Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Commuting by bike in Tokyo

  1. #1

    Default Commuting by bike in Tokyo

    Hi folks, new to the forum... just arrived back in Japan after a few years away.

    So I have my full Japanese motorbike licence (converted my UK licence) and may be starting a new job soon and I'd like to commute by bike. Near my office there's no parking so I was thinking of parking in Roppongi Hills and doing the last mile by Oedo-sen.

    I used to commute daily in London so I'm used to bad traffic and aggressive drivers, but I'm also worried about logistics - e.g. my office doesn't have changing rooms and I think technically biking (and cycling) isn't permitted by the company (something I can't get my head around - how can a company dictate your life outside the office??).

    In general it just seems a real hassle commuting by bike here, compared to London where I could jump on my bike and do door to door with free parking 5 min walk from the office.

    Should I just forget the idea and get on the sardine express like every other salaryman?

    Cheers, Dunedin

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dunedin View Post
    Near my office there's no parking so I was thinking of parking in Roppongi Hills and doing the last mile by Oedo-sen.
    Nicely hiding the bike part of the trip. Parking at the place under the expressway is Y1000 / day (actually at RH is more). There's another down the hill, also under the expressway, that is 800/day. It's often full. In proper local tradition they painted N spaces on the ground and the gate machine counts. "Full" has nothing to do with actual space, they could easily make another 5000/day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dunedin View Post
    my office doesn't have changing rooms and I think technically biking (and cycling) isn't permitted by the company (something I can't get my head around - how can a company dictate your life outside the office??).
    Why would you need to change? I've been riding the bike to work for 10+ years and never needed to change. You need winter kit, summer rain kit and summer nice weather kit. Take it off at the parking place and stuff in the top box.

    Japanese companies just love to micromanage. Helped a bit by the fact that they pay the commute costs and have insurance that covers you during the commute to work. Whatever you do, don't ask in advance. None of the places I commuted to said "no" after the fact, they did forward a form requesting omission from the work insurance plan. Said email was promptly deleted.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    Nicely hiding the bike part of the trip. Parking at the place under the expressway is Y1000 / day (actually at RH is more). There's another down the hill, also under the expressway, that is 800/day. It's often full. In proper local tradition they painted N spaces on the ground and the gate machine counts. "Full" has nothing to do with actual space, they could easily make another 5000/day.

    Why would you need to change? I've been riding the bike to work for 10+ years and never needed to change. You need winter kit, summer rain kit and summer nice weather kit. Take it off at the parking place and stuff in the top box.

    Japanese companies just love to micromanage. Helped a bit by the fact that they pay the commute costs and have insurance that covers you during the commute to work. Whatever you do, don't ask in advance. None of the places I commuted to said "no" after the fact, they did forward a form requesting omission from the work insurance plan. Said email was promptly deleted.
    Thanks, that's really helpful.

    You're right, I don't need to change - I'm used to doing that in London but it can easily be skipped.

    Sadly I asked already... but if I'm hitting the Hills first, it ain't commuting right - perhaps I'm going to the gym before work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Kawasaki
    Posts
    273

    Default

    How far are you traveling? If it's more than 30 minutes then I can't see it being worthwhile in the city unless your trip requires numerous train changes. Maybe you want to have a bike and ride once a week, but if you are going to get on the train anyway it sounds like a lot of effort.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oi oi oi View Post
    How far are you traveling?
    I'd be riding from Setagaya-ku. Yeah I'm having that debate myself. I can't stand the packed trains here - couldn't stand them in London either. I just prefer to ride. You're right though it's probably not the most optimal solution.

  6. #6

    Default

    From Setagaya (I live there too) to the Roppongi area will be either 246 or Meguro-dori, neither of which are pleasant in morning traffic. The train will definitely be faster, even with a couple of changes.

    However, this is one place where a 50cc bike is much better. Both those roads have bus lanes in peak times, and the police just love to ticket anyone driving down them. 50cc bikes are required to stay close to the curb and that in turn gets them an exemption for the bus lanes. Absolutely no way a big bike will be faster. Mind the underpasses though.

    Some years ago one of the magazines ran a test from Yokohama to Tokyo stations using a crotch-rocket sportbike, a large scooter, and a 50cc. To no one's surprise the big bike arrived first. To everyone's surprise the 50cc arrived only 10 minutes later.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rtfm View Post
    From Setagaya (I live there too) to the Roppongi area will be either 246 or Meguro-dori, neither of which are pleasant in morning traffic. The train will definitely be faster, even with a couple...
    Thanks, you guys have been really helpful. Much appreciated. Seems like my commuting plans make little sense. I'll just have to save bike usage for weekends and occasional trips. Oh dear.

    Don't really fancy a 50cc, my last bike in London was an NC700s and was either going to get a sportbike or a crusier like the Yamaha Bolt. Neither ideal commuting bikes but hey ho!

  8. #8

    Default

    I ride on the 246 to a bit past Ropponigi every day. For me it's definitely faster than the train because to the station from my apartment is a 15 minute walk up a big hill.

    Even if it was the same time or even a bit longer I'd probably still prefer it over the Den En Toshi line which I'm guessing you will be riding.

    Why not try it a couple of times and see how you feel? The first day was a bit terrifying, but my home town is a lot smaller than London. No problem at all now.

    Whether it "makes sense" is a very relative thing. And since when did bikes have anything to do with "making sense" anyway? :)

    I say go for it. Just don't steal my parking spot :)

  9. #9

    Default Commuting by bike in Tokyo

    Same rules governing commuting are coming to Europe btw. A law was passed in ghe EU last year which stated that commuting time is officially work time. There companies will start having to manage commutes.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebowski View Post
    Same rules governing commuting are coming to Europe btw. A law was passed in ghe EU last year which stated that commuting time is officially work time. There companies will start having to manage commutes.
    I didnt know that. Pretty insane, nanny state gone mad. Luckily it won't apply to the UK ;)

    Somehow I can't imagine companies in London will start banning cycling or motorbikes. Thousands of people each day commute this way.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lebowski View Post
    Same rules governing commuting are coming to Europe btw. A law was passed in the EU last year which stated that commuting time is officially work time. There companies will start having to manage commutes.
    The unions are going to absolutely love that - if "commuting time is officially work time" then it's officially full-pay time too, and OT is doorstep-to-doorstep.

  12. #12

    Default

    Lebowski, really? That is a huge change.

    My Google skills must be failing me because the closest I could find is this:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34210002

    There was a ruling by the European Court of Justice that "Time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time".

    If I read it correctly, that doesn't apply to commuting office workers.

    I worked for 4 years in a job where I attended appointments at clients' homes and offices. My official hours were 9 AM to 5:30 PM. Appointments were set by my boss. Depending on the distance from our office, the boss would book my first appointment around 9:30 or 10 AM.

    If he had booked appointments at 9 AM, I would have had to arrive at the office at 8 or 8:30 to make appointments on time. And I would have called bullshit on that. In my case, my boss was a decent guy, so it wasn't necessary. But in the court case, it seems like the bosses felt that their workers should be working free overtime. In my case, the work car was at a fixed office, so things were more clear cut. But for workers who don't have a fixed office, and travel to their first appointment from home, the same principle should apply.

    Dunedin, sorry to take your thread off topic..

  13. #13

    Default Commuting by bike in Tokyo

    Sorry, don't know the details, just remember it being discussed on a news program


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •