July 28, 2008

Info Needed on Japan's Bike Laws

After hearing an alarming story about somebody who ran afoul of an obscure bike law in Japan and was slapped with a ~500 dollar fine, I've been looking for the skinny on what gaijin on bikes need to know to avoid pissing off the cops.

I'm finding very contradictory info on this.

For example....

Bikes must stay on sidewalks OR bikes must stay off sidewalks.
Use of bell is mandatory OR Use of bell is a hell of a fine.

Official sources have been pdf's...in Japanese. My very limited Kanji fu is not up to the task of dealing with bureaucrat-ese

The only thing people agree on is that riding with an open umbrella is a 50,000 yen fine.

Barring a calamity, I'll be in Japan Friday and bicycles are a large part of my cunning plan to avoid going over budget.

Any info from people who actually know would be appreciated.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:40 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 The general rule is to stay off the sidewalks; there are local exceptions. Simplest way to tell is to look at the sign: if the sidewalk sign only has pedestrians, or there is no sign, use the road unless dangerous. If the sign has pedestrians and a bike, go ahead. Also, plan on handling right turns across traffic like a pedestrian.

Drop me a line; would be glad to do what else I can.

Posted by: HC at Tue Jul 29 09:53:03 2008 (3BXdo)

2 Hiya!  I heard about you on Colleen Doran's blog.  Welcome to Japan.  I live up in Tochigi, couple hours out of Tokyo.  There's a small outdoor waterpark up here.  It's not deathly crowded.

At any rate, I'm always excited to meet visitors to Japan!  So, if you would like to, mail me.

Posted by: Jill at Fri Aug 8 02:26:44 2008 (hKM5R)

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