I had the great opportunity to meet one of our readers, Martin from Melbourne - owner of a lovely Peugeot bike, and his wife last month here in Copenhagen. He was in Sweden for a couple of months and stopped in CPH on the way home. But not before a quick visit to Tokyo. He sent us a little Tokyo Bicycle Culture Update and thanks for that!
Tokyo and Japan boasts a thriving bike culture. We've blogged about it a few times before and here Martin gives us his POV for your perusal.
In the hustle-and-bustle of the Shibuya district, this woman has plopped her handbag in the rear basket and is commencing an advanced 'right foot on left pedal' move. Nothing your readers should attempt at home... :o)
Yes, despite the humidity and heat they do ride - a lot! This bike parking area in Shibuya (a Tokyo district) is evidence of that...
Asakusa is another Tokyo suburb, quite a relaxed spot, famous for its park, temple and gardens. It retains some of the old low-rise architecture. Some footpaths (sidewalks) in Tokyo had lines or pavers to designate a pedestrian side and a cyclist's side, but a lot of times they just ride on the footpath - though gingerly!
The shot from Asakusa below includes an overhead sign we can assume means 'shared footpath'.
All in all, the city was full of normal people, in suits and ordinary clothes, casually getting around on normal bikes with baskets, rear carriers and loooong mudguards - good for the frequent rains. It seems that even in a megacity there's a natural place for the good old bicycle.
Regards from Melbourne, Martin
Here's some of my own Tokyo Bicycle Shots:
We've posted a number of guest photos of Japanese Cycle Chic over at the Mother of All Cycle Chic blogs, too.
Cycling in Japan is a treat and a fantastic experience. And, like any other healthy, thriving bike culture, no helmets.