Buying a Bicycle in Japan

Sep 30, 2013
I'm looking to buy a bicycle from a shop here in Japan.

It's my first time trying to buy one in Japan and I'm not sure how the bicycle shops here work. Do the owners negotiate price with you (i.e.: haggle)? In the U.S., when I've bought a bicycle before, you can usually negotiate price somewhat. Not sure if Japanese stores are the same or if they are firm on price.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.


Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
Depends on the shop, but you can definitely negotiate / swap parts out at the time of purchase to make the bike more suitable for you, etc.

If you let us know where you are located, I am sure you will get some good recommendations of shops to try out.
I've bought several bikes at Shimazaki Cycle in Hachioji, most recently in early October (first time was 15 years ago). It's a small family-run shop and I personally wouldn't think of haggling with them, although they might give you a break if you asked for different parts at the time of purchase. According to my talk with the owner when I picked mine up, they don't like to send bikes by takkyubin due to potential damage and expense, but they're not consistent about it, since they appear to do quite a bit of online sales. They now have a couple of parking spaces for customers coming by car, although they're kind of hard to find the first time. ( SFAIK, language is Japanese only.
If memory serves, I think one of the owners used to be a racer.


May 27, 2009
My favorite LBS is VS-Ticket in Toyocho/Ginza and has been for many years. Not road oriented but knows and rides road himself. I would not generally haggle on price either. May not be the cheapest deal anywhere but you can be sure he will look after anyone who has bought a bike from him. Far superior to the chain stores also in my experience.

Do register. One of my bikes was stolen recently and despite finding the frame for sale on Yahoo Auctions, informing the police who then collected the frame and brought me in to confirm (with many photos) that yes it was mine beyond a shadow, the police so far do not appear to want accept any proof of ownership short of the frame number (in lieu of the registration no.). It seems they will now return the bike to the shop that was selling it (and may or may not have been complicit in the theft). Thank goodness for insurance but I will be registering all future bikes and suggest you do too.
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Maximum Pace
Oct 16, 2014
It seems they will now return the bike to the shop that was selling it (and may or may not have been complicit in the theft)
What is the shop name on Auctions? What insurance did you have? Thanks, but this part of your post scares me.


May 27, 2009
But just to be clear - i have no evidence to suggest that this shop was responsible or in any way involved in the theft.

Insurance is AIU home and contents. Only covers bikes if they are stolen from inside the house or 'under the eaves' All paperwork in Japanese.
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Maximum Pace
Feb 29, 2008
Chofu-shi, Tokyo
If you are interested in a Ritte frame set I can help you out as well - we are the importer/distributor. These are frames only and not full builds, which most people prefer. Please have a look here:

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. We do have some 2014 frames in stock on clearance in size 54.

Likes: Ryano
cmondu said:
I bought my bike on line, I guess they did the registration , it came with a serial number..but it looks pretty bad
Bike frames have engraved (impressed) serial numbers, but if it is registered, it will have a non-removable sticker with a registration number, like the yellow one in the top photograph at 
or this one on mine:

The seal is usually placed on the bicycle's down tube, seat tube or top tube (the instructions I've seen only indicate it's supposed to be a "conspicuous" location), and the color is usually yellow, orange, or silver; I've read that it depends on the year (and place?) of registration. It will have Japanese writing on it indicating the police jurisdiction (prefecture) and possibly other information. For lots of photographs of these stickers see自転車 防犯登録シール&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial&client=firefox-a&channel=nts&gfe_rd=cr&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=ja&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=QWuAVLO3AcPRmwW8uoDoBA#facrc=_&imgdii=GHwuT0qjldToRM:;pBPZO56G7jwMkM;GHwuT0qjldToRM:&imgrc=GHwuT0qjldToRM%3A;tyf6kgKvb1chTM;;;230;180
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