How Suburban Tokyo Promotes Cycling (without even trying)

Despite poor cycling infrastructure 14% of all trips made in Tokyo each day are made by bicycle. What is it about the city's suburbs that make cycling such an attractive transport option?

A Tour of Tokyo's Newest Bicycle Lanes

New bicycle lanes are appearing all over Tokyo, and thats great even if the lanes aren't so great themselves! We cycled as many as we could and here are our observations.

Fitness isn't a goal, it's a side effect

If you or a friend are cycling to get fit and not enjoying it then cycle to the shops instead. Before you know it you'll be fit, car free and better off financially.

How to Turn Your Old Mountain Bike Into a Tidy Commuter

Need a new commuter bike? Maybe not, because with a few cheap and easy modifications you can convert your mountain bike into a lighter faster commuter bicycle. Here's how ...

Japan's National Bicycle Commuting Ban

Strict government regulations and inflexible insurance rules effectively force companies in Japan to ban their employees from cycling to work. It's time for a change.

Cycling My Fuji and Fuji's Five Lakes

Climbing Mt Fuji by bicycle is a ride you have to put on your bucket list. The Pro's do it every year at the Tour of Japan, but us mortals can do it anytime we like.

December 15, 2010

Pilot Bicycle Rental Projects in Saitama and Fujisawa

Beginning in September 2010, bicycle rental projects have been established in the Japanese cities of Saitama and Fujisawa.

As part of a project to promote the use of bicycles and develop a traffic system not centered on automobiles Saitama City conducted a bicycle share experiment in the city between September 25 and October 22. Rental bicycles were made available at various points around the city, which could be used by the public without pre-registration, but pre-registered users were able to use bicycles at a lower rate.

Meanwhile a bicycle sharing project between industry, academia and government was begun in Fujisawa at the beginning of September 2010.

Both projects are part of a larger trend in Japanese cities, including Kyoto, Toyama, and Kanazawa, where rental bicycles are being promoted as a viable alternative to automobiles.

December 14, 2010

Japanese police officer ignores traffic accident to question cyclist

Found on Debito's site this morning, a video showing a cyclist in Japan who has been stopped for a bicycle registration check being questioned by a police officer.  This is not an uncommon occurrence for foreigners in Japan as bicycle registration checks serve as a convenient excuse to stop and question us dangerous foreign criminals.

But on this occasion we hear a traffic accident in the background, and rather than attend the accident the police officer continues to question the cyclist.  At the prompting of the cyclist the police officer eventually calls dispatch and notifies them of the accident then returns to questioning the cyclist rather than attending to the accident to assist any possibly injured people, or even direct traffic around the accident site.

During the confrontation with the officer (in which the cyclist does a good job of standing up for his rights) the cyclist indicates he is filming the incident and will put the video up on the web, to which the police officer essentially responds "go ahead and upload it".

So not to disappoint the officer, the cyclist uploaded the video to YouTube, and I'd like to do my bit to make sure it gets viewed by as wide an audience as possible.

This is Japan where it seems that questioning suspicious foreigners is more important to the police than attending the scene of an accident.  Sometimes foreigners in Japan are overly sensitive about incidents like this which is why I would like to ask:  What would a police officer in your country do in such a situation?