Take a tour of the Bicycle Museum in Sakai to learn about one of the most popular modes of transport in Japan. Find out about bike part production, follow the evolution of bicycle design and examine rare models from throughout the ages.
The Bicycle Museum was built in 1992 and is sponsored by Shimano, a world-renowned manufacturer of bicycles and the largest company of its kind in Japan. The Sakai region, where the museum is located, was known for its thriving metalworking industry, producing swords, cutlery, workmen’s tools, guns and later bicycles when they first arrived in Japan in the early 1900s.
Discover more about the regional history in the entrance hall, a vast showroom filled with manufacturing tools, bikes and accessories. Watch a short film on the history of the bicycle and inspect models that showcase the evolution of its design. Marvel at an early Boneshaker bicycle, so called because its wrought-iron frame and wooden wheels made it a jittery experience for riders.
Look for the penny-farthing, identifiable by its disproportionately large front wheel. Among the other bicycles on display here is one that was given to Japan's Crown Prince in 1930.
Go up to the first floor to see the world's largest unicycle alongside a collection of notable bicycles gathered from around the globe. In the gallery space next door, browse the winning entries from a yearly children’s art contest, which is sponsored by the Bicycle Museum.
Leaf through manuscripts and manuals on bike function and design at the museum's library. Ascend to the third floor for interactive displays. Pedal a stationary bike and test different brake designs. The museum occasionally hosts special events during which visitors can ride replicas of the Boneshaker and other unusual bicycles. Check ahead to see if anything is happening during your visit.
The Bicycle Museum is located in Sakai city, 1 hour from Osaka by train. The museum is open daily and charges admission. After your visit, consider stopping by Daisen Park. Located beside the museum, this park is a serene place to relax and unwind.