Predominantly flat, very well organised, and populated by outrageously considerate locals who are more than used to sharing space with their two-wheeled companions, Osaka is Japan's true bike city. Bicycles are indeed so ubiquitous that it's impossible to spend a day in town without seeing them glide down the sidewalk carrying well-dressed business men, women with babies and surprisingly agile elderly.If seeing the locals traverse their city on two wheels makes you want to hop off the train and on a bike, then it's time for you to join the ranks of Osaka's cyclists. To score your ride, head to an English-speaking bike rental service, such as Cycle Osaka . Not only will they hook you up with a suitable bike, they will also help you with cycle tours so you can explore the city your way. Another option would be HUBchari , where bicycles are shared at various stations throughout the city. Alternatively, Osaka's new public bike rental service offers smaller city bikes for inner city touring. Information on this scheme can be found at http://umegle-chari.minaport.jp (Japanese only). Then... just saddle up, plan your route, and get involved! Over at Grand Front Osaka, the newest landmark building in Osaka’s Kita, you can rent a bicycle at Umegle Rental Cycle. You'll be able to return your cycle anytime within the 24 hour period, giving you plenty of time to see the city in two-wheeled fashion. HUBchari and COIDECO are two examples of a new type of "community cycle" bicycle rental service. There are a number of rental "ports" located around the city, and you don’t have to return your bicycle to the same port you borrowed it from. Osaka's a great city to explore this way, and it’s sure to make you appreciate cycling all the more. Make sure to check Osaka's urban cycling routes before you arrive.

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