-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
This is a very common sight in front of a kindergarten nearby.
Some parents, almost always mothers, drive their children to and from the kindergarten, and others use customized “mama-chari bicycles (granny's bicycles)”.
Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in Japan. Many mothers living in Tokyo ride mama-chari bicycles with a child seat. To avoid leaving children at home, a mother goes various places everyday by the bicycle with her child on it: going to a supermarket, a laundry, a bank, a post office, and so on.
To choose the mama-chari bicycle isn’t so much because of an environmental concern but efficient traveling in the center of the capital where one has trouble finding a parking place. It’s an economic and intelligent conclusion. My town is known for its international community, and more foreigners have started pedaling with their children in recent years.
A bicycle with two child seats has been allowed if it meets certain conditions since the Road Traffic Law was revised in 2009. Before that, however, the indispensable transportation for mothers was accepted silently.
Azabu is a hilly town.
I’m deeply impressed when I see that a mother climbs a steep slope by the bicycle with two children on the front and the back, in addition, with several grocery sacks around her arms.
I take off my hat to mothers.