With its sights spread out across the city and beyond, day trips around Kagoshima are made that much easier with access to a bike. The Kagorin city bikes are located at 25 different spots around Kagoshima City with almost 200 bikes ready to pick up and drop off as you please making it easy to hop from the stations to the museums and shopping areas in town and even onto the Senganen Garden if you opt for a full day of cycling.
1 - Pick up a user guide
Firstly, head to your nearest Kagorin bike port and pick up a user guide. This will take you through the step-by-step process of signing up to use the bikes so you can get started as soon as possible. The user guide also includes information about what to do if there are any problems with a Kagorin bike, including damage and theft.
2 - Plan your route
A map of the Kagorin bike ports across the city can be found at every docking station, as well as the name and number of the station you are currently visiting. From here, you can plan your route to a different part of the city dropping the bike off at the bike port closest to your desired destination.
Visitors planning to go as far as Senganen Garden will need to prepare to spend a little more as there are no bike ports in the vicinity, so an extra 100 yen will be charged for each 30 minutes that you have the bike. So, for example, if you are using the bike for three hours between picking it up and dropping it off this will set you back 700 yen for the day: a 200-yen sign up fee, a first free 30 minutes, then 2.5 hours at 100 yen per 30 minutes.
3 - Register for Kagorin
As it’s required to have a Japanese mobile phone to receive a confirmation message for signing up, the next step is either to register at the machine at the docking station with your mobile phone or to head to the Tenmonkan area where the Takapura branch of the travel agency JTB will help you get signed up with a Kagorin IC Card.
If you’ve opted to register at one of the docking station’s machines, this shouldn’t prove difficult. Switch the screen to English and click the “Rental” button for the best deal. After entering the code that is sent to your mobile phone, you’ll have the option to choose how long you would like to sign up to the Kagorin bikes, which is either one day for 200 yen or one month for 1,000 yen.
4 - Pay for registration
A lot of machines only accept cards, however, if there is an option to pay by cash you’ll need the exact change in 100 yen coins. Kagorin registration costs 200 yen for one day or 1,000 yen for a month. Once you’re signed up, you can use any bike from any station as many times as you like for free as long as the journey is under 30 minutes. Any journey longer than 30 minutes will incur a charge of 100 yen for every extra 30 minutes. The registration fee is the only payment you’ll need to make in this first step and any further charges are paid when you return the bike to a bike port.
5 - On your bike!
Once you’ve paid, the bike port machine will let you know which number bike has been released for your use. Adjust your seat, check the breaks, and get cycling! Remember, in Japan the traffic drives on the left and you’ll be expected to follow the traffic laws.