February 24, 2015

Cycling to work in Tokyo may do more than just keep you healthy, fit and happy, it also may help you earn a little additional income on the side if our employer isn't smart enough to have a bike to work policy in place.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare 86% of Japanese employers pay the commuting fees of their employees, and as the majority of employees in Tokyo travel to work by train companies usually take the easiest route when it comes to payments and simply deposit the cost of of a monthly commuter pass into the accounts of their employees along with their wages each month.  Bicycle commuters, however, exist in a grey zone. As most companies have no policy surrounding bicycle commuting (other than often trying to ban employees from cycling to work) they continue to deposit commuting allowances into the accounts of those who choose to cycle to work.

So by cycling to work in Japan, you're not just saving money, you're making money. In my case for example, my employer deposits ¥9,660 into my account each month to cover the cost of a commuter pass between my home station and work, yet I choose to cycle, paying just ¥100 per day for bicycle parking. Working on the assumption of 20 work days in a month I will pay ¥2,000 each month for bicycle parking and pocket the remaining ¥7,660. Thank you very much!

Some however have questioned the soundness of my theory when taking into account what they call the "hidden costs" of bicycle commuting, arguing that the cost of maintenance, clothing and equipment will quickly consume any additional income received.  Not surprisingly the people who believe cycling is expensive are recreational rather than utilitarian cyclists as they quote the need for cycling specific clothing and kit that really isn't necessary for the everyday cyclist.


Some of the "hidden costs" raised include:

The Cost of Bicycle Maintenance


Bicycles must be properly maintained in order to be both comfortable and safe. But personally I spend very little each year on maintaining my bicycle, occasionally I'll replace brake pads, or cables, but rarely have to purchase tubes or pay for puncture repairs since fitting a pair of indestructible Schwalbe Puncture Proof tyres to my commuter bicycle.  In fact new tyres are always the most expensive maintenance item on my list, but as they only need replacing every few years the cost isn't that great when averaged out over the length of use. Bicycle maintenance barely makes a dent in my budget.

The Cost of Cycling Clothing


Helmets, gloves, wind shell, thermal underwear, backpacks, and socks were all cited to me as significant hidden costs of bicycle commuting, But when you commute in your work clothes and average out the cost of some winter kit over the lifetime of its use you're really not spending a significant amount each year. The only speciality clothing item I own, that I probably wouldn't otherwise, is a Wind Stopper (Gore Tex) jacket I purchased on sale for less than ¥2,000 well over 10 years ago, everything else I need for cycling to work comes directly from my wardrobe.

The Cost of Consumables


Here is a hidden cost I don't often think about, but one that is certainly a slow drain on my finances, consumables. I'll admit I seem to be constantly replacing batteries in my lights and in the summer I use alcohol wipes to freshen up with when I arrive at work. While they are expenses I would not incur when if commuting by train they are insignificant ones at that.

The Cost of Cycling Insurance


While not necessary, if you're spending a lot of time on the roads of Tokyo on your bicycle it is probably a good idea to have some form of insurance to cover yourself (and a third party) in the unlikely event of an accident. Almost every major insurer in Japan offers cycling insurance and with a number of high profile accidents in the news lately insurers are paying a lot more attention to cycling insurance and competition in the area to offer more for less is heating up. Perhaps the most simple way to purchase cycling insurance is via the Internet or an electronic kiosk at any 7/11 convenience store where cycling insurance can be bought for as little as ¥5,000 per year.

Hidden Transport Costs 


Utilising a commuter pass a round trip to work is ¥483 while to cost of a regular ticket for the same journey is ¥600. Therefore on days when the weather isn't conducive to cycling, days I'm feeling under the weather myself, and days when I plan to have a drink or two after work, I have to pay the full ¥600 ticket price, a significant ¥117 more than the commuter ticket price. Fortunately, unless I'm taking the train an awful lot during the month I don't end up out of pocket and if I believe its going to be a terrible month for cycling (for example during Tokyo's notorious rainy season) I may deem it more economical to purchase a commuter pass and forgo the bicycle until the weather clears up.



While there are expenses related to cycling to work, the expenses encountered by a utilitarian cyclist who rides to work on a modest bicycle while wearing regular clothing are far less than those incurred by recreational cyclists who believe they need special kit to cycle to work. You don't, if you have a bicycle you already have everything you need, all the rest is just marketing hype. If your employer continues to pay you a commuter fee even if you chose to cycle then you'd be crazy not to do the math, because you will be better off financially (not to mention that you'll be healthier, stronger, fitter, and happier too!)

On the other hand, if you're an employer and you continue to pay bicycle commuters a commuting fee based on their train journey then we need to talk about implementing a bike to work policy within your company, as having one will substantial savings, and result in happier, healthier and more productive employees. Trust me, its true.

February 17, 2015

Splish, splash we're takin' a bath on the Night Pedal Cruising Onsen Ride Saturday February 21st!

This month, as we do in February each year we're cycling to Shinagawa where we'll visit the beautiful onsen "Shumizu Yu" to warm our bodies in one of the many hot, hot indoor and outdoor baths.

Riders will gather under the Night Pedal Cruising banner at the Aoyama United Nations University Farmers Market at 5:00pm on Saturday February 21, and will set off at 5:30pm.  We'll cycle a meandering course around the city taking in the sights of the nigh before finishing up at the onsen in in Shinagawa.

To bathe at the onsen or not is completely up to you. But as Shimizu Yu charges just ¥460 for use of the facilities you'd be crazy no to on a cold February night.

A the first man to cycle around the world, Thomas Stevens, noted on his travels in Japan in 1886 (Before he whipped off his trousers and waltzed into the tub):

The Japanese are more addicted to hot water bathing than the people of any other country.

As always dress warm as Night Pedal Cruising rides travel at a leisurely pace, and remember to bring lights, cameras (no nude pictures in the onsen please!) bells, whistles, and any kind of mobile sound system you may have.

For more information visit the Night Pedal Cruising event page.

February 05, 2015

世界有数の巨大都市、東京では、自転車は14%もの交通分担率を得ている。もっと高い数字を自慢できる都市も他には有るが、世界中でも特に大きく人口が密集している都市で、一日の全トリップの14%が自転車で占められているのは本当に凄いことだ。東京はもっと誇って良い。

しかし、 これほど高い数字が有りながら、自転車通勤者の数は少ない。大きな理由は、速くて清潔で効率的な公共交通システムがあり、それが通勤者にとって、他の移動手段よりも都市の足として便利だということだ。西洋では多くの場合、日常生活での自転車利用率は自転車通勤者の数と密接な関係にあるが、東京の場合、企業は従業員の自転車通勤を抑制することに積極的で、自転車の平均トリップ距離は2kmに満たない。

では、 市民の大部分が電車で通勤する都市で、なぜ自転車が盛んに利用されているのだろうか? 日常生活の一体どこでそんなに自転車が使われていて、14%ものトリップ分担率になるのだろうか? 手短かに言えば、東京の自転車利用者は都市近郊地域に集中していて、日常生活に必要な多くの外出を日々自転車でこなしており、自宅の数キロメートル圏内からわざわざ出ることは滅多にないのだ。都心部へ行くなら充実した公共交通があるので、東京の市民が自転車に乗る範囲は、ほぼ完全に、自分が住んでいる地域内に限られる。その理由を理解するには、東京近郊の典型的な地域構造を理解する必要がある。

東京の地域は、小さくて自己完結していた昔の村に似ている。村の中心には鉄道の駅があり、村のあらゆる活動の中心点になっている。住民の大半は鉄道を利用しているので、村に出入りする場合は必ず駅を通ることになる。これにより、駅は近郊地域の中心点になるのだ。東京では一日2千万人の鉄道利用者のうち、20%が自宅から最寄り駅まで自転車に乗っており、自転車利用者の数に応えられるだけの駐輪場を駅周辺に整備することは、地方自治体にとって大きな課題になっている。東京近郊の鉄道駅には駐車場が無いので、残りの80%の乗客は駅まで歩いている。[訳注 駅によっては路線バス利用者が1割ほどを占めている場合がある。]

このように多数の歩行者と自転車利用者が毎日駅に集まってくるので、商人は駅を中心とする円の中や、駅から放射状に延びる通り沿いへの出店に意欲的だ。歩行者の流れの多い場所が儲かると分かっているからだ。こうして、この円形の商業区域にはパン屋、八百屋、肉屋、魚屋、診療所、歯医者、銀行、レストラン、クリーニング店、美容室、スーパーなど、日々の生活に必要な店が全て揃う。

東京西部の仙川駅。駅から半径250mの範囲内に、スーパー、レストラン、診療所、コンビニ、銀行、郵便局、そして小規模な店が多数集まっている。

東京近郊では、地元の商店と自転車利用が共生的な関係にある。小規模な店が密集しており、歩道上への駐輪が容認されていることで、自転車が盛んに利用されている。逆に言えば、多くの人が自転車で、買い物の際に店から店への移動(トリップ・チェイン)を積極的に行なっていることで、小規模な店が栄えている。最近の研究では、自転車利用者の多さと小規模な店の売り上げに直接の関係があることが示されており、世界各国の都市は今、その事実に気付き始めているところだ。

仙川駅から1km以内の居住区域は隣の地区と重なり合っており、住民は「隣村の中心」にも自転車で簡単に行ける。
商業地区の周囲に形成される大きな輪が村の居住区域だ。主に一戸建てやアパートが立ち並ぶ居住区域だが、コンビニや診療所、学校や幼稚園も点在している。運動場や公園は言うまでもない。駅の間隔が短い場合、住民は隣村の中心にも自転車で買い物に行ける場合が多い。歩きでは面倒な距離も自転車のホイールの下ではすぐに流れ去る。

23区の地図に個々の村を中心とする1kmゾーンを描き込むと、東京が自転車に便利な都市であることが明らかになる。個々の地域には便利な公共交通が通っており、2〜3kmを超える移動に使われている。しかし、どの地域も家から最寄り駅や隣の駅までの距離に多数の商店があるので、2〜3km程度の移動なら自転車に勝るものはない。
結論として、東京の村人が日々の生活で必要とするだろうものは全て、家から少し歩いた範囲内、自転車ならもっと短い時間で行ける範囲内に揃っており、最寄り駅の近くや、同じ路線の隣駅の近くで手に入れられる。このようにして、日本の都市近郊は自分では意図もせずに自転車の利用を促進している。徒歩より速く、車より便利、そして自転車で行ける距離にほぼ何でも揃っていることで、自転車は日本の都市近郊で最もよく目にする交通形態になっているのだ。

This article has been translated from the original English version by ろぜつ.

January 28, 2015

The Tour de Holland to Flanders, Belgium, in Tokyo is an annual cycling event hosted by The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, VISITFLANDERS and the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in cooperation with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and he Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium.

Photo by E. Dronkert

On April 12, 2015, participants will gather at the Netherlands Embassy for coffee and a small bite to eat before setting off in small groups from 9:30am on a 13km guided bicycle ride through the streets of Tokyo. The route will take them past many of Tokyo's most well known attractions including Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Palace East Gardens and Tokyo Station before completing their journey at the Belgium Embassy.

After collecting stamps at designated stops along the route participants will have the chance to win tickets for two from Tokyo, Osaka or Fukuoka to Amsterdam flying with ride sponsor KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The Tour de Holland to Flanders, Belgium, in Tokyo was first held in 2013 to increase awareness of Dutch and Belgian cycling cultures in Japan and to encourage bicycle lovers to travel to the two countries, since then it has become an annual event of cultural exchange.

An event for lovers of bicycles bicycle culture this ride presents participants with a wonderful opportunity to meet likeminded cyclists from around the world to share stories and make new friends.

The ride is limited to just 300 participants and costs ¥4,000 for adults and ¥1,000 for children under 15 with pre-registration from February 1st until March 20th via the Sports Entry website.


January 24, 2015

As someone who cycles home in the dark every single workday of the year I'm always on the lookout for a good bicycle light, but bicycle lights can be boring and sometimes I want more than simple functionality, sometimes I want to add some fun to my rides.  Lucky for me MonkeyLetric make such a fun light and they were kind enough to send me their latest light the enticingly named "M204 Bike Wheel Light" for review. With a name like that how could I refuse!

For those of you not "in the know" Monkey Lights are multicoloured led lights mounted to your spokes that produce colourful patterns and even pictures by rapidly switching on and off as your wheel spins.

I've had my eye on the top of the range, 32 LED, M232 MonkeyLight for a long time now but some things have always put me off purchasing one. The first concern I had was how well it would stand up to the elements as my bicycle spends a lot of time parked outside in the weather. I'd hate to buy one only to have it die after a shower of rain.  My second concern was the lights sheer size as I often leave my commuter bicycle in public parking where people tend to be less than careful about knocking over or damaging other peoples bicycles. I could see my lovely new spoke light being destroyed within a few days of use.

Based on these concerns I've always looked upon MonkeyLights from afar with yearning. But all that changed with the release of the M204. Its a full colour, 40 Lumen 4 led spoke light with 5 pre-programmed themes. Much smaller than its cousin the M232, this light mounts between two spokes close to your rim, while he battery pack mounts around your hub.

The installation instructions were easy to follow with clear diagrams and text in 1000 different languages. But even better than the written instructions is an instructional video on YouTube in which a lady with well manicured nails wearing a black dress demonstrates just how easy the Monkey Light is to install. So After viewing the video and doing my nails I slipped into a black dress of my own and set about the task of installing the light. It was hardly a task worthy of getting all dressed up for as it was extremely straightforward and took less than 10 minutes.

The entire contraption is held on the wheel by zip ties. I admittedly had doubts about this, but after almost three months of riding with the MonkeyLight I've not once been the least concerned about the light or battery pack coming loose.



As for performance, its really hard to see the patterns your lights are making as you pedal at speed leaning over your handlebars staring down at your front wheel. (Don't try this at home!) Yet the pointing, comments and shouts from the people I pass by indicate that I've certainly garnered some positive attention. While you may believe that this light improves side visibility only, the 40 lumen LED's are insanely bright, so much so that they project light down to the road 360 degrees around your wheel, not to mention that they are also capable of lighting up the general area around you.  This makes the MonkeyLight M204 more than just a light for showboating fools like myself, but one that is also perfect for the safety conscious showboating fools as well.

In general I've been very pleased with the light over the months I've been using it. It certainly gets plenty of attention and when your aim is to be seen that's exactly what you want. I've been parking in the elements and the wilds of Japanese public bicycle parking and have not had a single problem with the light and to be honest I held off writing this review until I had a chance to the M204 through months of real world cycling.

I give the M204 MonkeyLight many thumbs up an would recommend it to anyone who wants to add some fun to their rides.

January 21, 2015

Under a legal revision to take effect in Japan on June 1 (2015) cyclists who violate the Road Traffic Act or cause accidents may have to undergo retraining. The Cabinet decided on Tuesday to approve the amendment to the road traffic act after an apparent rise in accidents involving cyclists resulting in serious injury and death.

Lawmakers believe the amendment will make roads and sidewalks safer by handing out harsher penalties including on the spot fines and the unusual practise of forcing cyclists charged with two traffic violations within a period of three years to attend a three hour retraining course, the contents of which has yet to be announced.

The National Police Agency say their figures indicate that hundreds of cyclists would meet this criteria each year. They indicate that under the new amendment police officers who witness a traffic violation may stop and deliver a warning to cyclists and if the individual fails to obey a ticket will be issued.

The NPA said that of 10,434 bicycle related accidents in 2003 61 were fatal. In 2013 there was a significant drop in incidents which stood at 8,141 but deaths rose to 93 and it is this that prompted the changes they announced on Tuesday.


Move along nothing to see here. Cycle on as usual, absolutely nothing is about to change.

These announcements are made again and again to no effect other than an initial short lived  burst in police enthusiasm.

Police officers in Japan have always been reluctant to uniformly enforce cycling laws, choosing to do so only after an accident has occurred, or in cases where a cyclist is clearly being an extremely dangerous menace.  Tuesdays announcement made that clear when an NPA official said that cyclists will be penalised for causing an accident while talking on a mobile phone.  The key words in that phrase are "causing an accident". Cycle while looking a your mobile as much as you like, just put it away when an officer goes out of his way to "warn" you and don't cause an accident. In effect its the status quo, very little, if anything changes with this legal amendment.

Besides this obvious fact I have a number of issues with the statement issued on Tuesday, not the least of which is the official belief that harsher penalties will make roads safer. The only thing that will make Japan's roads safer is well planned cycling infrastructure, removing cyclists from the sidewalks and separating them physically from motor vehicles. Harsher penalties will simply reduce cyclist numbers resulting in a larger inactive section of the public developing health problems and putting an even larger strain on the public health system, there I said it.

Speaking of harsher penalties, two offences in 3 years and a cyclist is forced to attend a there hour retraining course? Two motoring offences in three years and the worst you face is a fine. I find it hard to believe police claims that "hundreds of cyclists would meet this criteria each year" and unless police get serious about enforcing cycling laws there will not be enough demand to keep the retraining courses open. Alternatively if police did actually begin penalising every single offence there would be an 18 month waiting list to attend retraining!

Semantically speaking its impossible to send cyclists to retraining courses anyway as they've never been trained in the first place and by not enforcing cycling laws for decades police have handed responsibility for public safety to the public who have developed their own unwritten code around cycling which accepts sidewalk cycling and riding while holding an umbrella.

But please ignore my my concerns, just as these amendments to the Road Traffic Act will be ignored in a mere couple of days time.

Move along, nothing to see here.

January 12, 2015

As a cycling advocate in the city of Tokyo I feel a sense of pride and happiness every time I notice elderly people getting around by bicycle. I love the fact that cycling is such an integral part of peoples lifestyles and that the bicycle plays such an important role in making life easier for everyone, most of all the elderly.
A spritely young lady out doing some shopping by bicycle.

Elderly Japanese who have relied on the bicycle as one of the main forms of transport in their daily lives are reaping a host of rewards some well documented and well known, others more obscure and less tangible.


Physical Health Benefits


By cycling every day, to do the shopping, visit friends, or to the station to venture even further a field, elderly Japanese cyclists are adding years to their lives without even trying because cycling brings with it innumerable health benefits. Cycling is known to increase cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, it reduces body fat, strengthens bones, improves joint mobility and prevents disease.

More specific to the elderly, cycling improves strength, balance and coordination, which helps in preventing falls and fractures. Cycling maintains healthy levels of blood pressure, and being low impact it is the perfect form of exercise for those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Recent studies have shown that regular cycling keeps you younger with researchers from King’s College London and the University of Birmingham discovering that cyclists over the age of 55 "had levels of physiological function that would place them at a much younger age compared to the general population."



Mental Health Benefits


Elderly people who cycle also reap great mental health benefits. Cycling reduces depression, stress and anxiety, not only due to the effects of the exercise, but also from the simple pleasure riding a bicycle can bring.

A recent study by Professor Art Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, concluded that walking or cycling regularly for between six months to a year can improve memory and problem solving skills in the elderly by between 15 and 20 per cent.  The simple act of walking or cycling for up to 45 minutes each day has been shown to increase cognitive function in children and the elderly while regular exercise is seen as essential to combat memory loss in old age.

Japanese bicycle manufacturer Bridgestone make a range of bicycles for the senior market.

Social Benefits


Closely tied to maintaining the mental health of elderly Japanese cyclists are the numerous social benefits that utilitarian cycling bring. Elderly people who cycle are much less likely to be housebound than their non-cycling counterparts, being less dependant on caregivers for transport gives the elderly their independence, the ability to go where they like whenever they like.

Tokyo's small self contained neighbourhoods ensure everything an elderly resident needs for daily life is just a short walk or ride away allowing them to maintain control over their lives, the powerful positive mental benefit of which should not be overlooked. Being able to escape the confines of their homes and travel afar by bicycle presents the elderly with numerous opportunities for social interaction they would otherwise not be exposed to, all of which keep the mind healthy.

Communities in which large numbers of people walk or cycle present even more benefits to the elderly. Pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to assist an elderly person who is in trouble than motorists who choose to simply pass on by detached from their surroundings. Something as simple as a smile, or greeting from a stranger on the street can have an unmeasurable positive effect on a persons well being. Also communities with high levels of street life tend to look out for other members of their community providing the elderly with an extra level of unobtrusive care.

Japan's Yakult, maker of pro biotic drinks, employ over 41,000 women to deliver their products to homes and offices by bicycle each day. As a large percentage of their customers are the elderly living alone, the Yakult ladies perform another important service for the community, that of looking in on the elderly on a regular basis, an important job no government department has been tasked with, nor wants responsibility for. The Yakult ladies on their bicycles know intimate details of the health and well being of their elderly customers, assist them with small tasks, advise them on day to day matters, and perform countless other (unpaid) services unrelated to the company's core business.

As Japan's population ages many municipalities have been tackling the problem of how to keep the elderly engaged with society, creating "Silver Centres" that work to keep the elderly contributing to their local communities in return giving them important social interactions which increase their quality of life. One such program is the Suginami Green Cycle initiative in which elderly residents gather regularly to repair bicycles that have been collected from around the city for resale. For many of Japan's elderly men who slaved unrelentingly through their work years this is the first opportunity they've had to establish real and lasting friendships.


Supporting Elderly Cyclists


It is unquestionable that cycling improves the health and quality of life of the elderly in Japan and this must be supported. Urban designers must work to ensure that the roads, paths and even sidewalks are safe for the elderly to cycle. They must also continue to plan communities in which all life's necessities including supermarkets, schools, community centres, hospitals and clinics are all within easy walking and cycling distance to encourage active modes of transport not only among the elderly, but for us all.
Bridgestone Tricycle for elderly shoppers.
Businesses must provide convenient parking within short walking distances of their stores. Designers of residences for the elderly must provide easily accessible, secure undercover parking with gentle slopes and handrails. Bicycle manufacturers must continue to innovate and develop bicycles targeted towards the elderly market, stable bicycles with low centres of gravity, tricycles with baskets capable of holding a days grocery shopping, and electric assist bicycles will go a long way to ensuring the elderly of Japan continue to cycle and as a result remain both physically and mentally healthy and remain engaged with their communities.

Economically active and healthy cycling seniors place less of a burden on the national health system and as a result the Government of Japan should be encouraging and supporting everyday cycling on the national level as they've been reaping its rewards for decades while contributing next to nothing to safe cycling infrastructure for cyclists both young and old.



In conclusion, elderly Japanese cyclists have enjoyed improved mental and physical health through a lifetime of everyday or utilitarian cycling and it is these health benefits that keep them cycling later into their lives, only to reap even greater health rewards. If you ask the people of Japan why they cycle every day very few would answer that it is for health, environmental, or economic benefits as most cycle because it is the most convenient form of transport available. Therefore we need to raise awareness of the ALL benefits of cycling among the people and policy makers of Japan so they realise cycling as a practise that generally goes unnoticed is providing HUGE benefits for all levels of society and that it must be supported and encouraged.

January 04, 2015

As a visitor to Tokyo renting a bicycle can be a difficult affair. Given the lack of a convenient city wide bicycle sharing system such as London's Barclays Cycle Hire or the extensive Velib network in Paris tourists are often left to on their own to locate bicycle rental services, and the lack of information in English and other languages makes this a daunting task.

Given that bicycle rental businesses in Tokyo appear and disappear at an astonishing rate I have attempted to list some of the longer running, and less likely to go out of business, bicycle rental services below.

Docomo Community Cycle

By far the most extensive bicycle sharing network in Tokyo is the Docomo Community Cycle Sharing network currently in operation in three wards around Tokyo (Koto-Ku, Chiyoda-ku, Minato-ku) but also in Yokohama and Sendai.

Visitors to the city can use the small wheeled electric bicycles by purchasing a one-day pass and bicycles can be returned on any of the numerous ports in each ward.

Docomo Community Cycle operates from three wards in Tokyo, Yokohama and Sendai.

Sharing stations in Koto-ku cover the Tokyo Bay waterfront area of Odaiba, a popular tourist destination with wide easy to cycle paths, and home to some of Tokyo's newest cycling infrastructure.

The Chiyoda-ku bicycle sharing stations are conveniently located around the beautiful Imperial Palace Gardens, near Tokyo Station, and the ever popular Akihabara shopping district while Minato-ku bike share stations cover Shinagawa, Roppongi and popular tourist destinatons such as Tokyo Tower, Roppongi Hill and Tokyp Midtown.


COGICOGI

COGICOGI is a small but well established bicycle sharing system with numerous ports in the Shibuya and Harajuku districts. Recently the service has expanded to cover the Tokyo Skytree area. Membership is required and their small wheeled, electric assist bicycles can be picked up and dropped off at any of the networks bicycle sharing ports. The COGICOGI service operates from 10:00 to 19:00 daily with last rental at 18:00. Membership is required and can be arranged online.

Phone: 080-0170-5959

Extremo Mountain Bike Rentals

Located in Sumida-ku and offering a bicycle delivery and pick up service to hotels within the Yamanote Line Extremo Mountain Bike Rentals rent reliable brand name mountain bikes for ¥3000, per day, ¥1300 per extra day, and ¥9300 for an entire week. Reservations and ID required.

Phone: 03-5610-0638


Rin Project

Rin Project in Taito-ku is a friendly bicycle store that rents exceptionally well loved bicycles to locals and tourists alike, for ¥1080 pre day (plus a ¥540 accident insurance fee). With just 5 bicycles available for hire making a reservation is highly recommended. Opening hours are 11:00 to 18:00 with last rental at 17:00.

Homepage: Rin Project

Rin Project Rental Bicycle

GS Astuto Road Bike Rentals Tokyo

If you're in Tokyo looking to continue your road or triathlon training then look no further then look n further than GS Astuto Road Bike Rentals. GS Astuto have both carbon frame road bicycles and wheel sets for hire. After a recent move GS Astuto is now a 30 minute train ride from Shinjuku station, but this shouldn't phase anyone who doesn't want to interrupt their training while in Japan. Rates available upon request.


Tobu Pro Rental Cycle Asakusabashi

In Asakusabashi short ride from the popular Asakusa Temple District is Tobu Pro Rental Cycle whose friendly staff rent both small wheel and regular size mamachari for just ¥200 per day, plus a one time ¥500 registration fee. Opening hours 07:00 to 20:00.

Renting a bicycle here will put you within easy cycling distance of Asakusa, Ueno, the Sumo Stadium at Ryogoku and even the districts of Marunouchi and Ginza.

I've personally used Tobu Pro Rental Cycle Asakusabashi when organising Tokyo Cycling Infrastructure Tours and highly recommend them due to their flawless customer care and service.
Phone: 03-0866-1818

Katushika Shibamata Tora-san Museum Bicycle Rental

Located conveniently close to the Edogawa cycling road and numerous parks and gardens the Katushika Shibamata Tora-san Museum rents mamachari style bicycles for just ¥400 per day.

Phone: 03-3657-3455

Ward Offices

Tokyo is made up of 23 distinct council controlled regions most of which offer some form of bicycle rental via their City Hall. Information about these services is provided almost exclusively in Japanese via the City Office website, but as reservations are rarely required once you've located the pick up point renting a bicycle is rarely a difficult affair.

Taito-ku Rent-a-Cycle
Open daily from 6:00 until 20:00 at four convenient locations their mamachari style bicycles can b hired for just ¥300 per day.

Phone: 03-5246-1305

Setagaya City Rental Cycle
With 7 convenient port locations around Setagaya-ku, the largest of Tokyo's 23 wards, and a mix of electric assist and conventional bicycles and even bicycles with child seats Setagaya City Rental Cycle has something for everyone.

Phone: 03-3425-7195

Nerima Town Cycle
Nerima Town Cycle has 7 ports located close to major train stations around Nerima-ku and bicycles can be rented for as little as ¥200 per day. Unfortunately in addition to ID th service asks for proof of residence meaning the system is closed to those who do not live in Nerima Ward. I guess they're working on a different definition of bicycle "sharing" than the rest of us.

Phone: 03-5984-1032

Edogawa-ku Rental Cycle
The City owned Edogawa-ku Rental Cycle has mamachari style bicycles available for just ¥210 per day at 11 conveniently located sharing stations, including one close to the scenic Kasai Rinkai Koen and Arakawa River cycling course.

Phone: 03-5662-1997

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