Bicycles in Japan, the essentials

  • Japan is a country where a lot of people use bicycles to go around. Although Japan has a good public transportation system like subways and buses, most people prefer to bike from one place to another if the distance is not too far for them. Besides saving the cost for transportation, cycling in Japan is also considered fun. Japan has clean air and orderly streets, so people feel more motivated to use bicycle instead of other transportation.

    If you go to Japan, you will see that many bicycles are parked everywhere. From young to old people, everybody likes to ride a bicycle in Japan.

    If you plan to live in Japan in the near future, maybe you will also consider buying a bicycle. The price of bicycles in Japan is normally around 12.000 – 25.000 yen for the regular ones. You have to pay more if you want to buy something more sophisticated. Most of bicycles in Japan have baskets in front that allow people to put their belongings there.

    However, there are certain rules that have to be obeyed if you are biking in Japan.

    • Make sure that you register your bike when you buy it in the police department. So in case it is stolen, it will be easier to trace.
    • You have to bike on the left side. Be mindful whether you can ride your bike on the sidewalk. It depends on a sign.
    • Although most bicycles in Japan have back racks, in some prefectures you are not allowed to give a ride to another person. A fine can be applicable if the police catches you riding with other people on the back. You are, however, allowed to give rides to children under 6 y.o. (please check the rules for your prefecture)
    • Take care and watch pedestrians. You can’t ring your bell impatiently for pedestrians.
    • Always lock your bicycle when you park it and put it in the special bicycle parking place.

    Besides being considered fun, biking in Japan also can be said to be a good thing for people’s health and is environmentally friendly. Maybe the way the Japanese use bicycles can be an example for the other countries.