Bicycle sales volume in Japan 2010-2019

As of 2019, about 1.7 million bicycles were sold in Japan, worth over 74 billion Japanese yen in sales. While Japan produced around 885 thousand bicycles in 2018, those figures barely covered the domestic demand. More than six million bicycles were imported into the country over the course of the same year.

What are the preferences of Japanese bicycle owners?

The most common type among Japanese cyclists was the so called mamachari, which can be loosely translated as “granny’s bike”. A mamachari is a general utility bicycle, particularly popular among housewives and students commuting to school or running daily errands. As of 2019, e-bikes were the third most popular bicycle type, with almost 10 percent of bicycle owners in Japan opting for the motorized version.

When it comes to purchasing new bicycles, the price point was a crucial factor taken into consideration by almost 50 percent of Japanese consumers, with the average buyer willing to pay between 10 to 20 thousand yen for their ride.

But what makes riding a bicycle a popular mode of transportation in Japan? In a country with exceptionally high demands for well-structured and efficiently designed life options, convenience is a vital factor for commercial viability. However, an important aspect of convenience is accessibility. In recent years, a growing number of Japanese cities started to offer bicycle sharing services, making alternative and budget friendly mobility options not only more accessible, but also contributing to increased flexibility in travel choices for citizens and tourists alike.

Is riding a bicycle safe in Japan?

In 2019, bicycle accidents in Japan were primarily caused by road users being negligent towards the traffic situation. Another common reason for (near) accidents was the usage of mobile phones, headphones or umbrellas while riding a bike. During morning and evening rush hour periods, bicycle accidents were most likely to happen, frequently involving cars or, to a lesser degree, motorcycles. However, the overall number of accidents involving bicycles decreased from almost 25 thousand in 2009 to approximately 15 thousand cases in 2019.

Sales volume of bicycles in Japan from 2010 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

2010 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Data prior to 2013 comes from previous reporting.
Values have been rounded.

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