Everyone’s got a mamachari in Japan. Literally everyone. To say that they are ubiquitous is an understatement. Mamachari are everywhere and are ridden by everyone – old/young, female/male, students, salary men, mothers, grandmothers and fathers.

Mamachari are much the same in Japan as Dutch bikes are in Holland. To the Japanese, a mamachari is just an extension of their shoes, there to be used (and abused) when you need them, forgotten and often neglected when you don’t. So mamachari have a hard life and need to be tough enough to stand up to it.

The basic characteristics of a mamachari are:

  • Stepthrough frame design
  • Upright riding position
  • Mudguards
  • Front basket
  • Chain case
  • Rear hub brake
  • Front dynamo light
  • Rear stand
  • Rear wheel mounted lock

Some also have:

  • Rear rack – to which a child seat can be fitted
  • An integrated front child seat

There are also variations of mamachari with, electric pedal assist, bolt-on sun umbrellas and hand mitts and more.

Both in Japan and abroad there’s quite a following for them – some quite eccentric such as the mamachari race series held at Fuji Speedway near Mt.Fuji.

Here are some sites about mamachari in general:

www.tokyobybike.com

www.treehugger.com

www.japancycling.org

www.japan-talk.com

www.bikecommuters.com

www.positivo-espresso.blogspot.co.uk