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December 17, Harajuku
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It could be said that Tokyo Bike is the design embodiment of the Yanaka mindset. The company have been knocking out simple, attractive bicycles, just a hop and a skip from Nezu Station, ever since they opened in 2002. The concept is simple: comfort above speed (Yanaka in a nutshell), ideally put together for the local life. The minimalist brand has been such a success in its home city, in fact, that they now have outlets in London and Sydney, with Berlin and Singapore soon to open.
The Tokyo Bike Gallery isn't a big place, but it has all the brand enthusiast could hope for, from the complete range of frame designs and colours, right through to similarly designed flasks and pumps. The bikes are well priced between ¥42,000 and ¥58,000 (2011 catalogue), and daytrippers will be pleased to find a rental service, though you'll only be able to ride away if you're 150cm and above in height (no baby seats or kids' bikes available). As far as we concerned, there's no better vehicular way to see the Yanaka district.
Bikes are available for rent for a set price of ¥1,000 for the day, and the service is available between 1pm and 7pm on weekdays (closed Tue-Wed) and 10am and 6pm on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. Interested customers should note that the service is not available overnight - all bikes should be back in the store by the closing time on the day of rental.