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John Montpetit

Update to “Cops read me the riot act.”

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Sounds like progress. :thumbup:

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Curious to know if other riders like @Toshio Uemura have been harassed by cops in Japan or if they’re singling you out because you’re gaijin. Also maybe kyoto is more conservative than other cities. 

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Japanese society is very anal about strange behaviors. EUCs behaviors/etiquettes have not been set yet, so they make a lot of people nervous on how to react to their being on the street/sidewalks. 

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I haven’t heard from any other riders in Japan. Kyoto is more conservative than the rest of the country, but we’ll have to see where this goes. It’s early in this struggle, it may take a long time before any concrete decisions are taken. Will keep you posted, thanks for the support.

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14 hours ago, shellac said:

Curious to know if other riders like @Toshio Uemura have been harassed by cops in Japan or if they’re singling you out because you’re gaijin. Also maybe kyoto is more conservative than other cities. 

Does that answer your question? 😝 

 

4A38C61E-EA29-474E-B3F9-ECF949D6DDCD.jpeg
 

We have a saying: 灯台下暗し (it’s hard to see what is under your nose)
So here in the countryside police is very relaxed 😎, they never stopped me or made any comments YET, and once in Osaka at night when I was riding with a friend along a river path, a police car out of nowhere flashed its lights, howled its siren 🚨 and stopped us, but once they saw we were adults and not teenagers riding scooters without a license, they just smiled and gave us a thumbs up 👍.
But in Kyoto a while ago one of my friends got arrested and had her wheel confiscated. So, after all riding EUCs in public is illegal. And I am afraid I might get in some trouble once I am roaming the streets with my new Sherman. So I think I will stay out of the cities on mountain trails and on lonesome country roads. I got myself a good insurance and I have a motorcycle license, mirror, an approved street helmet and a safety vest (thanks to Chooch tech`s recommendations), so I am hoping to be able to get away with a warning ⚠️ if I should ever get stopped. But Japanese police does not harass citizens. They are very polite. One night I got pulled over when I was speeding through Kyoto with my Cayenne and the first thing the officer said was: “We are very sorry to stop you, when you are in such a hurry ...” Then they let me off with a warning. 😝 

Edited by Toshio Uemura
Additional info

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9 hours ago, scubadragosan said:

so they make a lot of people nervous on how to react to their being on the street/sidewalks. 

Sorry, but after riding for over 4 years now in Osaka, Kyoto, around Mount Fuji, Lake Kawaguchi and mostly here in Shiga Prefecture I never got any bad reaction from people I passed, mostly smiles, thumbs-up and positive encouragement. Guess it all depends on your riding manners.

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11 hours ago, shellac said:

they’re singling you out because you’re gaijin. Also maybe kyoto is more conservative than other cities. 

As to being “gaijin”, you probably get the “gaijin bonus” a “free out of jail card”, because foreigners are foreign people and therefore not supposed to understand, comprehend and obey Japanese rules. Japanese rules are foreign to them and therefore it would not be polite to hold them responsible for not obeying such rules. Just a simple “I am sorry!” (Preferably spoken in English!) should get you (foreigners only!) out of most traffic violations. 😝 

And yes Kyoto is more conservative, so you might wanna bow your head a few inches deeper! 🤣 

Edited by Toshio Uemura
Additions

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I worked for the Japanese for many years and I thought they were great people. They were an intelligent bunch, always respectful though they did work far too hard which always made me look rather negligent. I never saw any evidence of crime in Japan so really the only time I ever saw the police was when they were directing traffic. I can't quite picture the police bothering you for just riding an EUC but I can easily see it happening if you're out bothering others by "owning the road", especially in a beautiful traditional city like Kyoto. Maybe best to stay in the mountains...

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1 hour ago, mike_bike_kite said:

I worked for the Japanese for many years and I thought they were great people. They were an intelligent bunch, always respectful though they did work far too hard which always made me look rather negligent. I never saw any evidence of crime in Japan so really the only time I ever saw the police was when they were directing traffic. I can't quite picture the police bothering you for just riding an EUC but I can easily see it happening if you're out bothering others by "owning the road", especially in a beautiful traditional city like Kyoto. Maybe best to stay in the mountains...

Your perception is extraordinary. Exactly that is what Japan is about. There is this term 迷惑をかける, which means “bother or annoy others”. It is an important concept in Japanese culture and kids get taught very early on never to bother other people with their actions. It is an important concept for social discipline and harmonious living with others around you. This concept along with other very Japanese concepts like “amaeru”, “sabi and wabi”, giri and  ninjo” (duty & human emotion) are somehow difficult if not impossible to grasp for foreigners. But I believe this is what happened in John`s case. He must have bothered some guy or madam. But it will turn out alright for him, I am pretty sure, with or without a lawyer.
And you are absolutely right: Maybe best to stay in the beautiful mountains around Kyoto, @John Montpetit challenge to climb the Daimonji Mountain with your unicycle, or climb the back side of the Fushimi shrine or with this big KingSong go even further out to Kurama. I strongly recommend to visit one of the beautiful cycling roads along Biwako (Lake Biwa) (From Hikone to Nagahama for example) you will have a wonderful time and no one will bother you.

Edited by Toshio Uemura

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Well its so sad to stick to mountains paths only. Riding euc in tokyo kyoto or osaka must be great..... I heard from friends that electric scooters are peaking in tokyo. Wondering if they face the same issues as euc. 

Edited by Ronin Ryder

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1 hour ago, Ronin Ryder said:

Well its so sad to stick to mountains paths only. Riding euc in tokyo kyoto or osaka must be great..... I heard from friends that electric scooters are peaking in tokyo. Wondering if they face the same issues as euc. 

I am not too optimistic about e-scooters getting mixed up with EUCs in terms of perception and legality. A case in point is Singapore. Singapore was supposed to be in favor of green alternative vehicles. But after numerous e-scooter riders speeding and colliding with pedestrians and cars, e-scooters and EUC riders are lumped together suffering the same fate--banned from riding on sidewalks. Whenever and wherever space is limited, conflicts/collisions are inevitable. Between pedestrians, cars, e-scooters and EUCs, who will yield, favored or have priority?

Edited by scubadragosan

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On 9/7/2020 at 8:37 AM, John Montpetit said:

So I did get a lawyer and the cops did soften their position somewhat. They said that if I got a driver’s license and had some “mechanical alterations done ...”, that there might be room for movement. The lawyer seems to think that the cops are referring to turn signals as they mentioned turn signals several times in their discussion. So I got an online International Driver’s License and I should have the hard copy in 2 or 3 weeks which if I take it to the department of motor vehicles they will allow me to take the closed course drivers test which would give me a valid Japanese driver’s license. If I did not go the International Driver’s License route I would have to take a automobile driver’s course which, in Japan, costs a small fortune. So, it seems that a lawyer’s letter had some effect but in Japan it can sometimes be 2 steps forward and 3 steps backward. I’ll let you know how this turns out.

Glad you fought back... Not sure what having drivers license has to do with riding a EUC though. Do they make cyclists do the same thing? Do they harass cyclists about turn signals?

Japan is so weird!!

 

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8 hours ago, Ronin Ryder said:

お疲れ様です。Excellent explanation/clarification @Toshio Uemura thank you!!

③⑨ ❣️ (サンキュー)

 

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On 9/15/2020 at 11:12 PM, Toshio Uemura said:

Maybe best to stay in the beautiful mountains around Kyot

Thanks for the suggestions. I plan on going out to Kurama in the near future.

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On 9/17/2020 at 4:21 AM, Toshio Uemura said:

③⑨ ❣️ (サンキュー)

 

Goddamn I love Japan lol. Why won't you people let me iiiiiiiin?!?? (Was planning to go first time next month... But us zombie corona lepers are not allowed in 😭)

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2 hours ago, Crooznfbroozn said:

But us zombie corona lepers are not allowed in 😭)

It is not only the „us z..... ..... .....s“ (your words!) that can’t get in. I think we all have to be patient for a little while longer. This is a Marathon, but any marathon has an end. I also used to travel a lot, twice a year to Europe, to Thailand or China and I miss traveling in Japan. But at least we have our eHorses to ride around locally. Many people don’t even have that. 😷

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9 hours ago, Toshio Uemura said:

It is not only the „us z..... ..... .....s“ (your words!) that can’t get in. I think we all have to be patient for a little while longer. This is a Marathon, but any marathon has an end. I also used to travel a lot, twice a year to Europe, to Thailand or China and I miss traveling in Japan. But at least we have our eHorses to ride around locally. Many people don’t even have that. 😷

Just jesting! (Does it help if I had the damn thing? 😅)

Let's certainly hope so! I was always expecting a "can't go out, it's a high radiation day", not the current timeline 🤔

Although where I'm at were sprinting straight towards a full lockdown again.

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American here in Zama, Kanagawa.  Never a problem with anyone around here. I don't ride fast passing people. I think most people look at me and wonder WTF is the gaijin riding.

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4 minutes ago, Dirty Joe said:

American here in Zama, Kanagawa.  Never a problem with anyone around here. I don't ride fast passing people. I think most people look at me and wonder WTF is the gaijin riding.

Instead you probably get a lot of smiles from older ladies and waving 👋 and „Harro!“s from the local kids. 😝 Does that sound familiar?

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18 minutes ago, Dirty Joe said:

Yes it does!

気をつけて、楽しんできてね。Have fun and be safe! 

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