If you have ever wandered the suburbs of a Japanese city you have most likely seen, and inevitably exchanged greetings with, a Yakult Lady delivering probiotic drinks by bicycle.
Travelling by bicycle, always smiling and polite as they pass by, the Yakult Ladies have become a recognisable part of all communities in which they operate. The personal impact of delivering by bicycle brings them much closer to customers and the community than if they delivered exclusively by by car or scooter. Checking in on the well-being of the elderly as the do their rounds, offering counsel and support, the Yakult Ladies offer so many additional benefits to society.
Even if you're not a customer, you will eventually exchange a polite smile, or "konnichi-wa" when a Yakult Lady passes you on her bicycle, which is something you just don't do with the local pizza delivery guy as he darts anonymously down the road on his noisy scooter.
December 14, 2011
Yakult's Bicycle Delivery Ladies, 41,000 Strong
Father of two, husband of one, lover of family, bicycles and running.
Editor, Tokyo By Bike.
Byron Kidd is the editor of the Tokyo By Bike website, writer, experienced urban cyclist, and expert on cycling in the staggering metropolis of Tokyo.
Working with NPO's and cycling activists to improve cycling infrastructure in Japan, Byron also operates internationally via a vast network of renowned urban mobility experts to promote Japanese cycling culture, and demonstrate how everyday cycling can work in megacities around the world. No city is too big for the bicycle.
Day Job, Software Developer.
Writing code and stuff, for games and things.