Tokyo Last City in Japan to Lift Ban on Tandem Bicycles

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Cyclists ride on tandem bicycles in Tokyo on Saturday.

Riders on tandem bicycles rode past the Tokyo metropolitan government’s offices on Saturday, when a ban on riding such vehicles on public roads in the capital was lifted.

Previously, riding on tandem bicycles on public roads was prohibited in principle throughout Japan, but the ban was lifted in many areas. With Tokyo, the last remaining city, lifting the ban, tandem bikes are allowed throughout the nation.

The wider use of this type of bicycle is expected as a way to help transport the visually impaired and the elderly.

The commemorative ride Saturday was organized by the Tokyo-based Bicycling Popularization Association of Japan.

Cyclists and the visually impaired gathered in Shinjuku Ward in front of the Tokyo government offices to ride tandem bicycles in the area. The paired-up riders seemed to be having conversations as they rode.

“I’m happy to ride in the middle of Tokyo,” said a 55-year-old man from Kobe who suffers from an intractable eye disease. “It was very exhilarating.”