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Source: Gaijin Pot
choose your bike in Japan

Japan is a country for people who love bicycles. High gas prices, convenient roads, and safety laws make cycling a cheaper alternative than cars or trains for many people.

Moreover, riding bicycles allows you to explore anything interesting en route and get a more local feel while connecting the major points of interest in any big city or neighborhood.

The question is: Which bicycle is best for you? Choosing a bike can be confusing, but we’ve narrowed it down to what kind of riding you plan to do, your lifestyle and your budget.

How to choose your bike

Photo: iStock/ Ababsolutum
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The most important thing to consider is the purpose of your rides. Are you planning to use your bike only to get to the supermarket or the station? Then perhaps a trusty mama-chari (mom’s bike) is the right bike for you. Regarding your lifestyle, road bikes are a better match if you’re looking to get more fit and cover longer distances.

Next, think about your budget. Second-hand shops in your area or Sayonara sales groups on Facebook might yield something reasonable, but this is usually a hit-or-miss situation. On the other hand, buying brand new gives you the luxury of choice. Mama-charis are the cheapest option, with single-speed bikes starting at ¥20,000. Depending on the brand, road bikes in Japan are around ¥80,000. Some of them are even on par with the price of a motorcycle.

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