Today I had the pleasure of exploring the wonderland that is Tokyo on a bicycle! Up until now I’ve spent everyday using the extremely time efficient subway system, or walking way too much. When I got offered the project to test Rental Bike Tokyo’s service, I jumped at the opportunity!
It turns out that Tokyo by bicycle is something pretty special. Using the subway, you never really see anything apart from walls, lights and tracks; making for a pretty dull journey. Using a bike, you get a pleasantly eye opening experience where you actually see the surroundings! You have a real chance to take in the people and the little backstreet restaurants, exploring every vein and neuron in the labyrinth of Tokyo’s streets. You can go through the parks rather than under them, enjoying the fresh air and the sound of birds.
Rental Bike Tokyo supplied me with one of their new sleek looking 6 speed bikes. It’s got a clever built in combination lock to block the back wheel from being able to move. There's a pedal powered light on the front in case you’re caught out after dark or just out for an evening ride. I rode back in the dark and it was amazing being channeled down these endless streets of glowing color! There’s a kickstand for when you leave the bike and wander off and a basket on the front for anything you buy and need to carry. The bike was very easy to control with a smooth and comfortable ride.
Each bike you rent is covered under insurance, so if you have any accidents be sure to let them know. You have the option of safety helmets and a few other handy accessories.
Options to customise your experience allow you to rent a bicycle to suit your exact needs. If you need a Pet bottle holder or front basket, just state this when reserving online. If you need Google Maps by your side to navigate you through the streets, a smartphone holder can also be requested for a small additional charge.
Renting one of their bikes is really, very easy:
- Reserve your bike online
- Have it delivered
- Explore Tokyo
- Have it collected again
I found my bike right outside the door to where I was staying, and a little balloon with my name on! Very thoughtful and probably for the best, as I tend to need the obvious pointed out to me! They even included a copy of some cycling laws and a few sweets too for good measure.
Whilst you might see a lot of people just cycle where there's space in Tokyo, expertly weaving around people on the pavement, the cycling law officially states you should ride on the left-hand side of the road. Some pavements also have designated lanes for cyclists, or signs permitting bicycles on certain stretches.
Not only can you feel great about using an environmentally friendly mode of transport, but you can feel great about the price! You can rent a bike from 1,900 yen per day; this is particularly good and works out cheaper if you plan to explore and visit as many areas as you can. I managed to cover a decent 20 miles in half a day, allowing me to really take in what Tokyo has to offer!