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Old 02-19-08, 03:45 PM   #1
vince hilaire
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If anyone has been to Japan...

..I'm cycling from Fukuoka to Osaka next month and have a couple of questions around what to expect:

Do i need London style security on my bike (ie; super strength chains and D locks) or can i leave my bike unlocked or secured with a simple lock/chain to an static object. If i leave panniers on my bike am i likely to find them gone if i pop into a shop etc? I know there are people who steal stuff everywhere in the world and your never safe but whats the real likelihood in Japan? For example in London this would be HIGHLY likely!!

When i arrive in Fukuoka i need to catch the subway. Can i take a bicycle on the subway (it will be bagged)? When i think of the subway i think of London Underground where this sort of thing is not possible.

All help appreciated - i know its a long shot!
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Old 02-19-08, 04:55 PM   #2
Niles H.
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Originally Posted by vince hilaire View Post
..I'm cycling from Fukuoka to Osaka next month and have a couple of questions around what to expect:

Do i need London style security on my bike (ie; super strength chains and D locks) or can i leave my bike unlocked or secured with a simple lock/chain to an static object. If i leave panniers on my bike am i likely to find them gone if i pop into a shop etc? I know there are people who steal stuff everywhere in the world and your never safe but whats the real likelihood in Japan? For example in London this would be HIGHLY likely!!

When i arrive in Fukuoka i need to catch the subway. Can i take a bicycle on the subway (it will be bagged)? When i think of the subway i think of London Underground where this sort of thing is not possible.

All help appreciated - i know its a long shot!
Yes, I've toured in Japan. Some of the most honest, helpful, and hospitable people there -- theft is much less likely than in most other places.

There are two books by Josie Dew about touring in Japan. (I have both of them, and they are full of useful information.)

http://www.amazon.com/Ride-Neon-Sun-.../dp/0751517550

http://www.amazon.com/Sun-My-Eyes-Tw...3461788&sr=1-7

and the Amazon UK versions:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ride-Neon-Su.../dp/0751536849

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sun-My-Eyes-...461888&sr=1-10

Last edited by Niles H.; 02-19-08 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 02-19-08, 05:22 PM   #3
Niles H.
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...If i leave panniers on my bike am i likely to find them gone if i pop into a shop etc?
Much more likely to find someone guarding your stuff.

It's very different from London and NY and most other places.

*******
[It still makes sense to be reasonably precautionary; but the likelihood of problems is far lower.]

Have a wonderful trip, and enjoy your time!

Last edited by Niles H.; 02-19-08 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 02-19-08, 07:10 PM   #4
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I toured Japan a couple of years ago. I wouldn't worry to much about theft. All the bikes I saw in tokyo had wimpy cable locks on them, unlike here in NYC where everyone has a kyptonite chain. I don't think bike theft is a big problem in Japan.

Bringing your bike on the subway could be tough. They let you do it on trains but it has to be bagged. They definitely will not let you slide on this. I'm not sure about the subway, although it is packed during rush hour. Riding a bike around Tokyo is a lot of fun, I would avoid the subway there.
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Old 02-19-08, 11:45 PM   #5
RayB
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You can bag your bike for the trains, and I have also seen people with bagged bikes on the subway also, but very infrequently. Theft, I would not worry so much about it. Still practice security and all, but, a lot less likely than other countries I have lived/toured in. You can free camp almost anywhere, loads of public baths and great people.

I am sure you will have a blast.

Cycling Navigator has some good info.

http://www.japancycling.org/v2/index.shtml
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Old 02-20-08, 01:09 AM   #6
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Good advice from everyone about bagging your bike. And yes, I would really try to avoid rush hour with your bike.

I would bring a decent cable lock and not worry about it. Heck, I tour in America (avoiding the big cities) using a cable lock and never had a problem.

I heard they're getting strict about not parking your bike on the sidewalk in congested areas, especially around the stations. I'd be safe and try to park in the designated areas.

Japan's a wonderful experience! In most cases, cars are pretty respectful of bicyclists. I rode around on a "mama chari" and loved every minute.
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