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
- 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: