Rent an Electric Bike: Cheap Things to do in Tokyo

Grace Buchele Mineta

electric bike rental tour in Tokyo

Transportation in Japan is expensive. Rental cars, trains, and busses can often drain your wallet faster than those rotation sushi places we all seem to love. So what is the alternative if you want to travel around Japan but save on pricey bus and train tickets?

Rent an electric bike.

What is an electric bike?

An electric bike is just like a normal bike… except with a special pedal assist function. They come with a battery on the bike, so that when you press down on the pedal, the bike automatically moves forward. These kinds of bikes are popular among Japanese mothers who have to bike their children to and from school, the grocery store, or the station fairly regularly.

electric bike rental tour in Tokyo

Basically, electric bikes are a fun, eco-friendly way to travel semi-long distances around Japan.

They can hold a charge for at least six hours (depending on how strong you have the electric assist on the bike).

Why should you rent one?

Before you balk at the thought of renting a bike, most bikes rent for between 500yen and 1,000yen for a day. Considering the fact that busses and trains go for 150yen (at least), once you’ve biked to a couple different spots, you’ve already made your money back.

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I like to rent an electric bike once a month or so (weather permitting) to bike around the Shibuya area. It’s a great way to get some exercise, see the sites, and go at my own pace. My electric bike rental place of choice is near the Kasuga Station. It costs 1,000yen for the day for an electric bike.

electric bike rental tour in Tokyo

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Finding a place to rent an electric bike can be complicated. My two favorite guides are:

Rent-A-Bike Japan: Lists the telephone number, website, location, address, hours of operation, and prices for the bikes.

Cycle Tokyo: Lists the location, prices, and websites of different rental places.

Before you rent a bike in Tokyo:

  • Bring your passport or foreigner registration card
  • Get a map of places you want to go (or bring an iPhone or smartphone)
  • Bring layers that can be removed or added on easily

Why should you rent a bike in Tokyo

  1. It’s a fun, engaging way to see the city
  2. It gives you a chance to see “behind the scenes” in Tokyo
  3. You can have a flexible schedule
  4. Great for solo travelers, dates, or groups of friends
  5. More refreshing than stressing over train and bus schedules
  6. Less walking

electric bike rental tour in Tokyo

As I mentioned before, weather permitting, I like to try to rent an electric bike once a month. Electric bikes are better than regular bikes (or at least I think so), because they have the pedal assist function. When you press down on the bike pedal, the bike moves forward automatically.

As a result, you can bike for several miles without a strain on your legs. The charge for an electric bike typically holds for about six hours (depending on what strength you put the bike on).

Written by:
Filed under: Getting around, Transport
Tags: Bicycles, Electric Bike, Rent, Rent A Bike
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7 Responses to “Rent an Electric Bike: Cheap Things to do in Tokyo”

  1. Avatar

    Is parking the bike a problem in the city? Is it ikely to get fine or be stolen?

    • Avatar
      Elizabeth_Pearl March 28, 2014

      same question!!

      • Avatar
        CheapoGreg March 30, 2014

        Around major stations like Shinjuku or Shibuya it can be an issue but there are often designated parking areas where you pay a couple of hundred yen to park. Often these are underground. You can always take a chance. In my experience the trucks that go around collecting illegally parked bicycles usually go around in the morning. Also you’re less likely to get ticketed or have your bike seized on the weekend. The best idea is to ask the place where you rent your bike – they’ll know about this stuff very well.

  2. Avatar
    Windie May 22, 2014

    Can you bring the bike home to your hotel for a few days and then return it with the rental money for the few day duration or do you have to return the bike the day you borrowed it?

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg May 26, 2014

      Sorry, I don’t know of any places that provide overnight rental.

  3. Avatar
    Abdulaziz Alsager October 11, 2015

    I have a 3 yrs old whom I am taking with me to Japan. Is there is a way for him to ride along with us in a special seat or something?

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg October 12, 2015

      They definitely don’t have child seats with these bicycles. Although you see plenty of parents with their kids on bikes, I would hazard a guess that most wouldn’t allow it for liability reasons. For a great guide to cycling in Tokyo, check out Tokyo by Bike ->

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