Who is this mystery woman?


Summer in Tokyo triggers most women to rigorously protect themselves from the sun while biking. Huge visor. Black gloves past the elbow. No matter the heat or humidity. In other countries, this look might frighten horses. In Japan, this look could not be more common. A small price to pay for beauty.

Sumo bicycle training

How adorable is this?! A police-sumo publicity photo about bicycle safety. I guess one rule they didn’t cover is “don’t bike if you are wearing a super long robe.” It’s a good thing that most Japanese bicycles have a low cross bar (what is classified as a girl’s bike in US). I wish I had been on the ground taking the photo of the big boys navigating the obstacle course!

News story from Mainichi
A sumo wrestler weaves his way carefully around a line of pins outside the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward on Dec. 7, 2011. Twenty-two wrestlers from the Hakkaku-Beya sumo stable turned out to improve their bike-riding skills at a class organized by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The class — which included sections on maneuvering, crossing intersections and negotiating curving roads — is part of the MPD’s traffic accident reduction program, though this is apparently the first time the officers have conducted one just for sumo wrestlers.

Sexy bike fashion in Shinjuku


I love this sexy bike fashion. He captures many of the trends: tights under shorts, bright colors, 80s shoes, stripes & patterns mixed together, and people-powered transit. I 3> Tokyo!

First national health insurance card

First national health insurance card

Now that I have a one year visa for cultural activities (thank you, in-laws), the Japanese government has issued me an Alien Registration Card and enrolled me in the national health insurance program. Yipeee! For about $100 per year, I now have access to health care in Japan. My very first national health insurance. Thank you, Nihon!

It’s been a week of getting organized. I also got my bike re-assembled and registered, bought a bike helmet, and added a kick-stand. I am ready to roll.