Mamachari – commuting Japan style

Everywhere you go in Tokyo are people on bicycles, riding on the streets and sidewalks, with kids strapped in the front and back, on their way to school, shopping or work. But these “mamachari” bikes are nothing like I’ve seen before. 

Mamachari bike

Mamachari is a mash-up of two Japanese words meaning “mother” and a slang term for “bicycle”. These bikes are made for city living with a chain guard, low front tube (like a beach cruiser), mud guards, solar front and back lights, and a built in bell.  Many have an electric battery attached that gives the rider an extra push up the hills and can be loaded down with packages and humans. I’ve even seen a few moms with groceries in the front basket, a kid on the back seat, and a baby strapped to their chest in an Ergo. Besides trains, these mamachari bikes seem to be everyone’s favorite mode of transportation.

I’ve now joined the ranks of the locals and am the proud owner of an electric mamachari with two kids seats. I’m an experienced road cyclist, but this bike weighs a ton and once I’ve strapped my two kids into the seats, it can feel really unwieldy. Thankfully, as soon as you pedal once, the motor kicks in and your momentum makes the bike easy to handle. It’s also a huge benefit when navigating up the many hills in the city.

With the price of gasoline continuing to rise, these electric bikes might be a good import to the United States to encourage more bicycle commuting.

I’m excited to explore more of Tokyo by mamachari – and so are my kids!

Be Part of My Chain of Learning

If you enjoyed this post and want to continue your learning journey with me, sign up for my periodic newsletter below where you’ll be the first to know about new articles on leadership, coaching, and continuous improvement, more author interviews and giveaways, and other opportunities to deepen your learning.

If you are already a subscriber, thank you!

Get The Latest Updates

Join my "Chain of Learning"!

Register below to sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know about new insights and inspiration to help you become the leader you always knew you could be.

I can’t wait to have you in this leading, learning, and caring world.

Related Posts



Get my free guide 3 Tips to Break The Telling Habit & learn how to ask better questions with intention.

3 Tips to Break the Telling Habit