It’s more than a bike;
it’s a way of life.
I love the names of bikes in this country. Whereas bikes in the United States tend to be named to indicate either their level of speed or how much you spent on the thing, bicycles in Japan seem to be named more whimsically or irreverently.
I have begun “collecting” some of the more entertaining bike names I stumble across, in the form of quick photographs snapped while walking down the street. However, what began as a silly hobby has turned into a near pathological pastime. I will occasionally double back, just to make sure I didn’t miss something, and then snap several pics of my prey from different angles.
Some of the names are simply interesting, like the CORONET seen above. That one was mildly entertaining, as CORONET was a value brand toilet paper when I was a child. Others are utilitarian, such as ATHLETIC WORKS (the bike I bought for myself at Seibu, which I see nearly everywhere in Japan on a daily basis) or TOKYO BIKE. The best, however, are the outright absurd ones: I missed my train, and was almost late to work one day because I had to snap several photos of the curiously named FLOATMIX.
I have also taken to crowning the current King of The Japanese Jitensha, and regularly updating anyone who hasn’t ceased following the saga on Facebook. The present incumbent is a bicycle bizarrely named QUICHE, which narrowly swiped the crown from the longstanding champion, FROMAGE. I suspect those last two must be somehow related…