Trivia: Why is Uber not popular in Japan?

May 10, 2021

Q.

Why is Uber not popular in Japan?

A.

While I’m sure many people have heard of the company Uber, in Japan, it is not uncommon to find someone who has never heard of the service.

But…if Uber is so popular in other major cities, why hadn’t it caught on in Japan?

There’s a couple reasons for this:

For starters, Japan already has a very strong public transportation system and taxi system. Taxi services offer their own apps (such as “Furukuru”, an app that helps you flag down taxis), so Uber is facing a lot of competition in Japan.

Second, Japanese people are very cautious and value their personal space. In this culture, sharing a ride with strangers and trusting a driver who is doesn’t need a taxi license and drives his or her own car is not easy. The discomfort makes Japanese people uncertain about using the service.

That said, Uber does exist in Japan and people - mostly foreigners - do use it. Just not nearly as much as other major cities!

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