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Category: Japan

More Japanese Cycle Culture

More Japanese Cycle Culture

Although all my coolest cycle-chic photos from Japan have already been posted, I have a few more photos to share with you – I’m especially excited about the ones of an old Bridgestone Cycle rod-brake bike that I’d forgotten all about seeing.
This sign above the sidewalk in Tokyo explains that it’s a multiuse path.
Tokyo, May 21st.
A delivery trailer outside a courier company – the same one that delivered our rented cell phone to our hotel.
You can rent bicycles for use on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo,
so chances are pretty good that this white guy rented his sweet ride.
Rain during the last part of our trip dissuaded us from returning to try this out.
At the Asakusa Kannon Temple in Tokyo.
Notice all the bicycles parked to one side of the intersection!
A lot of the famous neon signs in Shinjuku were still turned off to save electricity at this point.
Parked inside a shop in Hida-Takayama (Gifu prefecture) in the early morning after a rainy day.
The narrow streets of the Edo-period Kami-Sannomachi district before opening time.
Once the shops open, these streets are crowded with pedestrians and bicyclists,
but at this early hour (about 8am) the delivery trucks can have access. May 24th.
By the time we returned, the pretty loop-frame had been moved outside the shop doors.
A narrow alley between houses in a residential district of Hida-Takayama.
I was taking a photo of the shrine, I swear.
This lovely old-timey rod-brake bike was squirrelled away in a storage area in one of the old houses at Hida No Sato, an outdoor architectural museum of mostly Edo-period farmhouses
on the edge of Hida-Takayama.
Bridgestone-stamped plastic (celluloid?) handles with brass caps. As you can see the bars themselves are pretty rusty.
I had to reach over the bike to get this shot of the chainguard. It was definitely not set up as a display.
Even the leather saddle is Bridgestone (Tokyo) branded. I wonder what the top tube is wrapped with?
Headbadge shot. The poor thing could use a good cleaning but I bet it’s still in working condition.
Bridgestone Cycle Co Ltd was started in 1949, so it’s no older than that.
This headbadge is one of the ones in this photo.
Given the crazy humidity and the fires kept inside each building,
it could be that rusty and dusty without being particularly old.
Cars, electric trolleys, pedestrians, and bicycles share a busy intersection on a rainy day in Hiroshima.
Notice the two ladies riding while holding umbrellas. May 27th.
Tokyo Cycle Chic: May 29-31

Tokyo Cycle Chic: May 29-31

By way of comparison with the photos from Kyoto, here are some taken in Tokyo.

You see an incredible number of bicycles on the sidewalks of Tokyo, especially mamachari, but mostly I saw them parked – I suspect because the many overlapping train and subway lines make getting around without a bicycle on public transit a snap. Certainly I didn’t feel as a pedestrian like I was sharing the sidewalk with as many bikes as in Kyoto. (Mind you, I was staying blocks from Shinjuku Station, which about 4 million people a day use, so what I saw in the area surrounding it might not be true in parts without a huge transit hub.)

In Akihabara on the day of a typhoon (May 29th). (Yes, she’s advertising a maid cafe.)
You can’t see any in this shot, but many people have umbrella holders attached to their handlebars here.

All these photos were snapped around the Shinjuku and Yoyogi districts of Tokyo on the mornings of May 30th and 31st:

electric assist and a delivery trailer

scooters and motorcycles are often parked with bicycles – but are strictly for road use

Her chain was yellow too.

markings on the sidewalk bicycle lane, which is used at street crossings and ignored between street crossings
Notice that even salarymen mostly ride on step-through frames.



These were taken from the airport ‘limosine’ bus – finally some shots of the elusive young guys who mix it up with traffic on their sport bikes:

Kyoto Cycle Chic: May 25th

Kyoto Cycle Chic: May 25th

All these photos were taken through a tour bus window in various parts of Kyoto on May 25th.
Unlike Tokyo, Kyoto has only a couple of subway lines and mostly relies upon buses for public transit.
As a result you see bicycles everywhere.
Kyoto Cycle Chic: May 26th

Kyoto Cycle Chic: May 26th

Abici for a designer accessory brand called Felix

All these photos were taken while walking around the area near Karasuma-Dori in central Kyoto on the morning of May 26th. Unless you are in an area where bikes are prohibited, the sidewalks and side streets are chock full of bicycles Рmoving fairly slowly since they need to wind their way past the pedestrians. People (mostly helmetless young men on sport bikes Рthe only guys with helmets wear spandex too) do ride on the road as well, but they zip by too quickly to photograph.