Spring is a great time to get out and take advantage of the lovely weather, and one of the best ways to explore Hiroshima (and get fit at the same time!) is to try the Hiroshima City Rental Cycles known as ‘Peacecle.’
At just 1000 yen (plus tax) per day. it’s amazingly cheap. Best of all there are a number of docking ports scattered throughout the city where you can rent them. And no you don’t have to return the bike to the same place you rented it. How convenient is that?! So familiar, in fact that the familiar red bikes are not only used by tourists but by the locals who want to get from place to place more quickly than walking or using public transport.
The instruction pamphlets are a little confusing as they say you can use your IC card such as ICOCA, yet the online registration says you can only pay by credit card. My advice is to go straight to the Hiroshima City Rental Cycle Office which is located just across the bridge from Hiroshima Station (other locations mapped below!). It will take you just five minutes to fill in a form, pay your money and have the staff show you how to use your bike. And don’t worry, they do speak English!
To operate your bike you simply scan the pass card given to you at the office and then press the power button on the left bike handle. Yes, these bikes are electrically assisted so going up hills is a piece of cake. When parking your bike at any place you want to stop along the way, you lock the rear wheel by pushing the lever down and then turning off the power button again.
Maps are available from the office but of course you can just let your feet (or in this case, wheels) do the walking (riding). A good route is to cycle first to Shukkeien Garden before heading to Hiroshima Castle, the Peace Park and then going along Peace Boulevard to Hijiyama Park and back to the office. Of course this can take you as long as you want with plenty of stops along the way. Have lunch somewhere nice, take some photos and rest awhile or stop in at cute and interesting shops along the way.
Rental time is from 8:30 AM until 9 PM. If you want to return the bikes to the office that’s also possible and if it’s after hours, you can leave your pass card in the box on the door. The One Day Pass Membership is the most popular option for tourists to Hiroshima but as a resident you can also take advantage of the Monthly Membership for just 2160 yen a month. Exploring the city using the Peacecle is a fun activity for the whole family and is a cheap and convenient way to get around town. As one of the few people without a bicycle, I’m seriously considering a monthly membership!
More information on the web at www.docomo-cycle.jp/hiroshima/en