Sep 27, 2017
How to find a bicycle in Japan
Coming to Japan for a short or longer time, you will realize that the Japanese transportation system is very good. Always on time and you can go mostly everywhere, but all has its price. Especially the train fee can get very high per month if you are using the train often or changing often between subway and JR trains.
A good alternative if you are living in the center of Tokyo or just for shopping at the supermarket is to use a bicycle. You can save a lot of money and you will also do something for your health (you will also save on the costs for the gym then!).
There are different ways to buy/get a bicycle. Especially if you are in Japan only for a short time it is cheaper to buy a used one. Let´s take a look at the 5 ways to buy a bicycle:
Of course the easiest way is to go to a bicycle shop and buy a brand new bicycle there. Prices are starting from 10,000 yen up to 30,000 yen and more. The store will also do the registration of the bicycle for you (you need to do that in Japan) and often you can go there for some small repairs which they will do for free. Going to a bicycle store is the easiest and also the most expensive way to buy a bicycle in Japan.
If you are ok with a used bicycle you can also check out Craigslist. Many foreigners who just stay a short time in Japan are selling their bicycle there. It is a good opportunity to find a good deal. But be careful when meeting with somebody that it is at a public place. You never know who you will meet. Also make sure that you really get what you wanted, check the bicycle well and also ask for the registration papers, which you need to change them at the police station to your name.
I already bought often something on Craigslist and never had any big trouble.
Second Hand Stores
Big second hand stores in Japan like Off House or Hard Off also sell used bicycles. Prices vary on the condition and type of the bicycle. The good point is that they will also do the registration progress for you. Often those stores have very expensive electric bicycles or sports bicycles for a good deal.
There are also many flea markets or exchange groups on Facebook where you can also look for a good used bicycle deal. It might take a little bit of time to find what you want, but if you are not in a hurry you can make for sure a good deal. Especially at the foreign groups you can find many used bicycles.
Also huge flea markets often have some used bicycles, but it´s more difficult to find them. If you like to bargain, this might be a good choice for you. Don´t forget to ask for the registration papers and make sure that it is working well.
I´ve already bought bicycles for me and my friends at the bicycle store, Craigslist and a second hand store here in Japan. All were in good condition and, especially with the used ones, I got good bargains.
If you are looking for a bicycle in Japan and don´t care whether or not it is new, just try out one of the above ways!
I´m a german girl living in the center of Tokyo. I love traveling (especially hiking), taking photos and handcraft.