Japan crew at NAHBS 2012

Among the throngs visiting the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento last weekend, there were large numbers of Japanese media, fans and reps.

Japanese Crew

Among the people in this photo:

  • Japanese bike dealer Sim Works, who imports components, bikes or accessories from Chris King, Hunter, Sycip, King Cage, Peterboro Basket, and Philosophy Bags. Although there’s a vibrant and uniquely Japanese bike culture ranging from the everyman’s mamachari to NJS Keirin racers, Sim Works wants American style, practicality and durability in city commuter bikes and touring bikes. Is that wild or what?
  • Rie has her “CharRie’s Miracle Bike Cafe,” a bike portable coffee shop. She blogs at CharRie’s Cafe.
  • Shunsuke, who was in Sacrmanto to represent CCP Apparel, but he also has his own business running East River Cycles in Tokyo. I suppose East River is a reference to the Sumida River?
  • Shinya manages Circles, a lifestyle bike shop in Nagoya, Japan.

Some of these folks want to have an bike show in Japan featuring both American and Japanese bespoke bike and accessory manufacturers in a kind of reverse-Orientalist fascination for all things Western.

I told them about Byron Kidd’s Tokyo By Bike, and English language Australian expat’s look at transportational cycling around Tokyo. If there’s a Tokyo-American handmade bike show, Byron, I expect you to cover it!


  1. “I suppose East River is a reference to the Sumida River?”

    Hey!  As a Shitamachi resident (east of the Sumida) I resent the idea it stops at the Sumida: it continues east over the Arakawa and stops at the Edogawa.

  2. Well, none of the three have the character for ‘east’ in them, honestly.  Maybe the shop owner is referencing one of them though, as on the east side of the city: they all are east of the palace and the business districts.  His website is a blog, and I did not find a shop website/map/address through it (my moderate Japanese and supreme laziness the cause of my failure) so I cannot reference one of the rivers against where the shop is.

  3. His shop seems to be close to the Sumida. I assume it sounds “cool” to him. It just occurs to me that he’s aiming for a Brooklyn vibe, kind of like a place called “New York Pizza” in Silicon Valley

  4. Did some more Google-ing.  Turns out it is a short walk from my workplace, and is indeed on the ‘east-side’ of Tokyo, literally and metaphorically.  It is east of the palace, downtown, and the Sumidagawa (river), near the Sumo stadium, in the traditionally rougher-edged side of the city (though safe).
    Map: http://g.co/maps/2p2dz
    Shop Blog (Japanese): http://eastriver1.exblog.jp/
    Other Blog’s comments (Japanese): http://sazaepc-tasuke.seesaa.net/article/183774696.html

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