Recently in japan the number of services that allow you to rent a bicycle are increasing and making it convenient for sightseeing or shopping and It’s very popular.
The bicycle rental services has features such as “bicycle rental”, “rental cycle” and “share cycle”.
We will introduce the features,usage,fees and precautions of rental bicycles that are convenient for traveling in Japan.
What is a rental bicycle ?
Rental bicycle (rental cycle)
Visit the store to rent a bike and return it to the same store when you are done.
Fill out the registry form at the store.
Pay and rent by using cash or credit card
You will need to return the “rental bike” to the same place where you rented it.
Can be used and returned at multiple cycle ports
Can be dropped off different locations.
Register for membership on your smart phone
IC card (Suica or transportation IC card) rental or smartphone rental
“Share cycle” is a service to share your bicycle with other people. Pay only for the time you want to use.
It’s a system that allows you to get on and off the bikes at a parking lot called a “cycle port.
It’s OK to return the bike to a different cycle port than the one first rented.
The term “share cycle” is also called “bike sharing,” “community cycle,” or “cycle share,” but they are all the same service.
Features of the bike rental services
Features of the bike rental services
Available only during business hours.
It costs about 1,000 to 2,000 yen for a few hours to half a day.
Same renting and returning location
Convenient in places where infrastructure is not in place
Prices vary depending on the area and type of bike.
Features of the Share Cycle
Available 24 hours a day.
The fee is 100 yen to 150 yen for 30 minutes.
Renting and returning locations can be the same or different.
Bicycles cannot be left on the street or in unspecified bicycle parking lots
Mainly in metropolitan areas and tourist areas
Share cycles are faster and cheaper than taxis because they are less sensitive to traffic conditions.
Bicycle rental (rental cycle) / share cycle method
Rental bicycles (rental cycle) are rented at the store.
Share cycle you can get on and off at multiple cycle ports (dedicated bicycle parking lot).
You don’t have to return to the bike to the store where you rented but drop it off to any nearby bike port.
All you have to do is to register your membership on your smartphone and swipe your smartphone with cycleport.
Recommended service of sharing cycle
Here is a list of shared bike operators available in Japan.
①Docomo Bike Share
“Docomo Bike Share” is Share cycle service provided by NTT Docomo.
In addition to Tokyo’s 23 wards, there are nationwide ports in Yokohama, Sendai, Nara, Hiroshima and Oita.
If you register a transportation IC card compatible with Felica on your smartphone, you can easily rent it and it is very convenient.
By linking with the route search application “NAVITIME”, you can see the route that combines walking and cycling.
“HELLO CYCLING” is a share cycle service provided by OpenStreet of SoftBank Group.
There are approximately 1,750 stations in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Saitama and Tokyo.
If you register from your smartphone, you can use HELLO CYCLING nationwide.
You can book multiple units at once which is useful for family trips and friends.
“PiPPA” is a share cycle service provided by Ocean Blue Smart Co., Ltd.
The service area is expanding mainly in Tokyo, Kyoto, Miyazaki and the 23 wards of Tokyo.
The lowest price is 100 yen for 30 minutes, but the annual membership fee is 1,000 yen.
The bicycle is not equipped with electric assist, but is equipped with 3rd gear.
“Kogi Kogi” is a share cycle service provided by Kogi Kogi.
There are half-day, one-day and two-day plans and since it specializes in long hours and it is ideal for travel.
* It cannot be used for a short time (30 minutes, 1 hour).
If the ticket is valid, you can freely switch to a power-assisted bicycle.
Tips for sharing cycle in Japan
Select your favorite sharing cycle service and register as a free member from the homepage or app.
Membership registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please fill in the required items and register / Rent !
How to take out the bike
The bicycle is locked, so please enter the 4-digit passcode you entered at the time of booking on the bicycle operation panel.
If you have registered a FeliCa (IC) card such as SUICA or PASMO, you can unlock by simply swiping the card.
When removing the bicycle from the cycle port (exclusive bicycle parking lot), check the battery level.
It is also important to make sure the brakes are fine and tires are inflated.
How to Return the bike
To return the bike, insert the front wheel of the bike into the rack.
When locked manually, “Returned” is displayed on the panel and the reply to the registered email address is completed.
Please note that you will continue to be charged unless the panel shows as “Returned”.
Shared cycle fee
The share cycle price is 100 to 150 yen for 30 minutes.
The charge system varies depending on the share cycle company.
* For details on charges, please check the website of each company.
Shared cycle type
Electric bicycles are mainly used for share cycle bicycles.
Even if you want to use it for a relatively long time, you will not get tired and it is ideal for areas with many slopes.
Can you leave the bike?
If you use a shared cycle, it locks back into the port after use.
You can also return bicycles rented in Shibuya Ward to the cycle port in Shinagawa Ward.
You can cancel using the member menu
* Please see the website of each company for details of cancellation.
There is liability insurance so you can get compensation in case of an accident
*For details on disclaimers (insurance), please check the website of each company.
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Bicycle Utilization Promotion Headquarters
Precautions while driving
The share cycle is very convenient because it saves you the trouble of renting a bicycle parking lot, but be sure to follow the traffic rules.
How to follow Japanese traffic rules
Japanese traffic rules should comply with the revised Road Traffic Law.
Five rules for safe bicycle use
① Bicycles are for main roads other than sidewalks
② On the left side of the road (right side is not allowed)
③ Pedestrians have priority on sidewalks
④ If you are riding a bicycle,ride it near the Road
⑤Observe the safety rules
Bicycle safety on the Metropolitan Police Department website
Luggage and clothing
For casual cycling, wear stretchy casual clothing.
When riding a bicycle, be sure to wear clothing that suits your body as it is easily affected by the wind.
We also recommend sportswear that has a quick-drying deodorant effect that dries sweat quickly.
Compare the cost of shared bicycles and public transportation
Here are a few public transportation day passes.
Share bikes are more convenient for areas not covered by transportation.
By cycling through the city, you can enjoy the new discoveries that differ from cars and trains.
Want to go around Japan in a share cycle?