Frequently Asked Questions
We have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Most of these are based on questions, comments and feedback from previous customers over the years. We hope you find them helpful.
Japan is a long country that stretches from north to south some 2000km, which means it is possible to ride at just about any time of the year.
- Late March / early April is 'hanami' cherry blossom season and a popular time for touring.
- From late April to mid-June, conditions are ideal (mild temperatures and lots of sunny days).
- Mid-June to mid-July is Japan's official rainy season. Although often not so noticeable, the probability of rain is higher at this time than at other times of the year.
- From Mid-July to mid-September temperatures are generally high. This is a great time to explore the mountainous regions or head north to Hokkaido.
- October/November is another great time to ride. Autumn brings with it a gorgeous array of colors and it is generally a mild and dry time of year.
- December is also a good month to ride, but expect it to be a fairly cold ride. This is when you get the best views, especially around Mt. Fuji.
We are open for 9 months of the year, March 15th through December 15th. We are closed for the winter months.
The minimum rental period for rentals from Tokyo is 48 hours. The minimum rental period for rentals from Kyoto is 4 days. The minimum rental period for any one-way rental is 4 days.
Rules regarding licence documentation vary depending on the country where your licence was issued. For more information on licence documentation, please carefully check our licence requirements page.
All these items can be added as optional extras. If you would like side cases, top case and/or tank bag, or any other additional equipment, i.e. helmets, jacket, gloves, rental phone, etc, please make sure to add these items when making your way through the booking console.
Yes, you are welcome to store any extra luggage at our office while you are out on the road.
Here is a link to our Tokyo office in google maps.
If landing at Narita airport...
Take the Narita Express (train) to Tokyo station. It takes about 1 hour from the airport. Then take a taxi from Tokyo station to our office. It costs around 2000 yen.
If landing at Haneda airport...
Take the monorail (train) to Hamamatsucho station. It takes about 30 minutes from the airport. Then take a taxi from Hamamatsucho station to our office. It costs around 2500 yen.
Here is a link to our Kyoto office in google maps.
Our office is a 5 minute walk from Jujo station (on the Karasuma subway line), or a 15 minute walk from Kyoto Station. If taking a taxi from the Gion area, it will take about 15 minutes and will cost about 1500yen. To get to Kyoto station from Kansai International Airport (KIX), you can take the train (Kansai limited Express "Haruka"), limousine bus or the Kyoto MK Shuttle.
All bikes available for rent are listed in the prices section of the Japan Bike Rentals website. If you are a group of 10+ riders and are planning to ride for 10+ days, we are able to arrange for alternate/additional bikes, however please give us as much advance notice as possible.
Yes, you can now drop-off at the JBR office in Kyoto (and vice-versa). The one-way drop-off charge is 35,000yen. A one-way rental must be scheduled well in advance.
No, we do not have a Hokkaido branch at this time, so all our rentals start and finish in either Tokyo or Kyoto. We do have a lot of people who travel up to Hokkaido though, particularly in July/August. Most people opt to take the ferry up to Hokkaido and then ride back down south again. This is a fantastic trip and comes highly recommended. The overnight ferry leaves from Oarai (a 2hr ride from Tokyo) and arrives in Tomakomai, Hokkaido around lunchtime the following day. You will want to have at least 7 days in Hokkaido, before heading back south again. As for the return trip, we recommend taking the westerly route through Tohoku (Aomori, Akita, Niigata and Nagano, and then finally down into Tokyo). The west side of Honshu is less populated and has a wide selection of fantastic roads (the northern Niigata coastal road is a personal favorite). We would recommend at least 4-5 days to ride from Aomori to Tokyo.
We use Zumo 660 GPS units, and we use Sena SMH5 bluetooth headset intercoms
Yes, you may ride with a passenger and the good news is the passenger gets a free ride. We generally do not allow riders to take a passenger who is younger than 14 years of age.
No. All motorcycle insurance is mandatory. All prices listed on our website include comprehensive motorcycle insurance. For more details about coverage, please see the insurance section of the JBR Rules.
We also recommend taking out some independent travel insurance, so that you are covered in the case of illness or some other non-motorcycle related incident. Or if you are forced to cancel your trip for any reason, you would then be covered.
No. We do not provide a refund in such a case. In fact you will be liable for the full deductible charge. Please see the Insurance section of the JBR Rules for more information. Once again, we strongly recommend taking out some good travel insurance so that you will be covered in such a case.
Always lock your motorcycle when parked and choose your parking area carefully. Theft in Japan is very rare, however professionals as well as joy riders do tend to target nice looking motorcycles like the one you will be riding.
We recommend that you are not late for your pickup, because the clock will be ticking so to speak. Keep in mind that there is a compulsory orientation session, which takes about one hour, so make sure you are at the JBR office one hour prior to your official pickup time.
If you are running late on your return, please call the JBR office to inform one of our staff. Charges will be incurred for late returns. Please see the Motorcycle Drop-off section of the JBR Rules for more details. In the case that a motorcycle is not returned on time to the predetermined JBR office, and no contact has been made by the rider, JBR will contact the police and register the motorcycle as lost or stolen. Depending on the circumstances, this may become a criminal case.
Refunds will not be provided on the day of pickup or at any time during your rental period. Please check the JBR Rules section of our website for more details. We highly recommend that you look into travel insurance, so that you are covered in the event of any unforeseen circumstance that forces you to cancel your trip.
This will depend on motorcycle availability. If the motorcycle you are riding is not booked by another customer immediately after your drop-off date, we may be able to offer you some extra days. Payment for the trip extension is to be made by credit card via our online merchant vendor Stripe, and payment must be made prior to the start of the rental extension. If the motorcycle you are riding is already prebooked to another rider after your rental period, you may wish to come back into the JBR office and pay for a different motorcycle. You should be on the road again by the following day.
In the event of foul weather, JBR offers a 24hr grace period. Foul weather does not mean a normal rainy day, but rather a typhoon or freak snowstorm. In such a case, JBR will allow the rider to start 24 hours later. If your motorcycle is booked to another customer immediately after your drop-off date, then you will have the option of receiving a 1-day refund. Alternatively, if the motorcycle is not booked immediately after your drop-off date, you may leave and come back one day later and no changes to payment need be made.
Yes, but this will depend on availability. If the equipment you need is in stock and not pre-booked by another customer, you may rent the item. Payment will be made at time of pickup and payment will be charged to your credit card or you may pay in cash. Only Japanese yen is accepted.
For your added security and payment protection, we use internationally recognized, third-party secure online payment providers. For Credit Card payments, we use Stripe. For Bitcoin payment processing we use BitcoinPay. These payment processors are trusted by thousands of businesses worldwide.
All information that is transferred between you and Japan Bike Rentals is encrypted using SSL encryption. All credit card details are encrypted using a 40bit - 128bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Software. When you establish a secure connection, the downloaded website sends a digital certificate to your web browser. When the certificate arrives, it contains a public key, which functions as a one-way encryption device. The browser then uses this key to scramble your personal data (credit card information) before sending it over the Internet.
There are many good hotels located in Akasaka, within just a few minutes walk of the JBR office.
Yes. There is an 8% consumption tax in Japan. However, all prices listed on the Japan Bike Rentals website are inclusive of consumption tax, so there will be no additional taxes to pay. Hotels, restaurants, and gas stations all charge 8% consumption tax. This charge may be shown as an extra charge on the receipt or just included in the price.
Some do, some don't. We recommend confirming with your cell phone carrier. If your carrier does not provide service in Japan, you may wish to rent a phone from us.
Expect to struggle a little with communication. The people in the countryside generally do not speak English as well as people in the city. A phrase book will come in handy, as will your best gesturing skills. The locals are extremely hospitable and will go out of their way to make you feel at home, so no need to worry too much. It is all part of the adventure.
Japan is one of the safest countries on the planet. Theft is extremely rare and there is virtually no need to worry at all about your personal safety. However, naturally there is no guarantee, so use common sense.
ATMs are plentiful throughout Japan and can be found at most convenience stores and of course banks. These machines will accept most major credit cards, so make sure you know your credit card PIN number. Credit cards can be used at most major hotels and gas stations as well as many restaurants. However, to be on the safe side, we recommend going to a bank while in Tokyo and taking out enough cash to last you a few days.
No. There is no tipping in Japan. Even at fine restaurants and five-star hotels there is no need to tip. In fact, offering a tip can often create an uncomfortable situation, so best just to forget about tipping completely while you are in Japan.
No, this is generally not a good idea. First of all, the Fuji climbing season is short (July 1st to Sept 14th), and climbing Mt. Fuji outside of the climbing season is prohibited. If you visit Japan in the summer, and you wish to climb Mt. Fuji, we would recommend keeping your Fuji climb and your Japan motorcycle tour separate. We do not recommend riding to Mt. Fuji, doing the climb and then continuing your motorcycle tour. Climbing to the summit of Mt. Fuji takes at least a 6-8hr, and then you will need some time at the top before the 2-3hr climb back down again. In our opinion, to then get on a motorcycle and continue your bike tour is far from a good idea, and is not safe. The only exception to this rule is if you choose to stay in the Fuji 5-lakes region for 2-3 nights. Then it would be possible to combine your motorcycle tour with a Fuji climb.
No, I'm sorry we do not rent out bicycles. We only rent out motorcycles. If you are interested in bicycles, please check here