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  • Cycling in Japan

    Biking is probably one of the better ways to get around in Japan.

    One week after arriving Japan I bought a bicycle equipped with a nifty little bell. I still remember the day, it was Monday… NO, a mesmerizing Monday. I took out my bicycle and headed to explore the nearby places. Few minutes passed, I saw a small river and after 1 long hour of riding along the river I switched to the main road to find some supermarket. I bought some stuffs and decided to return back to my apartment.

    Though it was a lovely day, I came to know many things about riding bicycle which includes

    1. We cannot ring the bell.

    2. Have to ride the bicycle alone the road side (on foot path)

    3. Have to keep cycle papers while riding and

    4. Always keep left.

  • #2
    Yes, I agree that biking is one of the best way to get around Japan but with respect to whether you want to use your bicycle in the road side or road itself, I think that depends on what bike you're using and how fast you go. I think road racers are allowed in the road itself but they need to ride it faster since it'll be dangerous if they're slow. I'm surprised that they keep left though, since my country uses the "keep right" policy. I'm wondering since cycling is one of the most known way to get around Japan, does anyone know if there are bicycle rentals there, four tourist?


    • #3
      tsubaki nakajima Yes! They keep it on left here! There are bicycle rentals nearby almost all tourist spots in most of the cities. There is a very popular app for finding nearest renting spot, too! I have read about it somewhere... I will find out and post it soon here!


      • #4
        Akash Singh Yes! Please do so! Do you know if they need a certain pass so that tourist can use it? Or we can just use it whenever we want?


        • #5
          tsubaki nakajima Hey! I found it. Its called DOCOMO cycle. Here is the link for your reference.

          I have not used this personally as I have my own bicycle. But I think it doesn't have any special requirement even if you are foreign tourist. It does require a local mobile phone number so that you can receive the passcode as an SMS. So, you should buy a cheap pre-paid sim card when you land in Japan. That will help you at many other places too!


          • #6
            Akash Singh Thank you! This helps a lot especially since I don't think its practical to buy a bicycle just for the experience! Really, really thank you!


            • #7
              First, I want to say: cycling in Japan is amazing! I really enjoyed cycling around, and I've done it in more than one city, so I can say that it's a pretty universal thing. My friends went on a sort of cycling holiday recently, and that looked really fun,too. Bicycles have a stand on them and a basket, so you can carry things or have a break from your bicycle without leaning it against anything. It's so convenient!
              However, I should mention that the laws about cycling changed quite recently, and technically it's illegal to ride on the pavement unless there's a cycle path. I think there are still a lot of people who are used to the old way of cycling on the pavement, and to be honest it's a lot easier than riding on the road. You feel less scared about the traffic around you as well! I was really surprised that helmets aren't required, but only children and hard-core cyclists seem to ever wear them in Japan. You definitely ride on the left though - it makes sense as all traffic drives on the left, so it's easy to remember.
              Another reason that Japan is so convenient for cycling is that there are usually a lot of places to store your bicycle. Right in front of supermarkets there's an area just for bicycles. In cities, though, it does cost you to park your bicycle, just like it would a car, and you can't ride your bicycle in certain areas, like shopping areas because there are so many pedestrians.
              One last thing: don't forget to lock your bicycle! Although Japan generally has a low rate of crime, your bicycle can get stolen! It happened to me one day when I forgot to lock my bike, which was really stupid to be honest because the lock is already attached to the wheel.
              But overall, cycling in Japan is great!