Nara: E-scooters for rent in old town

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A woman rides an electric scooter in Nara City.

NARA — Electric scooters are being rented out to tourists in the Naramachi district, the old town of Nara City.

This trial service is designed to allow visitors to tour tourist destinations more efficiently than on foot.

Electric scooters are treated as ordinary scooters under Japanese law, but riders can use bicycle lanes as well as roadways without helmets in approved areas.

The trial will run until April 2024 to verify safety and other aspects.

The scooters’ speed is limited to 15 kph, and the areas around Kofukuji temple and Shin-Yakushiji temple are also within the permitted area. But if the scooter travels outside the designated area, it will automatically stop moving.

The fee is ¥550 for 30 minutes, and eight scooters are available for rent. A driver’s license is required to drive the scooters, and users must pass a test using a special application to ensure they understand safety rules.