If you are living in or visiting central Tokyo, the Docomo Tokyo bike rental program is a great new solution to getting somewhere fast and cheap while having fun! We use it when our kids’ bikes are in for repairs, and when we have visitors. My airBNB guests love them! The community cycle or “bike sharing” system developed by NTT DoCoMo is currently offered in Chiyoda-Ku, Minato-Ku, Chuo-Ku and Koto-Ku in Tokyo, and nine other areas around Japan.
Tokyo Bike Rental – Fun, Easy and Cheap
If you want to see the night lights of Tokyo Tower or take a ride around the Imperial Palace, using the community cycle is the best way! The bikes have large baskets and electric assistance, so you can enjoy the ride without breaking a sweat. Even for residents, renting a bike could ease the stress of parking and repairs. Grocery shopping is so much easier!
In Tokyo, Chiyoda-Ku, Minato-Ku, Chou-Ku, Koto-Ku all provide the same bike sharing system. The bright red rental bikes are available 24 hours a day at various ports around the city and can be returned to any port in the areas. You will be charged on your renting status listed below.
Note: Koto-Ku does not offer Corporate option
You can map out your route with the port map: port map
In order to rent a bike, you must create an account. A credit card and either a mobile phone or a PC are required to obtain one. The process takes about ten minutes, so it would be a good idea to do this at home before you go get your bike.
You can register for a membership account on the DoCoMo link: http://docomo-cycle.jp (English link)
Keep in mind:
- The rider must be at least 145cm, 57 inches in height
- Bikes do not have children seats, so if you are traveling with children, this would not be a feasible option
- Each rider must have his/her own account, one bike per account
- A foreign phone number can be used to register for an account
- In principle, bikes should be ridden on the road. Not the sidewalks.
- When riding on the sidewalks, ride slowly on the side closest to the road.
- Ride on the left-hand side of the road
Tokyo Bike Rental – Registration process
Select the option for a new membership
Enter the information required
Note: If you are a tourist, enter + country code before your phone number
(eg. +1 90-1234-5678 )
Make corrections if necessary
Fill in your billing information
After you hit submit, you have made an account.
Tokyo Bike Rental – Bike renting process
This page will show up after confirming
Select the port you are closest to, or the port you desire to rent from
(Map is available for checking)
Pick the desired bike at the port
The number of the bike is located on the back fender
(Note: Make sure the power level is high before you rent it, you don’t want the electric assistance to run out of battery during the ride)
You will get a passcode, which serves as a password to enter into the bike
An email of confirmation will also be sent to you. (As of now, the email is still in Japanese)
Tokyo Bike Rental – Getting the bike process
Press start, enter your passcode. The lock will open.
To return your bike, return it to the port. (If there are no available parking spots, the system will detect bikes close to the port too.) Pull down the lock at the back of the bike and press enter. The bike will show “Returned” on the screen and an email will be sent to confirm return.
For information on DoCoMo’s bike sharing outside of Tokyo please visit the following links:
Yokohama: http://docomo-cycle.jp/yokohama/en/ (English link)
Sendai: http://docomo-cycle.jp/sendai/en/ (English link)
Hiroshima: http://docomo-cycle.jp/hiroshima/en/ (English link)
Kanagawa Kensei: http://docomo-cycle.jp/kensei/en/ (English link)
Koshu: http://docomo-cycle.jp/koshu/en/ (English)
(Kobe’s bike sharing system is not set up by DoCoMo)
Most signup pages have English versions.
Tokyo Bike Rental – Fun, Easy and Cheap
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