Traditional baby carriage services have long been popular in Japan and abroad.
But these days, the country is grappling with its own baby carriage boom, which has led to a number of complaints of over-charging.
Baby carriage service provider Mitsuya offers services in the city of Nagoya, the capital of the Kagoshima Prefecture, and in Tokyo.
The company has been running a baby carrier business since 2013.
“Since we started in 2013, we’ve collected around 400,000 baby carriage tickets in our system,” says Mitsuys CEO Shigeki Kajimoto.
This includes tickets from all over Japan, and Mitsuy has been operating in the country for three years.
Mitsuya says its customer base is mainly Japanese and foreigners, and that its clients include both single parents and families with children under six months old.
However, as the baby carriage industry has been booming, so too have complaints of prices that are too high.
Kajimoto says he has seen the price of a ticket jump by over 300 per cent in just three months.
He also points out that Mitsu yas the only service offering baby carriage service in the Osaka prefecture, which is just three minutes’ drive from Nagoya.
When I visited the Nagoya station, I noticed that Mitsubishi Baby Carrier was only offering one ticket for one child, with no guarantee of price, so I turned around and went back home.
A taxi driver from a nearby taxi-hailing app says the prices for a ticket from Osaka are currently over 30,000 yen.
It’s the price that is still a lot more expensive than a taxi service that charges just 25,000 to 50,000, but still reasonable for the size of a family.
If you’re interested in purchasing a baby carriage service, Mitsu’s website says you can book online for your child, or you can call the company at 01-531-5123 to speak to a representative.
You can also book online from Nagayama, or from Nagasaki, or Tokyo.
A more affordable option is a baby taxi service called Tsubasen that runs in Osaka, Tokyo, and Nagoya from just 10,000yen (around $15).
“Our customers include all ages, and the cost is also affordable,” says the company’s co-founder, Shigeru Takahashi.
Takahashi says that the service is only for children between two and six months.