Did you know? There are many bicycle rental shops in Kyoto! Now, almost all shops have electric bikes with a child seat.
Would you like to know how to get around Kyoto by electric bikes?
This time we will tell you the good and bad things about riding an electric bike, how to rent one, and how to choose the best route.
When riding with children, 6 and under, the cyclist must be aged 16 or older and the child must be in a child seat or securely attached to the cyclist’s back with a baby carrier. When carrying two children one can sit in the child seat and one can be in a baby carrier, or you can rent a bike fitted with child seats in both the front and rear.
For information on bicycle riding rules in Kyoto, see
What are Electric Bikes?
Something that may surprise visitors to Japan, especially Kyoto, is how common it is for parents to ride bicycles with child seats at the front and rear.
In Japan, cycle manufacturers began releasing specially designed models with front and rear child seats following initial approvals by the Police Department in 2009.
Not only are these safely designed, but many come with a rechargeable electric assist feature. This helps provide a smooth ride even on hilly roads by using an electric motor to augment pedal power. This feature greatly helped parents who need or want to transport their children by bicycle, because riding with electric assist does not need much muscle power. Also a driver’s license is not required. In addition, it is very convenient because the effective range is 30-50km per charge. This makes electric bikes the perfect transportation vehicle for getting around around Kyoto.
How to rent Electric bikes
You can find some bicycle rental shops around any busy station. (JR Kyoto Station, Arashiyama, Kawaramachi and more).
You will need to present your ID (passport, driver’s license) and mobile phone number to rent any gear. If you don’t have tourist insurance, you can apply for it in the shop. When using bigger rental companies, you can return your rental bike at a different location than you rented it at.
For more details, please ask at the shop.
AM 8:30〜PM 7:00
Address: 323 Kamijyuzuya-machi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-city Kyoto 600-8150 Tel: +81-75-354-7060
AM 6:30～PM 10:00
Address: 58 Higashikujo-Muromachi, Minami-ku, Kyoto-city Kyoto 601-8001
Why are Electric Bikes Useful for Kyoto with Kids?
Top 3 Reasons
- There are too many passengers on the bus, and nothing to see when riding the subway. That can be boring and stressful for kids. If you choose to use a bicycle as your means of transportation, the back seat kids can enjoy seeing everything around them as you move around.
- No need to worry about finding parking space. Most sightseeing spots like temples and parks as well as shops have areas to park bicycles.
- When you see a place that looks nice, you can stop anytime. In a safe place, you can leave your heavy luggage in the bicycle front basket.
3 Things to Be Aware of When Renting Electric Bikes
- It costs around 2000 yen per bike. There may be an extra charge for child seats. So, it may be more expensive than local transportation.
- Small kids physical condition often changes. When making a reservation to rent a bicycle, you have to accept the cancellation policy. And it can be difficult to find electric bikes with child seats at the last minute in the busy season.
- You are responsible for the bicycle you rent in the case of it being stolen or being involved in a traffic accident.
How Far Can You Go by Bicycle? The Best Route for Kyoto with Kids
The electric bike can run at least 30 km (depending on road conditions).
Let’s check the distance from Kyoto station to some sightseeing spots in Kyoto.
- Kiyomizu Temple: 3.5km
- Arashiyama: 11km
- The Golden Temple (Kinkakuji): 9km
- Shimogamo Shrine: 7.2km
Don’t worry about getting lost in Kyoto, the layout of Kyoto city is easy. If you look at a map, you can can see it is in a north, south, east, west, grid pattern.
There are many fantastic spots in Kyoto, we hope you will enjoy finding your favorite spot while you are here. By using electric bikes to get around Kyoto you can save time that would have been spent waiting for buses or trains, you can get fresh air, and you can enjoy seeing the views of the city along the way.
One final tip, when returning to your hotel or the bike rental shop, we recommend cycling the road along the Kamo river. There are no traffic signals so you can enjoy a nice ride without stopping. After a day out sightseeing, let your electric bike do the hard work for you!
Check out our other articles for places we recommend visiting with kids!