Minato-ku Recycled Bike Lottery, Tokyo

The monthly Minato-ku recycled bike lottery is tomorrow – Sunday, July 10th. If you are in the market for a bicycle for you or someone in the family, I recommend you attend the Recycled Bike Lottery in Minato-Ku, Tokyo. The Lottery is held the second Sunday of each month at a community building in Moto Azabu (港区シルバー人材センター, 2nd Floor,  3-9-6 Moto Azabu, Minato-Ku, Tokyo). If you just want to rent try the community bike system, or if planning to buy how about tips on how to buy an electrically assisted bike.

Minato-ku Recycled Bike Lottery, Tokyo
Recycled Bike Lottery in Minato-Ku

Ever wonder where all the bikes go that get impounded on the street. Well, the ones not claimed by their owners end up at this recycled bike lottery in Minato-ku, Tokyo. About 50-100 adult bikes are offered each month. Most are non-electric shopping bikes, although I have seen some mountain and race bikes. If you attend the lottery and have a number that is chosen than you can buy one of the bikes being offered. The bikes are used but have been repaired by the Silver volunteer bike recycle staff to almost new condition. The bikes are on average 50-80% off retail. The really good ones go fast. I do not recommend bringing young kids; space is tight, and the lottery moves fast. The lottery is not a sure thing. However, if you have time some Sunday a.m., need a bike and want to see if you are luck for a good deal give it a try.

This is how the recycled bike lottery worksRecycled Bike Lottery in Minato-Ku

  1. Show up at the Lottery by 10:20 (starts at 10:30). Bring cash with you, 8,000 – 10,000 is the average price for one bike.
    When you arrive on the 2nd floor work your way to the front of the room and register your name, address and get a number. Hold on to this number.
  2. After registering look at the bikes being offered in the front of the room (not all bikes in the room are offered if not repaired yet) stand in the group of number holders behind some rope. Bikes being offered are usually in two lines and have numbers on them. Note down on your paper which bikes you like. Some hints: Race bikes and mountain bikes go quickly. Bikes with gears go quickly. Bikes that are last-picks usually do not have gears and are pretty basic.
  3. At 10:30 the Silver staff will pull numbers from a Bingo machine. If your number if called go immediately to the bike you want and pull the paper taped to the bike and go the front desk to pay (cash only). If you do not take the paper off the bike, other people with numbers before or after you can take the paper/bike. This lottery is a free for all after your number is called move fast.

The first time I attended the bikes ran out before my number was picked. The second time my number was called, but there was not bike left that I wanted. I would say 30% of people’s numbers get called, but depends on season, weather outside and also the a number of bikes being offered.


Minato-ku Recycled Bike Lottery, Tokyo

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  1. Thanks for posting. Lived in Japan many years and didn’t bother to find out where the thieves sell their loot

    Sounds harsh but Japan city workers collect bikes quite quickly. Reminds me of the movie where human bodies were collected to make Soylent Green

    I will never attend an “auction” cuz i don’t want to buy stolen goods or encourage organized crime

    • Hi David, The lottery that Minato-Ku runs are bikes that have been in the bike pound for over thirty days and not claimed. The Silver group (retirees) services the bikes and sells them at 8,000 – 10,000 yen and services the bikes for free for one year after the lottery. Lots of wins here. Silver group has engaging jobs they enjoy, bikes get a second life and customers can get cheap bikes. Don’t know about other programs in Japan for used bikes but the Minato-Ku one is good!

  2. I live in Minato-ku and I’m hoping to get lucky here!

  3. Hi, can any one tell … whats the next date in 2015 Novermber for this lottery ….

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