The world is increasingly developing, thanks to which means of transportation have also made great progress.

Bicycles remain an extremely popular means of transport.

The news and travel information site Japan Guide has an entire article introducing bicycles in Japan.

Types of bicycles

Bicycles (自転車, jitensha in Japanese) are widely used in Japan by people of all ages and social statuses, from schoolchildren, students, government officials, to grandmothers.

Japanese people cycle for all kinds of reasons – to work, to the market, to take their children to school or simply to enjoy the fresh air.

When you come to Japan, if you pay attention, you will find that rental bicycles are available in many tourist destinations as an interesting option for getting around.

The most popular type of bicycle in Japan and at rental shops are simple ones for everyday use, called mamachari (`mother’s bicycle`).

Bicycle rentals are available at many tourist attractions.

Japan: A story about bicycles and strange rules, buying a used car is more difficult than buying a new house

Bicycle rental shops are often located near train stations.

The majority of bicycles for rent are Mamachari.

Cycling and parking rules

If you travel to Japan, you can enjoy cycling as a great way to explore the Land of the Rising Sun and take in the sights.

– In theory, cyclists must use the street, not the sidewalk (riding on the sidewalk is only for people under 13, people over 70, or disabled people), unless there is a sign stating

– Equally important, regardless of whether you are on the road or sidewalk, keep to the left.

Japan: A story about bicycles and strange rules, buying a used car is more difficult than buying a new house

– Absolutely do not go in the opposite direction.

In many large cities, there are designated bicycle parking lots near stations and shopping malls.

Theft and registration of bicycles

Bicycle theft is not uncommon in Japan.

If you buy a new bike, the registration process will likely be handled by the store, but if you buy a used bike from someone else, you should re-register it in your name at the police station.

There are two ways to register an old bicycle: One is to transfer vehicle ownership.

Japan: A story about bicycles and strange rules, buying a used car is more difficult than buying a new house

*Change of ownership

This is a quicker option: You just need to bring your identification card, registration card of the previous owner, transfer deed, vehicle insurance, and pay an additional 500 yen operating fee.

*Cancel and re-subscribe

Some localities do not allow conversion of registration rights.

The previous owner must present the old identification card and registration card to cancel.

Most bikes come equipped with a basic lock, but a stronger lock is needed if you’re concerned about bike theft.

Japan: A story about bicycles and strange rules, buying a used car is more difficult than buying a new house

The regulations are harsher than riding a motorbike

– If you give someone a ride (and your car is not designed to carry more people), you can be fined up to 20,000 yen (more than 4 million VND).

– You can be fined up to 50,000 yen (more than 10 million VND) if you are caught riding a bicycle while using an umbrella.

– Similarly, the fine is also for using mobile phones or wearing headphones.

– Do not ride bicycles on the sidewalk.

Japan: A story about bicycles and strange rules, buying a used car is more difficult than buying a new house

– Driving under the influence of alcohol can be sentenced to 5 years in prison, along with a fine of up to 1 million yen.

– Failure to install lights on the front of the vehicle, fine 50,000 yen.