Last week an authentically iconic Japanese story was published by The Asahi Shimbun’s Takeho Morita, a media channel in Tokyo. The renting of Japanese cars has been on the rise, but not for the reasons you might think. Many people use their rented vehicles to catch up on some sleep, make business calls, chat with friends, eat their lunch, and do facial exercises supposedly in an effort to reduce the size of their face.
This is according to companies such as Orix Auto, NTT Docomo, and Times24, all of which have a high number of vehicles available to rent throughout various Japanese cities. Although these companies might prefer that their customers use the vehicles for the intended purpose, people tend to use them for other equally important activities. One resident who stays close to Tokyo said, “I rented a car to eat a boxed meal that I bought at a convenience store because I couldn’t find anywhere else to have lunch.”
Catching up on some much needed sleep
For many years now, Japanese corporate culture has been exposed to the phenomenon known as “inemuri”, which basically refers to sleeping at work. A lot of Japanese employees who are dedicated to their jobs work long hours, so taking some time out to nap gives them a bit of a recharge so that they can keep up the quality of their work.
Another worker near the city said, “Usually the only place I can take a nap while visiting my clients is a cybercafe in front of the station, but renting a car to sleep in is just a few hundred yen, almost the same as staying in the cybercafe.”
Going by the article, renting a car for half an hour only costs around 400 yen (a little under $4) and you can use your phone to conveniently hire one any time of the day; a reasonable alternative to paying unnecessary amounts for a room or travelling all the way back home.