Japanese Delivery Trucks in Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia

This is a guest post by fellow teacher, traveler, & blogger Douglas Green. We went to the same MA program together in New York. He’s a kindred spirit. I asked him to write an article that would help us feel what everyday life in Russia is like. Douglas went above and beyond, managing to tie in my Japan-themed blog to his own life in Siberia.

Japanese Delivery Trucks in Novosibirsk

If you lift your head up long enough in between watching your step on the uneven in some places post-Soviet era streets of Novosibirsk, Russia, you might be able to spot a truck with the name and logo of a Japanese delivery company. No, I assure you, there isn’t an undersea tunnel, an intra-Earth wormhole, or some special exclusive highway for these Japanese delivery trucks to make deliveries direct from Gunma or Yamanashi Prefecture to 64 Sovetskaya Street here in Novosibirsk.

Yandex Taxi: Russian-Owned Uber

There are also a lot of cars, not only from Japanese manufacturers, but actual Japanese cars from Japan. I got an opportunity to ride in one of these cars. I took an Uber (Yandex) Taxi that was a Nissan Cube. It was a right side drive car, not unusual though the majority of the cars are left side drive ones. The driver was, my guess, a mother as there were toys and a child’s car seat stowed away in the small storage space behind the backseat where I was sitting. The Cube had a built-in GPS system on its dashboard that I guess the driver couldn’t turn off.

As I sat in the back, I was amazed at how the driver could see out of the windshield with one working wiper that needed to be changed months ago through the late fall almost frozen rain. Since I couldn’t see out of the blurry-with-rain water windshield from the backseat, I spent most of the ride watching the GPS screen. According to what I could see on it, the Cube was in the middle of the sea off of the western coast of somewhere in Japan. There were Kanji, other Japanese characters, a bunch of animations, and notices that wouldn’t stop flashing.

Second-hand Japanese Vehicles in Novosibirsk

There is a huge second-hand Japanese car market here in Novosibirsk. From what I can guess, there is also a huge second-hand Japanese small truck market here as well. Included among these Japanese delivery trucks, I’ve seen many Mitsubishi Fusos, very often with the logos and lettering of their previous Japanese company owners as if they were driving down the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway took a left and ended up at Royal Park Mall on Krasny Prospect here in downtown Novosibirsk.

– D. Green

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