While it may not be the biggest or even the most congested of cities, sometimes getting around Nagoya can be a bit of a pain in the backside. Yes, there are bus and subway systems, but it’s no fun getting stuck in traffic, and if you need to make numerous shortstops around the city, it hardly seems worth going underground. Besides, at this time, although the state of emergency has been lifted, you may still feel it prudent to avoid public transport as much as possible.
Well, thank goodness for bicycle sharing!
You have probably seen bicycle-sharing adopted in other cities around the world, the hop on hop off bicycles that, for a small charge using smart technology, you can rent, pick up and drop off at designated ports around the city. Nagoya is relatively late to the party (the first such scheme was in Portsmouth, UK in 1995), but it has finally arrived. Not only that but here the bikes come with a little extra oomph.
Unlike most bicycles in sharing schemes, which are generally heavy, clunky, and quite difficult to ride (as anyone who has used a ‘Boris Bikes’ around London will attest) the Cariteco bikes in the Nagoya scheme are a breeze to use. And no, it’s not just because they are painted red, the color scientifically proven to make cars go faster*, but it is thanks to the fact that they are electrically assisted bikes or e-bikes. This means that even if you aren’t exactly a Chris Froome or a Lance Armstrong, it should be no problem to scoot around town.
For just short hops, bikes can be rented at a cost of 150 JPY for 30 minutes, with a further 100 JPY for each additional 30 minutes. Rentals can be undertaken by becoming a member here and either registering a credit card or your IC card. Once registered, it is a simple case of choosing your pick-up location and away you go. If you wish to use the bicycle for longer periods, a day pass rental can be arranged at convenience stores or online for 1,500 JPY. Please bear in mind, the day pass is not 24 hours, but instead, rental bikes must be returned by 23:59 of the same day.
Cariteco bike ports can be found in many places around the city, They are mostly congregated around the Nagoya Station area, though there are also points around Fushimi and Sakae.
To find your nearest port, check the website here.
For information in English, visit the Docomo website here.
For Nagoya-based information, visit the Cariteco website here (Japanese).
Image: By Mark Guthrie (Own Work)
Images: via https://www.cariteco-bike.com/ – Screengrab
*may not be actually scientifically proven