How to ride a bicycle?

Welcome in a one of the safest countries of the world.

Come as you are but be an empty glass since there is a lot to pour into it.

Starting with high prices – almost double or triple than the price level of most Western European countries -, over to clear and irrevocable norms, down to ownership for certain activities of a role.

Everyone and everything has its meaning and place. And you, Gaijin, may struggle because you either look through far-reaching binoculars or through a much too short-sighted microscope.

Japanese Bicycle Registration Label

Japanese Bicycle Registration Label

Have you ever used a bicycle?

It’s fairly easy, you just need to bestride the saddle and roll on – for fun or with a clear destination ahead. Nobody bothers you as long as you do not try to play the “catch granny’s purse” game.

Driving a bicycle in Japan can be an act of infringement which may end in prison. In most Western European countries, if you need an alternative means of transport you are free to take a ride on a leased bicycle. Not in Japan, it has to be registered on your name by the police. Depending on the area, where you live it may happen that the police stops you several times even on the shortest trip, for instance from the supermarket to your flat.

No wonder that bicycle rentals cannot be found anywhere in Japan.
Wouldn’t it be a great business opportunity which in turn would push forward the economy a little bit?

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3 Responses to “How to ride a bicycle?”


  1. 1 Troo June 14, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Erm. You can rent bikes in Japan. In Tokyo, http://cycle-tokyo.cycling.jp/ or http://www.tokyorentabike.com/. Many tourist destinations with cycle routes also have bike rental facilities.

    http://www.tokyotopia.com/cycling-in-tokyo.html for further info on Tokyo Cycling.

  2. 2 t4roam June 14, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Troo, thanks a lot for your helpful advice!
    Sometimes one cannot see the wood for the trees.

    I haven’t found any bike rental in Shin-Kawasaki.
    However, if one stays longer than 7 to 14 days and works all day long the purchase of a used bike is a worthwile investment.
    But finding one can be an issue since Japanese people refrain from used things.

  3. 3 Troo June 15, 2010 at 2:42 am

    This might help: http://www.tokyobybike.com/2009/04/buying-second-hand-bicycle-in-tokyo.html – Suginami Green Cycle specialise in second-hand, reconditioned bicycles for very reasonable prices.

    I must say I’ve never found the Japanese to refrain from second-hand goods. Cities are littered with used book stores and used hardware stores (Book-Off and sister store Hard-Off being the most widespread), and I’ve found second-hand goods in Japan to be of exceptional, near-new quality.

    In fact, the Book-Off group of companies now includes Mode-Off for used clothes, Garage-Off for used car parts, Hobby-Off for games and hobby collectibles, and Off-House for just about anything home-related which may include any of the above. You can find a full store list at their website http://www.hardoff.co.jp/index.php

    Good luck 🙂


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