A penny farthing rider in Tokyo

For a country renowned for its conformity, Japan throws up a wonderful array of contradictions, meaning one can never be completely sure of what’s round the next corner.

Japanese penny farthing rider

Surprises that, despite Tokyo’s many faults, make it a continually fascinating city to live in.

Japanese penny farthing rider

And it’s even better when you get to know one or two causes of said surprises — especially so when they turn out to be a person whose character is as decent as their bicycle is large.

Japanese penny farthing rider

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  1. Josee says

    How does he get off the bicycle? And god forbid if he loses his balance and falls off his bicycle…..I think I will lose a limb if I fall off that machine…

    • says

      With great difficulty I think.

      Nah, he’s obviously got used to it by now, but it still doesn’t look easy.

  2. Taki says

    Is that the Tama river? It looks close to my in-laws :) Here in Canada, I think only seen a penny farthing maybe ~4 times…

    • says

      Yes, it’s the Tama River. The photo was taken south of Kunitachi I think.

      This is the only penny farthing I’ve seen in Tokyo. Or anywhere for that matter.

  3. winnie says

    I like the 2nd picture the most!! The expression of the smaller biker is amusing!!
    And such a great contrast between both of them.

    I cannot imagine if I am going to ride this! It’s cool, but too dangerous for my heart to take it!
    I also wonder how is he going to get off the bike?

    • says

      Yeah, I like the expression on the other cyclist too. Pretty much my section the first time I saw him too.

      Me too. Really don’t think I’d fancy having a go. Plus getting off looked very difficult, which puts me off having a go even more…

  4. says

    A land of contradictions, you got that right! The moment you think you have figured Japan out, they throw a penny farthing, a punk rocker or a salaryman with a smile at you :-)

    • says

      It certainly is. It’s the only proper one I’ve seen outside a museum. And definitely the only one I’ve seen being used.

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