CycleKyoto HP LInk

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hip Bike Kyoto

cool kyoto bikeめっちゃ素敵な自転車京都

Two extremely cool middle-aged dudes were deep into an afternoon coffee at Bibliotec, in central Kyoto north of City Hall.

With their gray scarves, bespoke jackets, salt-and-pepper stubble, and high-end bike shoes, they personified a new type of cyclist.

One for whom cost is not an issue. Rather, style is.

The bikes parked in front of the machiya cafe are expensive, finely tuned urban machines.

They are as much of a fashion statement as the clothes the men were wearing.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Bicycle Child Seat Kyoto

child seat kyoto自転車用チャイルドシート

Just south of the Imperial Palace at a children's center, we saw a practical bike seat for children.

The seat was attached to the handlebars, and is for small children. Unlike the the traditional bike seat, which is set on top of the rear wheel - which this bike also had - the smaller seat allows a child to see the world as it passes by. The view from the back is, well, of mom (dad)'s lower back and butt.

It also lets the rider see and talk to the child.

This seat has straps, a small child-friendly bell, and water-proof padding.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ring Lock Kitayama Kyoto

bike lock kyotoリングロック北山京都

At the corner of Kitayama Dori near the city's spectacular orchestra hall, we found this lime green bike.

It was your standard all-purpose bike: no gears, simple basket, and a simple ring lock.

The black lock presents a delicious contrast with the color of the frame. Added to that is the red and plain color of the key insert.



CycleKyoto Home Page


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kyoto Funky Foldable Bike


On the street that follows the JR Saiin Line from Nijo to Enmachi, there is a beauty college.

Young women and men learn the arts of cutting, dyeing, and making a client feel beautiful.

Many of the students commute via bike, and park in a lot under the train tracks.

There were several foldable bikes line up.

The outside bike, pictured above, was pretty zippy: two-toned leather seat, chrome rims, bright white frame.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bike on Roof Kyoto

bike on roof kyoto京都屋根の上にある古い自転車

On the roof of a bike shop in downtown Kyoto is a wonderful old rusting bike.

The saddle, somehow, retains a turquoise color.

In wonderful contrast is the reddish-brown rust on the rims and parts of the frame.

Below this is old-timey bike shop.

A bit south of the Manga Museum.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Friday, November 19, 2010

Woman on Foldable Bike Kyoto

Woman on foldable bike Kyoto折り畳み自転車に乗り携帯でしゃべた京女

On a corner not far from Nijo Castle - and the side route up to Enmachi - a young woman straddled her foldable bike.

These bikes are especially popular with the college set.

More and more one sees cyclists lugging them up subway exits and 1-2-3 putting them back together - and then zipping off.



CycleKyoto Home Page


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cycling to Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art自転車で京都市美術館へ

One of Kyoto's great attractions is the city's Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art.

It is a big old musty brick pile built in the 1930s that once a year or so gets one of the big ticket exhibits.

Located in Okazaki, it is close to the zoo, Heian Shrine, the Museum of Modern Art, and only a short ride from Philosopher's Walk or Chionin Temple.

The area has wide streets and is just 10 minutes from downtown.

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art
Okazaki Park, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8344
075 771 4107

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:30 p.m.); closed Mondays

Entrance Fee depends upon the exhibit


CycleKyoto Home Page


Monday, November 15, 2010

Cool Kyoto Cyclist

Cyclist Kawaramachi Oike京都での格好いい自転車男

This mildly hip young dude was spotted on Sunday at the corner of Kawaramachi and Oike, across the street from Kyoto's City Hall.

Hair pulled back, low boots, knobby tires - ready to take on the world.

All he needs is to customize his bike a bit more.


CycleKyoto Home Page

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oike Dori Bike Lane Test Run

Oike Bike Lane Kyoto

The city of Kyoto appears to be testing out the possibility of installing bike lanes on the sidewalks of the wide boulevard that runs, east-west, at the north end of downtown.

Oike Dori is home to City Hall and leads to Nijo Castle. Underneath it runs the Tozai subway line and there is a shopping mall.

Above ground, the streetscape is wide and heavily concrete.

The sidewalks however have always been good for cyclists: wide and flat and easy to cohabit with pedestrians.

The city however is going to set up a test run - lines have been painted on the sidewalk along with new purple bike marks - with an eye towards creating a permanent lane. The test will last from November 12 - 18, from 7 am - 5 pm. It will extend from Oike Kawaramachi, at the corner of City Hall, to Karasuma.

Fingers crossed.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Friday, November 12, 2010

Kyoto Police


Last night while riding from Demachiyanagi past the Imperial Palace en route to an area near Ninnaji Temple, a cop yelled at me to put my bike light on.

Actually, "politely entreated" would be a more accurate description.

The light was already on and I told the woman cop - who was probably excited at the prospect of practicing three words of English ("right on, purease") that she failed to notice - "it's already on" and pedaled on.

The cops were out in force from Kawaramachi to Senbon along Imadegawa around 7 pm, berating and stopping cyclists.

No fines though.

The campaign will last a few days, the police will pack up and go back to the koban, and the problem will be solved.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kyoto Community Cycle

Kyoto Community Cycleまちかどミナポート

Kyoto now has a public rental bike system.

The city sponsored Community Cycle program debuted on April 30th of this year, and now has four rental/return locations.

The four "stations" are near Kyoto Station, Sanjo Station, just north of the Manga Museum, and close to Marutamachi Station.

Fees start at 200 yen for the first hour, and then 100 yen for each additional hour.

The bikes are white single-gear bikes with a blue strip between the top tube and down tube.

Payment is with a credit card or a Pitapa IC card.

For those who plan on cycling all day, the private rental companies may be more economical.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Northeast Kyoto Shugakuin Villa


In northeast Kyoto not far from the Silver Pavilion are a handful of small and not so small temples and sites to be seen.

The hills are never too bad, and if you hug the small roads along the foothills of Mt. Hiei, you will enjoy a pleasant ride.

Among places worth a visit are:

Shisendo, Manshuin, and of course Shugakuin Imperial Villa

Many other temples dot the area, but these are perhaps the most major.

The road pictured above right is between Shugakuin and Manshuin. The residential area to the right (west) is filled with older homes; the area to the left is either wooded or farmland.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cycling Toei Kyoto Studio Park

eiga-muraToei Kyoto Studio Park

Kyoto's Toei film studio has since 1975 been part theme park, part film studio.

In that year, with the film industry fleeing Kyoto for Tokyo, the Toei Kyoto Studio Park was born.

It is located not far from Koryuji Temple, JR Hanazono Station, and is on a stop on the Keifuku Line.

It is a good day out, especially for those with kids in tow.

There are many performances, lots of information on the bygone film era, actual sets where samurai films are still filmed.

More Information

Kyoto Studio Park
10 Uzumasa-Higashi hachigaokacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8586
075 841 3381

Hours: March-November 9:00 am - 5;00 pm; December-February 9:30 am - 4:00 pm; Closed December 27-31, 2010

Entrance Fee: 2,200 yen adults; 1,300 for junior and senior high school students; 1,100 yen for children older than 4.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Friday, November 5, 2010

Cycle Myomanji Temple

myomanji temple自転車で妙満寺へ

A 10-15 minute ride from Kitayama is Myomanji Temple.

A member of the Nichiren Buddhist sect, Myomanji enjoys fantastic views of Mount Hiei and is a short ride from Entsuji Temple.

There is a large concrete copy of the famous stupa at Bodh Gaya, India (and can be seen at left rear of the photo). The original is where the historical Buddha gained Enlightenment.

Inside the stupa is a statue of the Buddha.


91 Hataeda-cho, Iwakura, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto.
Tel: 075 791-7171

The grounds are free, but there is an admission fee for the stupa and gardens.


CycleKyoto Home Page


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vigore Kyoto

vigoreVIGORE Kyoto

Kyoto's only bespoke bikemaker is Masato Kataoka, owner of Vigore Kyoto.

He is a third generation craftsman, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father.

The forerunner of Vigore was established in 1930 by Kataoka's grandfather.

The current bicycles are order made, and start from 128,000 yen.

Kataoka's bikes are beautifully crafted, a delight to the eye. His shop is located north of Kyoto's International Conference center, not far from Kitayama.


On Takaragaike Dori, just north of the the Kyoto International Conference Center. A short walk from the Kokusaikaikan Mae subway stop.
Tel 075 791 6158


Vigore bikes can also be found at two locations in Tokyo.

FIG Harajuku
TEL 03 5413 9050(2F) 9051(1F)

FIG Daikanyama
TEL 03 5456 7701

The photo is © Vigore Kyoto


CycleKyoto Home Page