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Kick scooter legality in Tokyo?

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I walk about 10 Km per day as part of my commute doing home visits. I don't mind the walks, especially on nice days, since they're broken up into a bunch of 15 - 20-minute segments but I'd like to save some of the time I spend.

I considered a Honda Gyro Canopy and if I could count on parking it would be my first choice, but I'll have to park it at each visit for about 45 minutes or so and finding parking nearby the families' homes may be difficult. A shame since I carry about 5 - 10 kilos of stuff with me all day and it would be great to just toss it in the back of the Honda. It would cut costs and commute time as well. If it was a few minutes I wouldn't worry, just like all the delivery drivers, but I'm guessing that consistently illegally parking for up to an hour in the same places each week wouldn't end well for me. Though they tend to be residential areas and I guess I could just ask about nearby bicycle/gentsuki parking... I'd REALLY like to not be constantly on the trains all day.

So, given that I'm stalled on the Honda idea, I saw that a lot of kids ride these kick scooters (see pic) and I was wondering what the legality of an adult using one would be? Beyond legality (assuming it's not illegal) what would the practical aspects be if a police officer seeing me zipping along on one? I'd guess they don't know the laws about it since nobody older than 12 or so rides them. I don't want the hassle or expense of a folding bike since folding and bagging would use up all the time I save. I figure I could grab a duffel bag and toss the scooter in it in order to be polite to my fellow train travelers.

Bad idea? Any advice on the Honda idea?
 

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Mike Cash

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The kickboard scooters occupy a legal limbo in Japan as far as use in the public roadways are concerned.

https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/キック....E6.B3.95.E7.9A.84.E3.81.AA.E6.89.B1.E3.81.84

I've seen adults using them around Tokyo. As long as you're not creating a nuisance or putting others in danger by trying to zip along through pedestrians I don't think you will get into any trouble.

Since it is the cheaper option, doesn't take up space, and you could still play around on it even if not using it for work, I believe I would give it a try first and see how it goes. If it gets you grief from the cops or for some reason isn't as neat-o a commuting experience as you had expected you can always switch to the motorized scooter later.

Make sure you get one with a brake and mount a light of some kind on the handlebar. Doesn't matter if you can see with it; the important thing is that you can be seen. Think of it as battery-powered cop repellent.
 
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The kickboard scooters occupy a legal limbo in Japan as far as use in the public roadways are concerned.

https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/キック....E6.B3.95.E7.9A.84.E3.81.AA.E6.89.B1.E3.81.84

I've seen adults using them around Tokyo. As long as you're not creating a nuisance or putting others in danger by trying to zip along through pedestrians I don't think you will get into any trouble.

Since it is the cheaper option, doesn't take up space, and you could still play around on it even if not using it for work, I believe I would give it a try first and see how it goes. If it gets you grief from the cops or for some reason isn't as neat-o a commuting experience as you had expected you can always switch to the motorized scooter later.

Make sure you get one with a brake and mount a light of some kind on the handlebar. Doesn't matter if you can see with it; the important thing is that you can be seen. Think of it as battery-powered cop repellent.
Thanks much! I always forget to turn on my light on my bike, but I think just having it is enough. Especially since here in Katsushika, we're a bit more laissez-faire than in the ritzy areas of town.

The cops in my local koban know me now since I found a wallet at about 1 AM the other day and, having had more than my fair share of oolong hai that evening, it was a bit of a fiasco trying to explain everything to them. "お財布をファウンドしました" didn't go as well in reality as it sounded in my drink-addled brain. On the plus side, I was able to tell them, clearly and multiple times, that I had had a bit too much to drink to remember how to speak Japanese. Or at least I was able to look bewildered, shrug and say たくさんお酒を飲みました。ごめんなさい。

Long story short, I'm pretty sure I'm no longer off the radar.

Happily, the young man who lost his wallet came bursting through the door, quite concerned, right about when they were trying to explain to me that if no one showed up for the money I could have it and I was misunderstanding that they were asking if I took any money and I was responding that I hadn't. Mostly by emphatically doing the crossed arms gesture and looking aghast. He was overjoyed and quite thankful that I found it and it occurred to me that if I had just left the damned thing where it was he would have found it and I wouldn't be sitting in a koban. At that point, they just asked me to note down my phone number, I think primarily because it was the only thing they knew how to say in English since all three of them said it and looked quite pleased that we now had a language in common (I'm gonna go ahead and call it a language exchange) and sent me on my way.

I was so traumatized that I felt perhaps a chuhai was in order, which I promptly bought and drank on the way home as I realized how much I misunderstood about the whole situation.
 
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thomas

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I'm far from impartial on the topic of non-motorised commuting, so I have to ask what's wrong with a good old bicycle? :)
 
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I'm far from impartial on the topic of non-motorised commuting, so I have to ask what's wrong with a good old bicycle? :)
Well, I go to several home visits in a day, so I have to get on the train, get off and walk, do the home visit, walk back, get on another train, get off and walk, do the home visit, walk back, get on another train, get off and walk, do the home visit, walk back, etc. Folding and bagging a bike for each of those legs seems like it would just use up any time savings I gained.
 

thomas

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Well, I go to several home visits in a day, so I have to get on the train, get off and walk, do the home visit, walk back, get on another train, get off and walk, do the home visit, walk back, get on another train, get off and walk, do the home visit, walk back, etc. Folding and bagging a bike for each of those legs seems like it would just use up any time savings I gained.
I guess your clients wouldn't accept you in lycra. I don trousers on top of my lycras in case more formal attire is required. I try to avoid trains whenever possible.
 
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I guess your clients wouldn't accept you in lycra. I don trousers on top of my lycras in case more formal attire is required. I try to avoid trains whenever possible.
Oh, you mean just doing the entire thing on a bike?

Well, in a typical day I travel between from my home in Katsushika to Oojima area, down to Minato, over to Shibuya, over to Shinagawa, and some days down to Yokohama. Then back home. Frankly, even with the trains, my schedule is extremely tight and I have to be prepared to work with kids of all ages and carry all of my materials, tests, etc. I honestly don't think I could possibly do it on a bike, nor would I want to on rainy days.
 

musicisgood

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Did the guy give you 10% of the money. I think there is a courtesy law regarding that. I found 11000 once and turned it in. No one collected it. After 6 months the police call you and I am legally entitled to it, which I claimed.
 
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