Information site about electric assist bicycle etc

Electric assist bicycles are also available! Japanese bicycle sharing service

Have you ever used a bicycle sharing service! ? If you live in the metropolitan area or urban areas with good public transport, you may have used it.

If you live in a suburb or in a residential area, you may know the service itself, but many don’t use it much.

This time we will introduce such a bicycle sharing service. So this article is recommended for those who:

  • I do not have a bicycle, but want to use it for a short ride
  • I want to use an electric assist bicycle
  • I do not have a bicycle because storage and maintenance are troublesome
  • I want to use it as one of the access means from the nearest station to the company
  • I want to use my bicycle only in an emergency
  • I want to use it when I come to Japan

It is a very convenient sharing service for those who come to Japan for sightseeing and those who do not have an electric assist bicycle or bicycle, so please take this opportunity to refer to it! Let’s start with the basics.
Let’s start with the basics.

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Basics of bicycle sharing (cycle sharing) service

Bicycle sharing service is simply a rental service that allows you to borrow a bicycle at any time of your choice. It is also called “cycle sharing” or “bike sharing service”.

Naturally, it will be a shared service, so bicycles will be shared and rented by multiple people. Roughly speaking, it means “reuse,” but you can rest assured that daily management, such as maintenance of the bicycle itself and cleaning of the bicycle parking area, is thoroughly performed.

So you can safely use the bicycle sharing service in Japan.

There are several companies that operate this bicycle sharing service, one of which is the bicycle sharing service operated by docomo Bike Share in Japan.

Thorough difference between bicycle sharing service and rental service

The bicycle sharing service and the rental service both sound the same in terms of borrowing. But there is a big difference between the two services. It is a “return place”.

In the case of rental service, when you rent at store A, even if there are stores B and C in the same line, you must always return it to store A, right?

In the bicycle sharing service, even if you rent a bicycle at parking lot A, you can return it to other bicycle parking lots B and C.

For example, let’s say that you rented a bicycle at bicycle parking lot A and used it to destination D. If there is a bicycle parking lot C near the point D, there is no need to go to the bicycle parking lot A and you can return at the bicycle parking lot C. This is one of the major advantages of the sharing service.

From the user’s point of view, it can be returned to any dedicated bicycle parking lot, providing a high degree of freedom.

Rough usage of Japanese bicycle sharing service

Starting and using the bicycle sharing service is simple! As a general flow, you first need to download the official website of each bicycle sharing service or a dedicated application and then register for membership.

If you can complete the registration by entering the necessary information such as personal information and usage plan, you can rent a bicycle.

As a usage method, you can unlock the lock by authenticating the QR code or operation panel of the bicycle placed in the bicycle parking port for each service with your smartphone or IC card, and you can rent.

After use, park your bicycle at the nearest dedicated bicycle parking port and lock it to complete return.

The above usage method differs slightly depending on the company that runs the bicycle sharing service, but the general usage procedure is the same.
The usage points of the bicycle sharing service are briefly summarized below.

  1. Member registration on the official website or dedicated application
  2. When renting a bicycle, rent it at the dedicated bicycle parking port
  3. When returning a bicycle, return it to the nearest dedicated bicycle parking port

Membership registration and payment procedures are completed on the web, so a smartphone or personal computer is sufficient.

This is convenient! Advantages of bicycle sharing service

The main feature of the cycle share service is that it is not bothersome from the start of use to the return, unlike the rental service. But that’s not all.

Depending on the sharing service, it is possible to rent not only general bicycles but also bicycles with an electric assist function or bicycles with the popular battery-free “Free Power”!

Service fees are low depending on how you ride the bicycle.

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Disadvantages of bicycle sharing service

I don’t want to say too much, but this bike sharing service has its disadvantages. The first is that the areas that are supported are limited.

When using the bicycle sharing service, check the location and location of the bicycle parking port.

The second disadvantage is the use of a dedicated bicycle parking port. The number of bicycles parked at the bicycle parking port of each cycle share service is limited. If the bicycle parking port is full, you must return it to another bicycle parking port.

The location and number of dedicated bicycle parking ports and the number of bicycles parked vary depending on each service, so it is important to check in advance.

Be careful with the assist performance of electric assist bicycles in Japan

Be careful when using an electric assist bicycle in Japan for overseas customers. In the case of a Japanese electric assist bicycle, the assist performance is up to a speed of 23 km.

When the speed of riding the bicycle reaches 24 km, the assist performance stops, and the bicycle becomes a normal bicycle.

Japanese electric assist bicycles are not full assist electric bicycles.

Introducing three recommended bicycle sharing services in Japan

When it comes to bicycle sharing services, it seems that in Japan it is likely to be concentrated only in the suburbs of the Tokyo metropolitan area, but it is not. Certainly, there is a bias in the degree of fulfillment of dedicated bicycle parking ports and services, but bicycle sharing services are nationwide.

From here, we will introduce recommended bicycle sharing services, applicable areas, usage fees, bicycle handling models, etc.

Here are three recommended bicycle sharing services that I will introduce this time.

  • “docomo” bicycle sharing service
  • “PIPPA” bicycle sharing service
  • “HELLO CYCLING” bicycle sharing service

About “docomo”s bicycle sharing service

This is a bicycle sharing service operated by docomo Inc. The rental bicycle has the same red design as the DoCoMo logo color. A major feature is that the bicycles that can be used with docomo’s bike sharing service are electric assist bicycles.

The bicycle itself has a low-floor frame design, so it is easy to ride even for small people, and it seems that it can be used in various scenes such as section use in business. In addition, the service area is expanding beyond the Tokyo metropolitan area to include Sendai and Osaka.

One of the precautions in using this service is that it is an electric assist bicycle, so you need to check the battery level before riding.

Information on service areas and usage fee

Matters content
Correspondence area Tokyo・Kanagawa・Miyagi・Nagoya・Osaka・Hyogo・Nara・Hiroshima etc.
Usage fee First 30 minutes 150yen※
Business hours 24hours※
Official app Yes
Model electric assist bicycle
supported language Japanese・English

Usage charges and business hours vary depending on the region. There is also a monthly fee plan.

Flow of member information registration

The following is the flow of docomo bicycle sharing service member registration. It is smooth if you have a smartphone, IC card and credit card in advance.

  1. Register member information on docomo bike share service official website.
  2. Register your membership plan and membership card.
  3. Choose a payment method.
  4. Enter the authentication code on the bicycle’s operation panel at the dedicated port
  5. Hold your membership card over the operation panel and complete registration!

Flow from use start to return

  1. Press the “START button” on the operation panel of the dedicated port bicycle
  2. Hold your membership card over the operation panel and start using it by unlocking it
  3. For return, park your bicycle in the dedicated port and press the “ENTER button” on the operation panel to complete the return.

Before using a bicycle, it seems better to turn on the power and check the battery level.
Please check the official website below for other details such as how to use it.

docomo bike share service official site

“PIPPA”s bicycle sharing service

PIPPA bicycle sharing service is a service operated by Ocean Blue Smart Co., Ltd.

Bicycles that can be rented are general low-floor frame type city cycle specifications. In some areas, bicycles equipped with “free power” are also available!

It is attractive that the flow from the start of use to the return after member registration is very simple.

Information on service areas and usage fee

Matters content
Correspondence area Tokyo・Kyoto・Miyazaki etc.
Usage fee 30 minutes 150yen※
Business hours 24hours※
Official app Yes
Model General bicycle
supported language Japanese・English

Flow of member information registration

The following is the flow of “PIPPA”s bicycle sharing service member registration. It is smooth if you have a smartphone, IC card and credit card in advance.

In addition to the mobile number, you can also register with a google account or Facebook account.

  1. Download the official app of “PIPPA”
  2. Register member information such as necessary items.
  3. Select payment method and plan.

Flow from use start to return

  1. Start the installed PIPPA application.
  2. Reads the QR code of the bicycle key in the dedicated bicycle parking area and unlocks it.
  3. For return, park your bicycle in the dedicated bicycle parking lot and tap “End use” in the application to complete the return.

Please check the official website below for other details such as how to use it.

PIPPA official website

About HELLO CYCLING

HELLO CYCLING’s bicycle sharing service is provided by OpenStreet Inc. and SoftBank Group. The main point is that you can rent up to 4 bicycles at a time by yourself.

It is easy to understand if you look at the map of the dedicated bicycle parking port on the official website, but the service area is quite wide. The service area is expected to expand in the future, so if you are considering using it, please check out the official website!

We recommend that you check the remaining battery level because this is an electrically assisted bicycle.

Information on service areas and usage fee

Matters content
Correspondence area Tokyo・Aomori・Iwate・Saitama・Shizuoka・Nagano・Aichi・Osaka・Kyoto・Fukuoka・Hyougo・Saga etc.
Usage fee 15 minutes 70yen※
Business hours 24hours※
Official app Yes
Model Electric assist bicycle
supported language Japanese・English

Usage fees and business hours vary by region. Please check the official website for other details such as how to use.
HELLO CYCLING official website

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Summary of this article

The basic usage and features of the bicycle sharing service and recommended services of each company have been introduced above.

Depending on the service, it is also attractive that you can use an electric assisted bicycle or a bicycle equipped with “free power”.

This is recommended if you want to use a bicycle, such as those who have visited Japan for sightseeing.

Author of this article

プロフィール写真
WATARU

I am a freelance advertising designer who has been working with local bike dealers for over 8 years.

In private life, I gave my long-time favorite mountain bike to a friend, and now I use a cross bicycle.

Recently I started muscle training, but soon become sore always.