Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tis the Season to Use Daiko

I mentioned "daiko" in an earlier post, so I thought it might be nice to give TsukuBlog readers some more information about this system.

Daiko (代行) is a special kind of taxi service with two taxi drivers and one car. If you call for a daiko, the two drivers will show up and one of them will drive your car (with you in it) back to your house. The other driver will follow in the taxi. Once you pay the driver of your car (usually not much more than a regular taxi fare), he or she hops into the waiting taxi and the daiko team go on to their next call. It is a perfect arrangement because you can go out drinking and never have to worry about getting your car home.

There are at least 15 daiko companies in Tsukuba, so there is no excuse not to use them! Print out this list and keep it in your wallet so you never have to worry. Also, if you are drinking at a restaurant or bar, they will often be happy to call a daiko company for you, so if you aren't sure of the address, or if you are not confident with your Japanese skills, this is also a good option.

Daiko Companies in Tsukuba

Chuo Daiko: 029-856-1820
Gakuen Unten Daiko Relief: 029-851-2709
Hoyu: 029-839-4554
Ichiban Unten Daiko: 0120-830-866
Jun Daiko: 029-858-2300
Kamon Unten Daiko: 029-857-1004
King Unten Daiko: 0120-973-375(029-859-1222)
Kokusai Unten Daiko: 029-859-0288
Masakazu Daiko: 029-859-5255
Mouse Unten Daiko: 029-839-1236
Nissan Unten Daiko Center: 029-847-6669
Tachibana Unten Daiko: 0120-76-0763
Trend Daiko: 029-838-2288
Tsukuba Unten Daiko Center: 029-857-2655
Yamato Unten Daiko: 0120-45-5646

Daiko companies often give out point cards so you can collect stamps every time you use a certain company. If you collect a certain number of stamps, you can get a discount (of 500 yen or thereabouts). An added advantage of having these stamp cards is that the phone number for the daiko company is on them, so you can keep the card tucked into your wallet and pull it out the next time you and your car need a lift.

Keep in mind that in Japan the legal limit for breath alcohol concentration is 0.15 mg/l breath (reduced from 0.25 mg/l breath in 2002). This is basically equivalent to "zero tolerance". If you drink, don't drive. Walk, take a taxi, stay over at a friend's house, or use the convenient daiko service.

More information on Japan's zero tolerance laws: The new traffic law and reduction of alcohol related fatal crashes in Japan



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