Translated by Allie
Try a Rental Bike to Get Around Asakusa
Written by ochiai keiichi
What's a good way to get around Asakusa for cheap? Today we'll tell you about how and where to rent a bike in Asakusa.
What do you think is the best way to travel around Asakusa? Asakusa is an area where a lot of sightseeing spots are spread out, so it's really hard to see everything on foot. Taking buses is also a good way to get around, but they don't necessarily stop at every place you want to get off. Therefore, here we'll introduce"Rent-a-Bike", one of the best ways to go sightseeing in the Asakusa area.
Where Can I Rent a Bicycle?
There are public and private bike rental shops in Asakusa. We'll let you know about the public ones though, which are more reliable. This service is run by Daito ward, where Asakusa area is located.
There are four places you can rent a bike. All of them are located in underground parking lots, so it might be hard to find the reception desks to rent the bikes. But don't worry, we'll explain everything here.
You can return the rental bike at a different location from where you rented the bike. Depending on where you want to visit, it might be better for you to drop off the bike at a different location.
The rental hours are from 6:00 to 16:00, and return hours are from 6:00 to 20:30. The rental hours for the four-hour plan (see below for details) are until 16:20.
Sumida Park Bike Parking Lot (隅田公園自転車駐車場)
This is the bike rental area nearby Sumida park, which is famous for cherry blossom viewing. The picture above is the entrance to this parking lot. It's located in a somewhat hidden area, so take care not to overlook it. When you get down to the underground bike parking area, there is the reception area for renting bikes.
There are three train stations, Tobu Asakusa Station, Tokyo Metro Asakusa Station and Toei Asakusa Station, as well as Sumida Park, Tokyo Cruise and Sensoji located nearby.
Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station South Bike Parking Lot (つくばエクスプレス浅草駅南自転車駐車場)
This is the underground bicycle parking lot near Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express. You can reach this place from the entrance on Kokusai Dori (International Street). You can also get here directly from the station as well.
This parking lot's good for those headed for Sensoji and Kappabashi Dougu Street.
Shin-Okamachi Bike Parking Lot (新御徒町自転車駐車場)
This bicycle parking lot is located at Shin-Okamachi Station on the Toei Oedo Line and Tsukuba Express. The entrance can be found above ground, on Kasuga Dori.
It's a little bit far away from the Asakusa Area, but it could be the best starting and ending point for those who use the Oedo Line and Tsukuba Express. It's close to the Ueno and Akihabara area. So if you want to go to these places, you can rent a bike here.
Naka-Okachimachi Bike Parking Lot (仲御徒町自転車駐車場)
This bike parking lot is close to Okachimachi Station (JR Yamanote Line, Keihin Tohoku Line) Ueno Okachimachi Station (Oedo Line), Ueno-Hirokōji Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line), and Naka-Okachimachi Station (Hibiya Line). The entrance is located above ground on Showa Dori.
Ameya-Yokochō and Akihabara are nearby. If you want to ride bike a little bit further than the Asakusa area, this rental area could be the best for you.
How Can I Rent a Bike?
You can rent a bike following the procedures below:
Go to any of the four parking lots mentioned above and try to find the reception area there.
When you find the reception, show your passport (or your ID card) to the staff. There is a vending machine in the picture above, but you won't be using that.
Fill out a form on which you need to write down your address, name, how many hours you want to rent the bike, etc,. There are two types of forms: one in Japanese and another in English. You can choose whichever you'd like to fill out. You need to pay in advance. So you will pay right after filling out this form.
When you finish filling out all the forms, you will get a key with a number and a bike. Then you can go and enjoy cycling.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Bike?
Prices vary according to the rental period. You can choose how long you will rent a bike based on your travel plan.
Price: 200 yen (An overdue fee when you return on the same day is 100 yen. You will be charged 300 yen per day if you return it later than the day when you rented it)
It's a good plan for riding bike for a short time, like going around the Sensoji area, which is not far from the renting places.
Price: 300 yen (An overdue fee is 300 yen per day if you don't return it on the same day you rented it)
You can rent a bike for a day. This is good for those who want to explore more places in the Asakusa area. You need to return it by 20:30 on the same day you rented it.
Price: 600 yen (If you don't return it within three days, you'll be charged 300 yen per day)
On this plan, you can rent a bike for three days. If you are staying in the Asakusa area, this plan might be great for you. You need to know where you can keep the bike at night though. So before going to rent the bike for three days, you should check with the hotel where you are staying to see if there is a safe place to keep the bike there.
Price：1,200 yen (If you don't return it within seven days, 300 yen per day will be charged)
This is a week plan. If you are staying in Asakusa area for a long period, this'll be a great deal for you. You cannot park overnight on the street, so you should check with the hotel where you are staying at to see where you can park your bike.
Let's Take it for a Spin!
If you ride a bike, you can go to sightseeing spots around the Asakusa area faster than on foot. Also riding bike gives you more freedom than taking buses. For instance, If you go to Tokyo Skytree from Sensoji on foot, it will take you 25 minutes. If you ride a bike though, it will only take you 7 minutes. There is a basket attached to the front of the bike, which'll come in handy with carrying things you bought like souvenirs.
Things You Should Keep in Mind!
Wearing earbuds and using a mobile phone while riding a bike is forbidden in Japan. Also, you have to turn on your bike lights when its dark outside. Although there are a lot of attractive bars in the Asakusa area, you should not ride bike after drinking. Furthermore, there are places inside of the Sensoji area where you are not allowed to get in by bike. Please pay attentions to these rules when riding around town, and enjoy your cycling.