HomeCyclingA Detailed Information On Japanese Bike Tradition

A Detailed Information On Japanese Bike Tradition

A Detailed Information On Japanese Bike Tradition

In case you are on the lookout for a complete information that gives all the required info you want about biking in Japan, right here is one! On this article, you’ll perceive the explanation why there are extra bikes than automobiles in Japan, regardless of being a rustic with many automobile producers; you’ll uncover the most typical kinds of bikes in Japan and be uncovered to Japanese bike expertise, biking legal guidelines, observe biking, and learn how to purchase or promote bikes in Japan.

Why Are Bicycles So Frequent In Japan?

Subsequent to Amsterdam and Denmark, Japan has been acknowledged as a biking nation. Japan is known as a nation of over 100 million cyclists, and its capital metropolis. Tokyo is essentially the most bicycle-dense mega-city in the complete world. It’s reported that 16% of all journeys made in a day in Tokyo are by bicycle.

Bicycles In Maruyama Park

1. There Is Much less Touring Distance 

One of many causes bicycles are widespread in Japan is that many of the errands or locations individuals wish to go are of their neighborhoods. Colleges, supermarkets, hospitals, parks, prepare stations, and so forth. So, it will appear a waste of assets to drive 2 or 5 minutes to the hospital or grocery store close by! Because of this, Japanese neighborhoods are primarily self-sufficient, which means that each one the companies individuals want are proper on their subsequent door.

It makes good sense for residents to cycle not more than 5 to 10 minutes to get to varsities, kindergartens, supermarkets, dentists, and medical doctors. This cuts out pointless long-distance journey; a day by day routine which will have contributed to the higher well-being of the Japanese individuals.

2. They Are Handy 

Regardless of its environment friendly transport system, many Japanese individuals nonetheless resort to driving bicycles to locations like places of work and stations and so forth. It’s because it’s handy and bikes occur to be essentially the most readily usable technique of transportation in case there’s a pure catastrophe. Japan has at all times been affected by earthquakes and typhoons. The variety of bike house owners purportedly enhance after the March 11 earthquake, which crippled the rail system within the area affected.

By the way, many Japanese use their bicycles to enrich public transport, biking from their house to the station.

3. They Assist Keep away from Parking Points 

Proudly owning a motorcycle in Japan absolves you from worrying in regards to the car parking zone, insurance coverage, and upkeep prices related to working a automobile. As a developed nation, you’ll have anticipated to see costly highway, hybrid, and mountain bikes in Japan, however that’s not the case. Nearly all of bikes in Japan are mama-chari—these are just like the household station wagon in Japan.

What’s The Japanese Biking Regulation?

Sidewalk in Tokyo Japan
Sidewalk in Tokyo Japan

From June 1, 2015, the revised Japan’s Highway Visitors Regulation geared toward curbing recklessness amongst bikers or cyclists within the nation turned efficient. The legislation was meant to warn and discourage cyclists from inflicting harmful and even deadly site visitors accidents. Persons are urged to be taught these site visitors guidelines and apply acceptable judgment whereas driving their bicycles on the highway.

The revised legislation classifies 14 acts as reckless biking together with:

  • Restricted to ignoring site visitors lights
  • Failing to cease at intersections the place required, rushing on sidewalks
  • Utilizing bicycles whose brakes don’t perform correctly
  • Driving inebriated
  • Driving whereas utilizing a smartphone
  • Listening to music by way of earphones.

The Penalties 

Any cyclists who break these guidelines will likely be ticketed by the police, ranging from age 14 or older. Any cyclists who’ve acquired two or extra tickets inside three years will likely be required to attend a three-hour security training program. If such a bike owner fails to take action inside three months will lead to a superb of as much as ¥50,000. The protection training program contains assessments on site visitors guidelines, the studying of notes written by victims of biking accidents or their bereaved households, and the viewing of movies of actual bicycle accidents.

What’s The Motive behind These Strict Legal guidelines?

The Japanese Authorities believed that the general public ought to be conscious of site visitors accidents involving bicycles. In 2014, there have been 109,269 accidents involving bicycles; this accounts for about 20 % of all site visitors accidents. There have been a complete of 542 deaths because of the accidents.

In the identical means, the annual variety of deadly accidents involving bicycles however not automobiles and vehicles rose from 51 in 2004 to 82 in 2014. This may increasingly have been as a result of the speed of violations of site visitors guidelines by cyclists is growing and about 7,716 tickets have been issued to cyclists in 2014, a steep rise from 268 in 2006.

Japanese Family

The Final result

It’s good to say that the brand new site visitors legal guidelines have been in a position to avoid wasting lives because the variety of bicycle use is growing together with higher public consciousness of well being and environmental points. There are various packages within the cities and the small cities geared in the direction of making certain that cyclists are protected. As a customer in Japan, you might be anticipated to observe these guidelines. If you happen to don’t have an concept what these guidelines are, ask the corporate you rented your bike from.

Japan’s Evolving Bike Expertise 

Japan’s bike expertise has developed over a protracted interval. You’ll be able to uncover some fascinating bike applied sciences once you go to Japan. Most particularly within the parking of bikes, the restricted house obtainable in lots of cities has compelled many municipalities to undertake underground parking.

As proven beneath, the parking makes it potential for bikers to park their machines underground. Every part is sort of automated, which means you don’t need to descend into the underground parking by your self. All you might want to do is to launch your bike on the entrance of the parking, and a convoluted system of mechanical carriage will transport it to the place it’s to be saved. And you’ll at all times retrieve your bike everytime you wish to. The photographs beneath converse for themselves!


A mechanical service raise brings every bike into a delegated parking house
picture © alastair townsend + kayoko ohtsuki


A person loading the bike into the corresponding loading bay

The operation of this bike parking system is simple. As a result of an IC tag hooked up to the entrance wheel corresponds to the person’s membership card. All you might want to do is load the bike onto the bay and press begin. To retrieve your bike, one swipes their IC card, and the automated system produces the bike and locations it above the bottom in about 8 seconds. This parking system is good and environment friendly for peak and rush hour durations.


left: contained in the high-tech underground parking bay
proper: bike share car parking zone above


‘giken eco cycle’ development
picture © alastair townsend + kayoko ohtsuki


the person cylindrical formed constructions measure 8.5m x 11.6m beneath the road floor
picture © alastair townsend + kayoko ohtsuki


‘giken eco cycle’ development overview
picture © alastair townsend + kayoko ohtsuki

As a rustic that’s consistently subjected to unannounced earthquakes, Japan has devised a technique to protect all of its underground bike parking from pure disasters. As proven within the image beneath, Japan’s earthquake-proof underground bike storage methods deliver the long run to now!



Tokyo And Kyoto Biking

Due to their historic relevance, Tokyo and Kyoto are the 2 important cities vacationers like to trip their bikes in exhilarating discoveries. Kyoto’s historic and cultural treasures have at all times attracted giant numbers of foreigners who wish to join with the historic previous of the nation. However getting across the metropolis by automobile or bus has been problematic for a lot of guests.

Kyoto Cycling
Kyoto Biking

Why Are Bicycles Well-known In Kyoto?

You’re one way or the other restricted, and the subway/prepare stations are distant from most historic websites. There are various one-way streets, and you’ll even uncover that the principle roads are sometimes congested with automobiles and pedestrians. To facilitate going from one sightseeing place to a different, utilizing bicycles comes readily as the most suitable choice. And that is why bicycles are notably well-liked. Evaluating the inhabitants of those cities, after Tokyo and Osaka, Kyoto, with an estimated inhabitants of about 1.5 million to Osaka’s 2.7 million, has extra individuals who commute to their work or college by bicycle than another metropolis within the nation.

Biking Issues In Kyoto

Over-reliance on bikes in Kyoto induced one other main drawback. Using bicycles in Kyoto was for a number of years loosely managed. The parking was random and other people queued up their bikes in unlawful, lengthy rows till they occupied half of the sidewalk. This made pedestrians wrestle for the following slim strolling space.

In all probability in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Kyoto introduced some plans on the finish of March to make town friendlier to cyclists. They count on to spend some huge cash by including bicycle lanes, constructing parking areas, enhancing public data of questions of safety, and dealing with the personal sector to broaden bike excursions. 

Because of this, there’s now licensed parking house for over 54,000 bicycles, the determine is up from about 49,000 in 2010 and 39,000 ten years in the past. To discourage unlawful parking, town cracked down on cyclists parking illegally; town eliminated over 54,600 illegally parked bikes in fiscal 2013.

Kyoto Biking Companies 

For a number of years, some long-term Kyoto expats have taken it upon themselves to supply bicycle excursions of the foremost temples, shrines, and historic websites. Their companies are distinctive as a result of they’re in English; vacationers may get all the knowledge on the place, and learn how to get round Kyoto on two wheels and what parking choices can be found. These expat-floated cyclists are protected and thrive as a result of town is best right now than a few many years in the past in terms of its bicycle coverage. And it’ll get higher as town braces as much as make it a more-cyclist-friendly setting.

Biking In Tokyo 

Not like Kyoto, Tokyo has a number of well-managed biking tour corporations. The wonderful thing about Tokyo roads is that they’ve vast sidewalks the place each pedestrians and cyclists can compete for house. It seems that the bike riders in Tokyo are extra law-abiding. Probably as a result of the police in Tokyo are extra involved about imposing site visitors legal guidelines to forestall site visitors accidents.

Tokyo Biking Excursions 

Listed below are examples of the excursions some biking corporations could provide in Tokyo. It’s essential to verify out of your chosen firm what precisely they’ve in inventory for you. A easy Google search can flip up some fascinating Tokyo biking excursions.

You might be requested, relying on the businesses providing them, to take any of those Tokyo biking excursions:

Group tour: That is often a guided bicycle tour for 4-12 riders in Tokyo led by an assigned native English-speaking information known as “City Tour Information”. This sort of tour is open for all 4 seasons in Japan.

This group tour can lead riders to any of those sightseeing locations in Tokyo:

  • Cultural-historical tour: It will take you to some cultural-historical locations in Tokyo
  • Waterfront tour: You’ll cycle to the waterfront and revel in a ferry trip along with your bike throughout Tokyo Bay.
  • Half-day hybrid tour: this will take you to each the Tokyo cultural-historical locations in addition to the waterfront (Tokyo Bay)

Since most biking by foreigners in Japan takes place in Tokyo, the knowledge offered right here is about shopping for and renting bikes and equipment in Japan’s most lovely metropolis—Tokyo.

Renting A Bike In Tokyo 

As a customer to Tokyo renting a bicycle could be very troublesome. Among the best approaches to discovering the bike of your selection in Japanese cities is to debate it with some Japanese workers at your resort. Some tourist-centered lodges do have their bike-renting companies. 

One other various is that you need to deliver your bike or purchase one whereas in Japan. This may increasingly price loads, however you should have the liberty to trip round. No matter possibility you go for, don’t forget to have a pleasurable trip within the land of the Rising Solar!

Japan Is Additionally A Observe Biking Host!

Japan routinely hosts observe biking. There are Japan Observe Cup 1 and Japan Observe Cup II, which draw cyclists from world wide. The Japan Observe occasions are generally held in different snug places outdoors Japan. For instance, Japan Observe Cup 1 was organized as a part of the Asian Biking Championships in Korat in 2015 and Japan Observe Cup II was held at Izu Velodrome in Shujenzi.

Cycling Japan

Observe biking is a bicycle racing sport that’s usually held on specifically constructed banked tracks often known as velodromes. Observe biking is split into two completely different classes: Dash Race and Endurance Race. Riders will one way or the other fall beneath one among these classes however will be unable to compete within the different class. Usually, Dash races are often between 8 and 10 laps in size whereas Endurance races are held for for much longer distances, and this size varies from 12-16 laps.

The Most Frequent Kind Of Cycle In Japan!



Mamachari is the commonest sort of bicycle in Japan which generally reveals how resilient and highly effective Japanese moms are. Not solely do Japanese moms trip on mama-chari, however you may see them in most Japanese cities and cities carrying masses (baggage, purchasing stuff, and so on) within the entrance basket and youngsters on the seat on the again. 


A few of them even observe the custom of ‘sannin-nori’ – or three-on-a-bike – as they transport their youngsters from side to side colleges. Loads of kindergartens in Japan don’t enable moms to drop off their youngsters by automobile, so these highly effective ‘mama-chariots’ are the one eco-friendly various.

The Japanese Authorities’s new biking legal guidelines ban the sannin-nori tradition, a difficulty that acquired some moms in Japan infuriated. They launched preliminary protests and it was rapidly agreed upon that they might proceed to trip with two youngsters in the event that they have been driving trikes.


How a lot is it to hire a motorcycle in Japan?

It will probably price you round $5-$25 to hire a motorcycle in Japan.

Is it simple to hire bikes in Tokyo?

Sure, bikes can be found to hire in Tokyo at completely different lodges and outlets. 

Ought to I hire a motorcycle in Kyoto?

Sure, however take into account that may be very troublesome to seek out parking in Kyoto. 

Do you want a motorcycle lock in Japan?

Japan has a low crime price however nonetheless, it is suggested to lock your bike. 

Can a vacationer purchase a motorcycle in Japan?

A vacationer should purchase a motorcycle in Japan however you will have a registered tackle or a zairyu card (residence card).

Can two individuals trip a motorcycle in Japan?

No, two individuals can not trip a motorcycle in Japan until one among them is beneath 6 years outdated. 

The place can I park my bike in Japan?

There are devoted parking areas for bicycles in Japan the place you may park your bike. 

Bicycling In Japan For Foreigners- A Guidelines

One of the best ways to get pleasure from your biking expertise in Japan is to ensure you have made some plans beforehand. Make a guidelines of what you might want to do earlier than and after arriving in Japan. Your guidelines could comprise:

  • Making the acceptable reservation earlier than arriving
  • If crucial, get your bike-renting ID earlier than coming to Japan
  • If you happen to may, make a name to the bike rental store and familiarize your self with them
  • Ensure you first check out the bike earlier than renting it
  • Getting your bike insurance coverage
  • Familiarizing your self along with your bike information
  • Having fun with the bike trip and observing all of the site visitors guidelines

If you’ll trip along with your baby on the bike, ensure you know the security procedures in Japan. The explanation why getting bike insurance coverage is important is that in Japan it’s a critical offense to hit or knock somebody down whereas driving a motorcycle. You might be stunned that as an alternative of quietly settling the matter with you, even when the sufferer can converse a smattering of English, the primary individual he/she’s going to name is the police.

You might be required to pay some cash if the damage sustained by your accident sufferer is a bit extreme. This might drain your pockets in case you don’t have an insurance coverage coverage to guard your self. Are you planning to go to Japan? What are your biking plans? Let me know within the feedback beneath

Additionally Learn: 15 Finest Bikes For Heavy Riders 

This text was crafted by Jerry O, Critiques Editor, a seasoned professional, bringing 7 years of expertise and data about all kinds of bikes. Our objective is to offer you correct, dependable, and worthwhile insights that can assist you make knowledgeable choices and improve your biking expertise.

Ought to you will have any questions or require additional clarification on the subject, please be at liberty to attach with our professional creator Jerry O by leaving a remark beneath. We worth your engagement and are right here to help you.

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