UPDATE* Tokyo Bicycle Law – June 3, 2008 – Tokyo, Japan


Today I woke up to rain outside. Not good, means that I can’t bike to work again.
I heard from my gf that as of June 1, the Bicycle by-laws in Tokyo have changed.
I guess in in effort to increase bicycle (i now hate typing the word bicycle, as it doesnt work my fingers right) manners in Tokyo, they have introduced some new by-laws with fines attached.
not set in stone – but this is what i know:

2人乗り -futari-nori or riding with 2 people – the fine is now 50,000 yen! (500$)

Next up,
Riding with your umbrella
Riding with your Ipod
Riding while using your keitai (cell phone)

all have fines of 20,000 yen (200$) !
I will for sure break 3 out of the 4 by-laws. Riding with keitai is almost as habitual for Japanese (and me too!) as eating or riding the train. Ipod is the only thing getting me going to bike the 4km to work – so I will be breaking those laws. Thank you Steve Jobs. If you are reading please give me an iphone when they come to Japan, and I will promote.

Again like most by-laws in Tokyo, i doubt these will be strongly enforced – we will see.

I got pulled over by a bicycle policemen on the night of June 4th or my way home, he asked me if the bike I was riding was in fact mine. I was listening to my iPod but he didnt say anything about that. So I took the oppotunity to ask him about the laws and whether they will actually enforce them.  He said that most people will get off with warnings, but for repeat offenders, then they will get a fine.  “maybe”

Today was a day I couldnt bike to work, but I still decided to bike the 600 metres to the station – and because of the rain, I need to use my umbrella (that means `danger` according to the new by-law – but I can ride well with one-hand)
but what happened on my way to the station?
no, I didnt fall down, but as I was approaching the station I saw a policeman on his bike riding my way, so I quickly took my umbrella down, exposing me to the rain, getting my suit wet, but smiling as he passed by.
It was all good, but temporary wetness.
Today for some reason I saw everyone walking and nearly no bikes on my way to the station.
I hope the weather clears up (not likely as rainy season is upon us) so I can bike to work.

I ate harami ハラミ for lunch which is the stomach steak of a cow. My meal was 880 Yen (8.80$ about) for rice, miso soup, salad, green tea (awesome on a rainy day). Delicious. I ate at a restaurant on Shinjuku Dori named Hotaru. Hotaru also means firefly, so I wonder if that is what this place means.

1F, 2F, 3F means 1st floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor respectively. What about B1, B2 etc? do you know what they mean?

In Japan it is very uncommon to have basements (maybe spiritual reasons, or earthquake reasons), but when they do, expecially restaurants, they label them Basement1, Basement 2, etc. The restaurant Hotaru was B1.

~ by frischfarms on June 3, 2008.

4 Responses to “UPDATE* Tokyo Bicycle Law – June 3, 2008 – Tokyo, Japan”

  1. Hi gab kun.
    This year, we will have walking on November. One of walking freind will have wedding on Oct. And she said she want to make best condition until Oct. I will tell you the detail when it is getting closer. see you

  2. I think mold prevents basements

  3. Mari,
    I am glad that you will have the walk. Take care and goodluck with your new job!

    Funny! Probably true!

  4. I think riding with an umbrella or cell phone has been illegal for a few years now – although I still have never seen it been enforced, even though as soon as it rains 90% of bikers seem to pull an umbrella out from somewhere…

    The Ipod thing I didnt know about though, so it must be new!

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