Tokyo by bicycle

26 Apr, 2010

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Tokyo has a very easy to use metro system which gets you pretty much everywhere in central Tokyo. It’s quick, efficient and you never have to wait long for the next metro to arrive. But at the same time it’s sometimes smelly, very crowded during rush hour and can get expensive when traveling 2-4 times a day.

When we had to go to school from our Toranomon apartment we got in at Uchisaiwaicho station and got out at Jinbocho station. This was only a short ride but cost 170円 for a single trip. On the way back home *beep* .. 170円 deducted again. Let’s go Harajuku tonight, *beep* 160円. *Yawn*… I’m tired and stuffed from the great food. Kaerimashou! (let’s head back home)… *beep* 160円. So let’s see that’s 640円 for just one day of using the Metro. If we would do this every single day it would costs us 19,800円 per month*.

Suica card

So what other fast and cheap ways of transportation do we have? Owning and driving a car is expensive, by foot is cheap but too slow, bicycle… yeap the best alternative. Taking a quick look on some classified sections on online English Japan Magazines we figured out that bikes are cheap in Japan. Buying a used shopping bike can be done for 3000円 or a nice road bike usually starts at about 10,000円. Since we are going to stay here for some months this is going to be worth the investment!

In the end we bought used bikes at Suginami Green Cycle, this an organization ran by (elderly) bike enthusiasts who recondition abandoned bikes. I got to know of it thanks to the Tokyo by Bike Blog.

In the end I bought 2 bikes, one orange shopping bike (6500円) in great condition for Pui-Yuk as Birthday present. She really wanted a bike with a shopping basket, so here you go.

Pui-Yuk standing on the side of the street with her orange shopping bike

And one road bike (15,000円) for me. These road bikes are pretty much the standard here, you see everyone driving these. But who would abandon such a nice bike.

Remi's road bike with Pui-Yuk in the background

Up to now we have spent every sunny day on the bicycle, driving to Shibuya and Asakusa and it’s great. But we now notice that there are a lot of hills here in Tokyo and driving up those hills can be very exhausting. Next to that, driving on the roads can be somewhat dangerous and driving on the sidewalk annoying with a lot of people walking there. But that’s the trade-off can’t have everything.

*counting there are 30 days in a month and taking 640円 as an average. Knowing that one some days you use more because you travel further or don’t use the metro. But even in weekends you will use it.

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8 Comments to “Tokyo by bicycle”

  1. 26 April, 2010

    Fietsers zijn een gevaar op de stoep in Japan! Wel mooie fietsen =).

  2. 26 April, 2010

    Woooww..die fiets van PY lijkt wel op mijn fiets in shanghai! (zie mijn website)..Die van mij was ook ubercheap..30 euro ofzo..maar ik reed uiteindelijk toch nooit op..veels te lui…en ik ben een slechte fietser!

    Pas jullie wel goed op jezelf! Want je moet steeds op de stoep fietsen volgens mij..

  3. 26 April, 2010

    Nice color… Good choice ;)

  4. KaMing
    26 April, 2010

    Heb je er geen oranje helm bij gekocht?

  5. 26 April, 2010

    Haha tuurlijk geen helm :P

    Nu zijn we ook onderdeel van het gevaar in Tokyo, Yatta! Better be careful.

  6. Manuel
    27 April, 2010

    I’m definitely getting a bike wheb I move to tokyo! I like the metro, but yeah, its freaking expensive man!

    By the way, that means you are going to have to give me the info for that place XD

  7. 27 April, 2010

    Yeap I have a post planned that tells you how to get there, including pictures ;)

  8. Taru
    24 July, 2010

    Hey!

    This is Taru, I met you at the spanish/giajin/nihonjin party last weekend! We were talking about your bikes and the suginami green cykle place. I´m wondering, does Pui-Yuks bike have any gears? There´s one guy in my buylding selling a Mamachari for 7000 Yen, but it´s without gears! :O This seems like a strain to me, so I´d just like to ask you if you have gears on your shopping bike? :)

    I hope that everything´s well with you two!

    //Taru

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