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Moving 2 Japan


Apr 10, 2007

I am moving to Tokyo from Europe this coming summer, and I need some advice. I will bring my 2 road bikes (and 1 MTB) but would like to know if there are any types of bike equipment or accessories I should bring with me, either because it is too expensive or generally hard to come by in Japan?

Thanks in advance

My list of things.....

I recently moved here as well. For me, I've found that I can find anything here... just took a little time to find a bike shop that I'm comfortable with (regarding prices, service, location, etc...). I was used to buying on the internet in the US (for good prices), but that's not as popular here (not to mention all Japanese) so adjusting to local bike store (LBS) mentality took a bit of time. There a good list of LBS in the "Quick Links" section.

For me, here's what I brought
- Basic tools (you'll end up doing basic repairs on your own - not as easy to drive your bike to LBS and back)
- Basic spare parts (tubes, tires, cables, spokes, chain)
- Extra jersey, shorts, gloves (might take time to find sizes/selection you want)
- Cold weather clothes
- Good lock. Most Japanese apartments/condos want you to keep the bike in the designated bike parking area (often outside). I keep one bike inside. Good peace of mind for the others
- Energy drink powder. If you are used to a particular energy drink, bring lots of it in powder form. They have sports drinks here (i.e, Pocari Sweat), but its primarily to replenish lost minerals.
- Energy bar/gu. Nice thing about Japan is there are convenience stores everywhere to buy food along your ride, but its nice to have some food your are comfortable with.

When I got here, here's what I got
- Floor pump (takes too much effort to refill with hand pump)
- Light weight front and rear light/blinkers - Roads are well lit, but blinkers work well for traffic and for the many tunnels in the mountains.
- Rinko bukuro (train travel bag). Allows you to carry your bike on the train for 260yen almost anywhere. Very nice to have for long trips

Stuff I brought but hardly use
- Mtn bike (at least in the mountains). Its an hr to 2 hr drive/train to get to mtn biking from Tokyo. Mine's become a "poke around town" bike
- High capacity/discharge lights (never in the mountains, and LED blinkers seem to do just fine in the city)
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