“Kagorin”, a public bike sharing system, is a great way to travel around the city of Kagoshima and save up costs on transportation!
When traveling, you often think it would be more convenient if you have a bicycle. Getting around the city by a bicycle is one of the best ways to explore every corner of the city. You can just stop and get a glimpse of a narrow street with some hidden shops and local spots you usually go past. For locals, including me, who do not have a bicycle, Kagorin is a good system to get a bicycle and run some errands. On a personal note, I do not want to buy a bicycle here because the volcanic ash turns it rustier quite easily.
Kagoshima’s bike sharing system called “ Kagorin” has 21 docking stations and 174 bikes in circulation across the city which are available 24x7 for 365 days a year. The system covers the central area of Kagoshima city including its popular sightseeing spots that are scattered all around the city.
Let’s have a look at how to hire a bike. Here is a step by step guide to hire one.
First, go to one of the docking stations to sign up. You can sign up on the navigation screen installed at each station. Push “ English” to change the language options provided on the screen, and then touch “Rental” to move to the next page. There are 4 languages available namely, Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese to cater to different tourists.
Your only requirement is a mobile phone number starting with a“ 090”, a “080” or a “070” which receive a short message service. For international travelers, it is not likely to have a local mobile phone or a local phone number. But there is another option for that. You can visit the Takapura branch of JTB, a travel agency in Tenmonkan area (check the location on the map below) and have them issue a Kagorin IC card. It requires your identification and 500 yen per card as a deposit. Once you receive a Kagorin IC card you can take it to a docking station for signing up to the Kagorin rental system.
Takapura branch of JTB is about 10 minutes by tram from Kagoshima-chuo station. The map below will lead you there.
Insert your mobile phone number in the box.
After it processes your information, you will receive a password on your mobile phone. Insert the password on the screen.
Choose the time period for which you want to rent the bicycle. It can be from a day to a month. And then you are taken to a payment page. There are two options, cash or credit card. Push either button on the screen as per your choice.
Insert coins of 200 yen (remember that only 100 yen coins are accepted). When you complete the payment, you will receive a receipt that displays your machine number. Push “Use” on the screen and a parking lot for the bike you will be using will be unlocked. Now you are ready to go!
From second sign up, repeat the process from step 1 to step 3.
When returning your bike, just drop it back to one of the 21 docking stations across the city.
Push the bike firmly into any empty docking point. You pay extra charges on the screen if needed.
It costs 200 yen to access the bike for 24 hours. The first 30 minutes of each journey is free. Longer journeys cost 200 yen for each extra 30 minutes. It means as long as you dock it within 30 minutes, you can hire a bike for 24 hours for only 200 yen. Confused? Check the example below.
The map of all docking stations across the city is attached to each bike so that you can find the nearest docking station when you stop for sightseeing.
To get started, I rented a 200 yen bike access at the City hospital docking station and rode for 15 minutes to Ishin Furusato museum and docked my bike at a docking station nearby. After visiting the museum, I hired another bike for 5 minutes and headed straight to Kagoshima-chuo station for shopping. After shopping, I picked up another bike and rode for 20 minutes to Saigo Takamori statue in Tenmonkan area. The entire journey cost me only 200 yen because each ride was within 30 minutes of the other.
Address: 〒892-8677 11-1, Yamashitacho, Kagoshima-shi, Kagoshima
Phone : 0120-992-599, 099-216-1296