Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jitensha. Japanese bicycles in groups.


The Japanese bicycle can sometimes be seen alone, but more often they will be found in groups. Rental bicycles will often be found in pairs, and it is suspected that romance is the cause.

Actually many tourist towns have bicycles to rent and they are a great way to get around. The above pair who spotted in Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, a particularly good place for cycling as the tourist sites are scattered over the whole town.

Cinco de Mayo 49

These rental bikes in Iwami Ginzan, Japan's newest World heritage Site, come with matching umbrellas, though it is now against the law to cycle while holding an umbrella.


Foreigners riding bicycles will often be stopped by the police. This is not racial profiling, simply responding to common sense as foreigners are the main cause of crime in Japan! These rental bikes in Taisha Town, Izumo, are clearly marked with large numbers therefore informing the police that they are probably ridden by tourists and therefore don't need to be stopped and checked,... just watched carefully. *(see note below)

One Day in Izumo9628

It is commonly believed that japanese bicycles sleep standing up, but as this photo shows they will lay down and take a nap sometimes when in the safety of the group.


Most Japanese bicycles do though sleep standing up, and bicycle capsule hotels can be found at most railway stations.


However, if you want to see really huge herds of japanese bicycles, the place to go is any large shopping mall.

* note: ... sarcasm on my part. The crime rate among foreigners in Japan is slightly less than the crime rate for japanese, but the perception among Japanese, fueled by media, police, and government, is that it is much higher. I conducted an informal survey among Japanese aquaintances and they guessed a foreign crime rate of between 60% to 25%. The actual rate is 2%.

1 comment:

  1. The perception that foreigners are the perpetrators of crime here in Japan is not helped by foreign scofflaws who jaywalk and show a general disrespect for the local customs. ie; a nod or small bow when taking the right of way on a bicycle. We, each one us ex-pats are constant examples of each other and we need always stay mindful of that fact.