kanazawa, and according to government surveys, the amount of money spent on sushi per household in Kanazawa is one of the highest in the country.
Only select drivers with considerable knowledge of sushi who have passed an in-house certification test drive the sushi taxis. It’s easy to spot a sushi taxi – the lamp on top of the taxi is in the shape of fatty tuna sushi! And the drivers wear traditional Japanese happi livery coats with the Japanese letter for sushi printed on the back.
When you ride a sushi taxi, the driver takes you to a sushi restaurant based on your preference, for example depending on the atmosphere of the restaurant or the restaurant’s selection of sake or side orders. Currently, the sushi taxi drivers make their recommendations from a list of about 30 sushi restaurants, but they hope to eventually have about half of the sushi restaurants in Kanazawa on the list.
The sushi taxis cost 3,100 yen ($37.80) per 30 minutes for a small-sized taxi and 3,450yen ($42.07) for a medium-sized taxi. Larger-sized taxis and buses are also available on request. And the taxis do take you to local tourist attractions and introduce you to the culture and history of the area, so it’s not just about getting to the perfect sushi restaurant.
I personally think the fatty tuna sushi lamps are adorable, and enjoying sightseeing and sushi catered to your preference at the same time sounds like a pretty good idea to me. If you ever have the chance to visit Kanazawa, which by the way is a beautiful city rich in history, it may be fun to catch a ride on a sushi taxi. You’re at least sure to get an enjoyable meal out of the experience.