Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spring Cycling in Tokyo

The weather has been so nice recently, and I really want to get outside (and get more exercise) so I decided to get a new bike! I used to mountain bike when I lived in Northern Japan, but since moving to Tokyo I've only been riding a "mama chari" which translates as "mom's bike" haha. Mama chari are basically just the basic, lame bike that most people ride around Japan. They're cheap and usually have a nice sized basket which is great for grocery shopping. 

Typical mama chari

But this time I wanted something that would be good for long distance travelling, so I went for a hybrid bike. Hybrid bikes are a cross between a road bike, touring bike and a mountain bike, so they seemed to be a good choice for riding around in the city :) 

There are so many beautiful sights to be seen around Tokyo! I can't wait to try it out! Especially looking forward to riding in Odaiba. The ocean view there is just gorgeous~!! I'm thinking that Kichijoji would also be a pretty cool place to ride around in. I've been spending a lot of free time there recently and it's just beautiful

Sunset in Odaiba

Inogashira Park in Kichijoji

Since I'm planning on taking some long trips around the city, I needed something that's both comfortable and durable. But of course I want one that looks cool too!! I tried to keep my budget around the 50,000 yen range (approx $500CAD). After a long 2 days on the internet searching for the perfect bike, I narrowed it down to these two: 

Louis Garneau vs Bianchi

I asked for opinions on Twitter and nearly everyone said to go with the Bianchi, so that's what I did! I agree. I like the sleek style and I think having the suspension is a good idea. Thanks for the input everyone! :) 

Bianchi Cielo 2014 - 55,080yen

It doesn't come with pedals so I have to order those separately. I went with these simple white ones. I'll probably switch the tires to all white ones later on >:)

Grunge pedals - 1,980yen

It should arrive this week!! Can't wait~ I'm thinking about buying a little camera to attach to it so I can make cycling videos, wouldn't that be cool? :)

If you know of any cool cycling spots around Tokyo, please let me know! 


  1. First : go with Garneau ! no specific reason except, just because it's "Quebecois" :)
    second : where is the basket for grocery ?

    1. Haha no basket on this bike, that would kill any possibility of it looking cool xD;;

    2. It's very québecois XD I'm one so lol the only thing I remember is that Garneau was making backpack for school when I was like in first year XD they evolved and do bike now? XD

  2. Random question :) Where does the word chari come from? I thought bike in Japanese is jitensha? :o Japanese never stops to confuse me haha :)

    1. First up the word mamachari is a typical Japanese mash up of the words mama, meaning mother, and chari, a less polite word for bicycle. It exudes an image of nonworking mothers who overstrain their bikes everyday for heavy shopping, overloading with children.The mamachari is a cultural icon, it's the Japanese equivalent of the family station wagon.

    2. Aaa that makes sense, thanks!! :)

  3. Hey, Sharla.
    The bike didn't come with pedals? Is that a common thing in Japan? Seems very odd from a California perspective haha Either way, your choice looks great.

  4. Make sure it doesn't end up in bike jail