News Letter

News Letter

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Dear Customers & Friends
Hello from Japan. This is Kimono Flea Market ICHROYA's Newsletter No 66.It is getting cooler here, and these days I cannot ride bike in the morning without a sweater or a jacket. Tonight we hear the hustle from neighbourhood.Here in Tondabayashi, autumn festival is going to be held 2 days later. Many 'danjiri', festival floats are drew by young men's association of each town. Here is the photos of Tondabayashi Danjiri Festival. live in the newly made town. Our office is very near the old town, but we are here only 1 year now, and we don't have a chance to draw float or wear happi coat. Maybe I am too old to draw the float, but I am envious of the youth bloc. Festival gives us energy and joy.
Today I would like to write about a taxi company in Kyoto. I heard from our customer that she arranged the taxi for her sudden trip to Kyoto by telephone. She called MK taxi, and arranged for a sudden schedule change. She knows well about MK taxi, and called them. And I couldn't stop writing about this particular taxi company.It is not theme about kimono, but I think it is very interesting story also for you.
I don't know much about taxi in other countries, but when we take taxi we cannot say it does notalways be a satisfactory experience. Sometimes taxi driversrefuse customers because of the short-haul destination, or complain customers or become grumpy for short distance. I understand the driver's displeasure when they get short distance customers after long time waiting at the station or some places. They must earn money for themselves and their families, and they will not be able to earn enough money if they only take short distance customers. But sometimes we must use taxi even if the destination is very near. Sometimes we are in a hurry but do not know the place well. We may be carrying big suitcases. In either case, I always ask drivers whether they would bring me such a short distance before riding the taxi. From my experience approx one fifth of the drivers refuse in a roundabout way.
However, if you are in Kyoto, and able to find heart mark of MK taxi, you never need to ask drivers whether they could take you to short distance. Drivers wear neat uniform with cap( which were designed by Hanae Mori), and are always courteous.They never refuse customers, and never become grumpy even if the destination is very near. All of them behave as if they are outstanding horsemen. In addition some of them speak English for foreign customers ( They say approx 80 drivers speak English ).
MK taxi company is very famous for their consumer-conscious management. In 1972 they declared alternative person priority, because in those days all taxi drivers avoided customers in wheel chairs. Citizen of Kyoto appraised and thanked it, and people recognized the MK's way to serve people.
In 1982 founder filed a complaint to Transport Ministry, because authorities rejected an application of the reduction in their price. At that time taxi fees were fixed in the each area, and last several years taxi fees were raised and raised gradually. And customers were becoming to reduce usage of taxi for their high prices. In 1981 the taxi fees were planned to be raised again, and founder of MK taxi complained that more advance only would reduce the customers more, and finally he was persuaded by Transport Minister. But the next year, the founder's view revealed right. Advance of price reduce customers, and never increased the profit of taxi market. The founder angered and apply the reduction in their price, and his plea was rejected. It was more than 20 years ago, but I remember the case vividly. People astonished that small taxi company bravely fought against authorities, and against others in the same trade. Everyone thought that authorities had the power of life and death of taxi company. But we knew they fought for their customers, and applaused them. In 1985, court decided the case. Everyone (includes attorney of MK) thought MK have no chance of winning, but they WON.Later authority appealed to a higher court, but for the last time authority and MK were reconciled.
I always select MK taxi when I can, and ask drivers why all of them can serve in supreme way. They say they have very strict and precise training before driving a taxi. They had to exercise salute and bow with instructors again and again,at the Kamo River, shrine, street and other public places. They say many applicant quit at that training, because they feel ashamed for it. Especially experienced taxi drivers are said to be difficult to fit in the MK's corporate culture. I think MK hire only the person who has service spirit and find joy to serve people. And the founder seems to treat drivers as potential business person. Are there other taxi companies who send their drivers to foreign countries to learn language like MK?
Here is the English page of MK taxi company.
Of course we would like to become a company like MK taxi company. But we always think we are not enough to serve you enough efficiently. We will continue to try modification of our system and service. We will be able to start new service for the customers in Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Canada within a week. We hope the new service will give you a happier shopping experience.
Today we have listed superb vintage furisode, some kimono, sashiko noragi and others. We are very happy if you could check them. We wish you a nice autumn Sunday!
Ichiro & Yuka WadaKimono Flea Market "ICHIROYA"
e-mail: info@ichiroya.comaddress: Asia-shoji Bldg.301 1841-1 Nishi 1 chome Wakamatsu cho Tondabayashi city Osaka 584-0025 JAPANTEL&FAX ****( international number ) - 81-721-23-5446


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