Yamaguchi: Municipality Launches Loop-Line Taxi Service for Tourists; 10-Van Tours Historical Area

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A van used for a tourist loop-line taxi service in Yamaguchi

YAMAGUCHI — A sightseeing loop-line taxi began operating in Yamaguchi, which was selected among The New York Times’ list of “52 places to go in 2024.” The shared vehicles — large 10-seat vans — travel a fixed route around the city center lined with historical buildings, making eight trips a day.

As the U.S. newspaper’s article is expected to lead to an increase in the number of tourists, including foreign visitors, the city government hastily decided to introduce the shared-ride taxi service. The operation is outsourced to a local taxi association in the area, and five taxi companies are responsible for operating the service.

The taxis depart from JR Yamaguchi Station and tour an area that boasts many historical buildings, stopping at nine locations along the way. The trip takes about 40 minutes and highlights include the five-story pagoda of Rurikoji Temple and the Old Yamaguchi Feudal Administration Office Gate.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The five-story pagoda of Rurikoji Temple in Yamaguchi (currently under renovation)

The first taxi departs at 8:30 a.m. and the last at 4:45 p.m. Each taxi has a capacity for eight passengers. Fares are ¥200 for adults and ¥100 for elementary school students. One-day passes are also available for ¥500, allowing unlimited rides on all bus routes, including existing community buses.

The taxis are currently operating on a trial basis, and the city will decide whether to continue the service based on ridership.