USING A BICYCLE, DRIVING A CAR
Using a bicycle
The roads in the central area of Tsukuba Science City, located in the heart of Tsukuba City, and the areas around stations along the Tsukuba Express line have been designed and developed systematically, making the area an environment that allows for the ease of use of bicycles. However, if you ride a bicycle without a sound understanding of Japanese traffic rules, you may inadvertently violate them and be forced to pay penalties. There are many restrictions on bicycle riding. For example, riding under the influence of alcohol, talking on a mobile phone while riding a bicycle, riding double on a bicycle, and riding alongside another cycler are prohibited. Check the traffic safety guide beforehand, and be sure to obey rules when you ride a bicycle.
If you buy a bicycle in Japan, you must register it at the store where you purchase it. You must show personal identification and pay 600 yen for the registration. If you buy a secondhand bicycle from another person, you will have to have the name on the registration card changed to your own name at a bicycle shop.
▼ Traffic Safety Guidelines for Pedestrians and Cyclists
“Bicycle/ Motorcycle Registration”
Due to the extensive grounds of the University of Tsukuba, a lot of students are using bicycles and motorbikes. In order to solve the issue of bike parking space or blocked passages by bikes, the bicycle/ motorcycle registration system has been installed. Unregistered bicycles, etc. will be moved or cleared. If you are using a bicycle or motorbike on campus, register the affiliated academic service office and affix the issued IC tag to the frame of your bicycle, etc. (2,000 yen)
Driving a car
To drive a car in Japan, you must be 18 years old and hold one of the following licenses:
- Japanese driver’s license
- International driver’s license
- Driver’s license from one of the following countries accompanied by a Japanese translation prepared by the Japanese Embassy / Consulate in the issuing country of the license or the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF): Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Monaco, or Taiwan.
It is also possible to change the driver’s license of a foreign national to a Japanese driver’s license. The license holder’s knowledge of driving is confirmed, and if it is deemed that there are no obstacles to the holder’s driving, part of the driving test (written examination, practical skills test) will be waived.
▼ Changeover from a foreign driver’s license to a Japanese driver’s license
A residence card holder may buy a car but must first secure a place to keep it (parking place), and to have a certificate issued by the police station of jurisdiction. If
you own a car, it is also mandatory to pay tax, and we strongly recommend that you enroll in compulsory insurance (automobile third-party liability insurance). We also strongly recommend that you enroll in voluntary insurance to cover any property damage, vehicle damage, passenger injury, and self-inflicted accident.
Use of on-campus parking
There are numerous parking lots on campus for the use of students and staff. To using a parking lot, you must complete procedures for the issue of a parking permit, and you must join the University of Tsukuba Traffic Safety Association (membership fee required). Furthermore, to maintain traffic safety and prevent traffic accidents, the university is conducting a crackdown on violations such as parking without a permit and parking outside prescribed parking lots. Please be sure to comply with university parking rules.
* Membership parking fees: gated parking lot 900 yen/month, non-gated parking lot 400 yen/month
* Persons whose commuting distance is less than two kilometers away are not eligible for to apply for use.
▼ University of Tsukuba Traffic Safety Association (In Japanese only)