April: 自転車

“Jitensha” 自転車is the Japanese word for bicycle – which is a very prominent and significant mode of transportation in Japan, compared to the West. Especially when living in or visiting big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, traveling by car is so rare because of the well-developed public transportation system. This is evident in the significant number of large bike parking lots that can be found outside of train stations, all over the country. Bike rentals are available in all Japanese cities, so don’t be afraid to ask your nearest Tourist Office about how to rent a bike during your stay in Japan! The process can be quite simple if you are staying in Tokyo or Kyoto.

That said, most bike rental companies allow you to book your rental online in advance; so we recommend that you do this for short-term stays. For long-term stays in Japan, it is probably best to simply buy a used bike – which typically are, on around 6,ooo yen (or about $60 dollars). This is because there are not many long-term rental options in Japan. A new bike can be anywhere from 15,000 yen to 30,000 yen ($150-300). Upon purchasing a bike, be sure to visit your neighborhood’s “koban” or police station to have it registered. If you are a foreigner, you will need your passport, the address and phone number of your temporary residence to complete this process.

“Traveling By Bike in Japan.” Japan Experience, 27 May 2016, www.japan-experience.com/to-know/visiting-japan/traveling-by-bike-in-japn.