Tokyo by bicycle
26 Apr, 2010
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*.
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 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.
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.
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.