It's getting cooler day by day. How are you doing? Hi, I'm Tsubuto. I'm going to introduce something interesting in Kyoto in this episode too. Do you sometime take a taxi? I often do. If I raise my hand, I can stop a taxi on the street and it can take me anywhere I want to go. It is always easy for me to go around by taxi. If I see a vacant taxi coming towards me soon after I decide to hail one, I cannot help saying "I'm really in luck today!" Furthermore, in Kyoto, you might get lucky twice when taking a taxi. If I say this in English, it is like taxi is lucky on lucky.
Actually, I don't know how to say it in English. But, what makes you feel lucky is when you get on a four-leaf clover Yasaka taxi. To be honest, I haven't seen any of them yet. Do these four-leaf clover taxies really exist? Might someone mistakenly think that they saw a four-leaf clover on the taxi. So, I visited Yasaka taxi company to find out its truth.
Tsubuno, a Kyoto's female character who calls herself a lifetime resident of a geisha district, will tweet local news, which might be only known to local people, from a different point of view.
Head for Yasaka taxi company to find out the truth of four-leaf clover taxies!
Yasaka taxi is one of the taxi companies in Kyoto. The company was established in 1945. Therefore, 2020 will be the 70th anniversary of its establishment. By the way, did you know the meaning of a clover leaf, the company's logo? It means "Safe, comfortable, and trustworthy". Have you ever heard that some of their taxies has a four-leaf clover on their bodies instead of a three-leaf clover?
You usually see their taxies with a three-leaf clover but you can occasionally see those with a four-leaf clover. I have seen them on TV but I haven't seen them running on the streets yet.
"This is the headquarters of Yasaka taxi in Gojomibugawa where I visited this time. Hello, here I come. I would like to see your four-leaf clover taxi."
Finally, I saw a four-leaf clover taxi!
The person I interviewed today is Mr. Haruo Mitsui, a driver of Yasaka taxi. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Wow! Is it a four-leaf clover taxi standing behind him! I cannot believe that it really exists!! I have to make a wish. Well, I want to be a wealthy and more beautiful person, and then.... Sorry, I was beside myself. I'm going to interview Mr. Mitsui right now.
"Mr. Mitsui gave me nice smiles during the interview. I will feel lucky if I get his smile during his taxi drive."
The idea of four-leaf clover taxies was inspired by a customer's feedback.
Mr. Mitsui started driving a four-leaf clover taxi (actually, it's called Yotsuba-no-clover go) five or six years ago. I asked him what inspired the company to start their four-leaf clover taxi service. He said that it was a customer's letter. The letter said that one day when the customer hailed a Yasaka taxi, the customer saw a fallen leaf that was wet with rain at the previous night and was adhered to the three-leaf clover logo of the taxi, which looked the logo turning three into four-leaf clover. After that, the customer had a run of luck for some time. Therefore, the customer requested us to make a four-leaf clover taxi." Mr. Mitsui said, "Only a few our employees knew about the letter at first. When our salesman heard about a four-leaf clover taxi from the other customers, he didn't know how to respond it because he didn't know about the letter." They must have thought a taxi with a fake logo appeared!
"Mr. Mitsui told that the information of their four-leaf clover taxies hasn't been updated on their web site. These taxies are only known to those in the know."
Unfortunately, I missed my great chance to see the four-leaf clover black taxi!
There are currently four four-leaf clover taxies operating. Although we see many Yasaka taxies, only four of them have four-leaf clover logos. I totally understand why I haven't seen one of them yet. Mr. Mitsui said that the four-leaf-clover logos can be found on the roof and the back doors of each taxi. He added, "Only one of the four has colored in black. The black one was parked here but has just left." Oh, no! Actually, I arrived here earlier than my appointment and I walked around to kill time. The black one was very rare because it is only one in the world! It could have waited for me for just a little longer. I really wanted to see it today.
"You see? The logo display on the roof is a four-leaf clover. The display will be something that can help you find a four-leaf clover taxi."
"You can find a four-leaf clover on the both sides of the back door too. For your secret information, the vehicle model of the four: one of them is crown, (This is the black four-leaf clover taxi.), another is comfort, and the rest two are Japan taxi."
A rare card that is only available for those who get on a four-leaf clover taxi!
You will be sure to feel lucky when you get on a four-leaf clover taxi. Furthermore, you can get free lucky gifts from Yasaka taxi: a memorial card for the taxi ride and a four-leaf clover sticker! Mr. Mitsui said that he tried to find a right timing to give passengers these gifts soon after they get on his taxi. Since 80% of the passengers hasn't realized that they were getting on a four-leaf clover taxi, they were usually surprised and were pleased to get these gifts.
"This is the memorial card. On the card, it is written "Hope you will have a good luck" in Japanese. You will feel lucky just by catching a four-leaf clover taxi."
Other types of rare taxies too! Even unexpected encounter!?
The company has received many good news from the passengers on the four-leaf clover taxies, such as passing an exam and being engaged. Mr. Mitsui said, "Many people took photos when I driving a four-leaf clover taxi. I would be grateful if they would hail my taxi to enjoy a ride." Some customers tried hard to find a four-leaf clover taxi only to take a ride on it. Mr. Mitsui gave me new information that the company offers pink three-leaf clover taxi service called Love clover-go too. Is that true? I have never seen them before. He explained that about 20 taxies which the company's female staff members drive will have pink three-leaf clover logos only on February 13 and 14 every year.
"This is a memorial card of Love clover-go. You can receive two pink three-leaf clover stickers too. Sticking them each other together with your loved one will be fun too.
Mr. Mitsui added that there are two-leaf clover taxies too! He said, "Yasaka taxi has been operating two taxies with two-leaf clover logos since 2015 to commemorate Shikinen Sengu Ceremony at Kamigamo Shrine. The number plates of these two taxies are 28-28 associated with two-leaf (In Japanese, two-leaf plants are called "futaba" and the number of 2 and 8 can be pronounced "futa" and "ha" respectively)" I didn't know about these taxies. I wish I could see them too today. He said, "Ah! One of them has just passed by!" What? Please tell me that a little earlier! I missed not only the rare black four-clover taxi but also a two-leaf clover taxi. But, I now know that they really exist.
You can see a lucky taxi when you visit Kyoto.
I asked Mr. Mitsui where these taxies are often seen in Kyoto. He said, "These taxies travel around anywhere in central Kyoto." He once encountered three of the four four-leaf clover taxis at the drop-off point of Kyoto Station since he started driving a four-leaf clover taxi. As he told me that this is a miracle and won't be happened again, I think people who saw this was very, very lucky.
Today, I saw a four-leaf clover taxi for real for the first time. Very lucky. Unfortunately, I missed the black four-leaf clover taxi by a hair. I missed the very rare two-leaf clover taxi passing by either. However, the weather was very fine today. Mr. Mitsui told me a lot of interesting stories. So, I still feel lucky! Please look for a four-leaf clover taxi when you visit Kyoto. Don't forget to enjoy a ride when you find one. That will make your day more fun!
Things that only Kyoto people know No.6
Please pay attention to taxies when you walk around Kyoto. You might receive a good luck from them.