Home Society & Culture New Kabuki Stagehand Taxi Service Promises Passengers Super Silent Rides (Video)

New Kabuki Stagehand Taxi Service Promises Passengers Super Silent Rides (Video)

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It’s like the car is driving itself!

Getting stuck in a taxi with an overly chatty driver when all you want to do is relax for a few minutes can be a pretty painful experience. However, the Yokohama-based taxi company Sanwa Kotsu has come up with a new and very unique way to put an end to this pesky problem.

Kuroko Taxi (Kuroko no Takushī)

Called Kuroko Taxi, this new service lets passengers get chauffeured in utter silence by someone dressed exactly like the iconic Japanese theater stagehands from which the service takes its name. Covered in black from head to toe, including a black hood and black cloth covering their faces, Kuroko can be seen in Kabuki doing things like moving scenery and props, and in Bunraku, controlling the puppets. Their almost ninja-like appearance is meant to imply to the audience that they should be ignored and are not actual characters in the story being presented by the actors on stage.

Kneeling in silence as the passenger boards the Kuroko Taxi.

Much like their theatrical counterparts, the Kuroko Taxi drivers do not say a single word as they carry out their duties. When they arrive they get out of the car, and let customers into the vehicle all without making a peep. Once inside the cab, they use a combination of prepared written messages and gestures to determine where the passenger would like to go. And upon arriving at the destination, the taxi automatically announces the fare. In the event that a person unable to speak Japanese boards the Kuroko Taxi, the drivers use Google Translate, thus allowing them to communicate in over 100 languages.

“Hello. Where shall I take you?”

Of course, for safety reasons, the Kuroko take off their face covers. And in the event of an emergency they do break character and speak normally.

The mask comes off.

Currently, the Kuroko Taxi service is only offered via reservation (online form available here). As for price, passengers are charged a 310 yen fee in addition to the normal fee.

Sanwa Kotsu touts their Kuroko Taxi service as great for those who don’t wish to have even the slightest bit of conversation with the driver, individuals who are simply not satisfied by regular taxis, and those who want to take pictures and video for their social media accounts.

It is also worth noting that Kuroko Taxi is far from the first taxi-themed PR stunt that Sanwa Kotsu has come up with. Over the past few years Sanwa Kotsu has offered numerous interesting taxi services, including a “Turtle Taxi” which features a button that when pushed tells the driver to slow down, a “Ghost Spot” taxi tour which took passengers to places that are said to haunted, and a “Yabusame Taxi” which was inspired by horseback archery and allowed passengers to shoot arrows from the window of the taxi.

If you’d like to see a video of a reporter taking a ride in the Kuroko Taxi, then check out the TomoNews Japan video below.

Source: ANN News,    Nico Nico News, Sanwa Kotsu 1, Sagwa Kotsu Press Release
Featured image: Sagwa Kotsu Press Release
Body images: え?無言のタクシー運転手・・・ 新たなサービス始まる(18/03/01) (ANN News)

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