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Titanium fender from Honjo

Honjo Koken hand fabricates 20,000 metal fenders each year. They’re regarded as the best bicycle fenders in the world, and are priced accordingly at $150 and up. Honjo fenders mostly made from aluminum or brass, but the Honjo rep visiting the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento has a prototype titanium fender on display. read more » Continue reading »

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Japanese exhibitors at NAHBS 2016 in Sacramento

Over the past few years, Japanese builders and other vendors have become a regular presence at the annual North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show. Beyond sourcing from obvious component providers such as Shimano, American builders of bespoke bicycles like to incorporate pieces into their bespoke bikes from Japanese vendors known for their consistently high quality such read more » Continue reading »

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Japanese pet porter bicycles

Do you know about those delivery bicycles with small front wheels and large front baskets? In Japan, these bike are apparently marketed for carrying your pets. This is the Coloco “Potta” — pronounced “po tah” (think how a Japanese person might pronounce porteur) — which retails for the equivalent of $360 American plus shipping. Another read more » Continue reading »

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Bicycle action figures

In America, we can buy action figures for superheroes, soldiers of fortune, anthropomorphized turtles, and Legos. In Japan, they sell character action figures on bicycles. Local bicycling otaku Jill Q (2013 Bike Commuter of the Year for Santa Clara County California) found this figma for Yuusuki Makishima, a teen cyclist from “Yowamushi Pedal,” a popular read more » Continue reading »

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Cycling for Cosplayers

Cosplay Mode magazine shows how you, too, can pretend to be the teen road cyclists of “Yomamushi Pedal”! Cosplay (from “Costume Players”) is the art of dressing up like characters from comic books, graphic novels, role playing games, and other visual media such as video games, and animated and live action television shows and movies. read more » Continue reading »

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Hill Climb Girl

Social media has exploded with discussion of this Japanese anime short about high school student Hinako and her attempts to beat her classmate Takano to the top of the hill. Sir Bradley Wiggins shows up to magically transform utilitarian but clunky mamachari into a sleek racing machine. View the short anime here (available with English read more » Continue reading »

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Japan’s mahogany bikes in the news

Some of you might remember the mahogany laminate bicycles built by shipbuilder Sueshiro Sano and shown at the Japan Handmade Bicycle Fair in 2010. Sano and his “Sanomagic” bikes are once again making in appearance in the mainstream media. #457982948 / Sueshiro Sano owns a 200 year old business that handcrafts stunningly beautiful ocean read more » Continue reading »

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Typhoons and bikes

I rode a bicycle during a typhoon in Tokyo once. I don’t recommend it. #457151900 / HIMEJI, JAPAN – OCTOBER 13: A cyclist wears a rain poncho in the strong wind and rain delivered by Typhoon Vongfong on October 13, 2014 in Himeji, Japan. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Vongfong surpassed Genevieve read more » Continue reading »

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Why everybody rides the train in Japan

Video shows what driving a car looks like in Yokohama, Japan. Continue reading »

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Attention expat gaijin and Japanophiles

Byron Kidd, an expatriate Australian who works and bikes in the Tokyo area, has asked me to forward this appeal for petition signatures to a wider audience. Although 16% of Tokyo commuters ride a bike to work, this 16th most populous city on the planet has only nine kilometers of cycle paths. Byron points out read more »

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