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If you're the lazy type who want to take it easy on the bicycle, try out one of the "Den-Do-Assisuto", or the electric assisted bicycles.


They're nothinig new or minor, and can been seen in large quantities all around Tokyo and in Japan. You may not notice them at a glance since they're mostly in the same form factor of the mama-chari, or shopping bikes. You can distinguish them by the battery pack they carry between the the seat and the pedal.
One characteristic that sets these bicycles aside from electric bikes found in other countries is that they are electric assist bikes, not electically driven bikes. The electric motor is only there to assist your pedaling, not to run the bike instead of you as in a scooter. Sorry folks who though they could skip the cranking... this is because the bikes need to stay human-powered in order to stay legally categorized as bicycles. (Maximum assist power is defined as well)

They first kilometer and a few stop and goes on the bike will give you a strange feeling. To feel an aggresive acceleration that doesn't match up with the power you put on to pedal yourself is something your senses do not expect right away. But soon, the surprise turns in to smiles after a few stop and goes when you quickly become used to it. This assisted acceleration is something one should experience.
The electrical assist mechanisms on the latest bikes are smart, and controls the level of assistance by sensing the force you put on to the pedals. If you slam the on the "gas", the assisted acceleration is huge, and the assist is soft if you pedal light.

The easiest way to experience the Den-Do Assisuto is to rent one. MUJI (Mujirushi Ryohin) at Yurakucho has a rental bike service where you can rent an electric assist bicycle.

  • Mujirushi Ryouhin Yuurakucho

    • 1 min walk frim JR "Yuraku-Cho" Sta. Kyobashi Exit.
      (You can casually stroll around Ginza and Marunouchi using the rental

    • Fee(weekdays) 525yen/day (tax included)

    • Fee(weekends) 1,050yen/day (tax included)

    • Deposit 3,000yen (cash only, returned on bike return)

    • Time 10:00 - 20:00 (registration 18:00)

    • Passport or ID required

    • Reservations accepted

    • http://www.mujiyurakucho.com/info/index.asp


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 26, 2010 12:20 AM.

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