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Old 02-02-08, 09:56 AM   #1
kmart
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Bike on trains in Tokyo

Hi guys. I'm taking my bike with me to Tokyo for a few months. I think I'm going to put it in a spare box from the LBS and have it FedEx'ed over before I leave. Once it gets there, I'm going to be traveling with it by train from time to time. I've heard people on the internets saying that a rinko bukuro (bike bag) is required for taking bikes on trains in Japan. I couldn't find anything on google when searching for りんこ袋. Anybody know what this is and where to get one?

Does it look anything like this?

Also, would such a bag be sturdy enough for international transit as well?

Performance has a bike bag that is pretty cheap and looks handy except you have to remove the bars. Seems more like an airplane-travel bag than a train-travel bag. How much bike disassembly do these rinko bags require to fit the bike?

Last edited by kmart; 02-02-08 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 02-02-08, 10:21 AM   #2
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What trains are you wanting to take it on? If its subway or local trains, just ride the bike, not the train. Otherwise, youll need the bike in a box or a bag on all trains at all times. They dont care what kind.
You almost def dont want to ship your bike to Japan. Itll cost you half the price of the bike. Take it on the plane for free. If you do ship it, you def want a box or boxes.
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Old 02-02-08, 10:50 AM   #3
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JAL lets you fly with your bike with no extra charge btwn the us and japan. be careful as many airlines now charge for bikes.

try searching "輪行袋" it's "Rinkou" not "Rinko."

I brought my now-gone pista to japan last summer. FORGET about riding train with bikes in Tokyo. It's impossible. I mean, physically impossible. There is no ****ing room even for your backpack on trains. If you are getting out of Tokyo and taking less busy lines, you can put your bike in a bag, and take it with you.

It's very Japanese, but what they need is simply the fact that "bike is in a bag" and it can be poly trash bag, cotton bag, or fancy ones. They don't care. Oh and I think you'll have to take a least front wheel off.

I've heard some sight-seeing-centered lines now allowing cyclist to be on board without bike bags.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:33 PM   #4
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JAL lets you fly with your bike with no extra charge btwn the us and japan. be careful as many airlines now charge for bikes.

try searching "輪行袋" it's "Rinkou" not "Rinko."
How about ANA (run by United) - do they charge for bikes?

Thanks for clearing up the spelling.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:36 PM   #5
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What trains are you wanting to take it on? If its subway or local trains, just ride the bike, not the train.
I should have "around Tokyo". This would be for longer into-the-country excursions (around 富士山、etc). For in city riding, I'll just ride there.

As for taking it on the plane - do they really let passengers take semi-disassembled bikes into the cabin?
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Old 02-02-08, 02:41 PM   #6
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It's very Japanese, but what they need is simply the fact that "bike is in a bag" and it can be poly trash bag, cotton bag, or fancy ones. They don't care. Oh and I think you'll have to take a least front wheel off.
Front wheel off, stem loosened and bars turned to the side is the way I saw most people put them on a train. That's what my foldable Bridgestone does, too. Also, if you're not running clipless pedals, you might want to take those off as well.

I've seen some people get away with just "covers". The bottom wasn't fully closed, but you couldn't see the bike underneath. That would probably only work on subways or local trains. I wouldn't try it on a Shinkansen or something like that.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:43 PM   #7
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How about ANA (run by United) - do they charge for bikes?

Thanks for clearing up the spelling.
ANA is not "run by" United. They code-share, but ANA is very much its own company (thankfully).

In my 4+ years living in Tokyo and surrounding areas, I never once saw a bike on a train. How long are you going to be there? I would suggest leaving your bike at home and just get around using other forms of transport.
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Old 02-02-08, 02:50 PM   #8
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^ 6 months, working full time salaryman-style (yes I realize the term is antiquated...). Hence, I plan to make full use of my bike on the weekends
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Old 02-02-08, 03:33 PM   #9
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Ah, I see. Then it seems worth it.
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Old 02-02-08, 05:50 PM   #10
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I have a rinkou bag (an "Ostrich"). Any of the larger bike shops, any Tokyu Hands, some more general outdoor shops (Mont Bell, etc) will have them for 3-7,ooo yen or so.

I wouldn't want to bring my bike into the train during really busy times, but you can do it. I have used mine to bring my bike to Yokohama from Tokyo on the Toyoko line. Usually I have got off at Nakameguro or Shibuya and built it up to ride home, but once I took it through Shibuya, then Shinjuku, did a small errand, then back on the Keio line to where I live. I generally take off both wheels.

Rinkou bags are great!
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Old 02-02-08, 06:43 PM   #11
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Avoiding busy times is key. I lived on the Toyoko line (Jiyugaoka), and bringing a big bag on the train during morning rush hour is pretty much impossible and any attempts to squeeze in will highly annoy those around you. Local trains tend to be less crowded than express trains. Go during off-peak hours and it shouldn't be too much trouble. Get on the train at either the last or first car and you'll find a nice open space to put something big. There are no seats at the very front of the train and the very end.
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Old 02-02-08, 06:45 PM   #12
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I will try to avoid rush hours, but are things as rushed on the weekends as during the week?

nateintokyo, which one of the Ostrich bags do you use? The ones designed for "racing bikes" seem kind of expensive. The link I posted above for the Performance TransIt bag seems like the same thing but much cheaper.
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Old 02-02-08, 07:31 PM   #13
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Weekends should be fine. The train can get kind of crowded mid to late morning with people heading to shopping areas and such, and late night is kind of a mess, but it should be fine. Do you know where you're staying?
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Old 02-02-08, 09:12 PM   #14
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I'll be in the town of Sagamihara, Kanagawa-ken. Will check the "tokyo" thread for bikeshops and such. Will definitely be on the lookout for a keirin frame as well
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Old 02-02-08, 09:55 PM   #15
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As for taking it on the plane - do they really let passengers take semi-disassembled bikes into the cabin?
No! I think by "take it on the plane" he meant as checked baggage. No airline will let you take a bike into the cabin no matter how much it's disassembled.
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Old 02-02-08, 10:25 PM   #16
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Enough is enough! I have had it with these mother****ing bikes on this mother****ing plane!


sorry, i had to.
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Old 02-03-08, 12:28 AM   #17
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Haha, so much for riding up and down the aisles at 30,000ft...

Anyways, a related question. I've read that you're not allowed to lock up your bike just anywhere in some business districts, but leaving my bike during the day at one of the massive parking lots at the train station seems risky because it will be squeezed into/piled on top of thousands of commuter bikes or possibly "recycled" if it's found that it is not properly registered or expired. How do I avoid this happening to my bike?

http://fiets.seesaa.net/article/57295444.html

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Old 02-03-08, 02:24 AM   #18
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I'll be in the town of Sagamihara, Kanagawa-ken.
Military?
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Old 02-03-08, 05:53 AM   #19
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I don't remember what exact model my bag is (and it doesn't say on the bag), but I got it at Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku and I think it was about 4,000. It is a smaller/lighter one, and requires both wheels off. Not too hard though--after the first two times it was pretty quick. After I got the Ostrich I saw the Mont-Bell ones and thought they looked pretty good too.

As for not getting ganked/ 撤去'd, just don't park near a train station during the day or early evening. If you do, don't put your bike near the shopping bikes, but instead on the street side of railings (and hopefully not get nicked by a car!). I've never had a 'nice' bike removed, only shopping bikes. Part of it is parking habits, and part of it is that the guys load up the bikes that are easiest to get--I've seen them leave bikes attached to immobile objects with pricey locks while the shopping bikes are lift and go.
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Old 02-03-08, 08:29 AM   #20
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Also, you can go to any bike shop and spend 500 and get your bike registered. Sometimes thats not a bad idea. Considering youll be there for half a year, if the cops stop you (and they eventually will believe it or not) itll be a pain in the ass situation if your bike isnt registered.
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Old 02-03-08, 08:41 AM   #21
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Also, you can go to any bike shop and spend 500 and get your bike registered. Sometimes thats not a bad idea. Considering youll be there for half a year, if the cops stop you (and they eventually will believe it or not) itll be a pain in the ass situation if your bike isnt registered.
And when you get it registered, bring some paperwork to show it's yours - receipt, courier bill, customs form, etc.
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Old 02-03-08, 08:56 AM   #22
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And when you get it registered, bring some paperwork to show it's yours - receipt, courier bill, customs form, etc.
You know i had heard that, but i once reg'd a bike without any paperwork at all.
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Old 02-03-08, 09:37 AM   #23
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Guys here buy motorbike covers at the 100YEN MART and use that.....otherwise buy a 6000YEN bike bag.
But yeah, just ride your bike everywhere, unless going long distance. It is much more fun, cheaper, and often quicker too.
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Old 02-03-08, 11:28 PM   #24
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm sure I'll have more gaijin-related questions for you later
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Old 02-03-08, 11:32 PM   #25
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****, i gotta go home for a few. it's getting kinda close, and i'm kinda bummed.
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