JPSS, for information about studying in Japan's universities and graduate schools. > News／Useful information for studying abroad > Guide for Studying Abroad in Japan > Living Guide for International Students in Japan > Bicycles
On the sidewalks or at train stations in Japan, you can spot bicycles still fit for use, left there for many days without being taking care of. These bicycles are called "unattended bicycles". It is one of the big problems for street maintenance by local governments. Though they look a waste, they should not be picked up by others. In Japan, in order to prevent a bicycle from being stolen, all bicycles must be registered. If police find out that the bicycle you ride is from picking up, you will be charged as a "bicycle thief".
When you buy a bicycle, ask the shop for its registration. If you buy a secondhand one from a friend or somebody, make sure that it is registered. When receiving a used bicycle from the previous owner, have them fill out a certificate of transfer, and submit it to the registered police station along with your residence card to change the theft-prevention registration to your name. If the police station is too far away, please check if registration can be made at a nearby police station.
A bicycle will be treated as an "abandoned bicycle" if it is not parked at a designated area, then it might be cleared away by a local authority. You have to make a claim and pay the fine in order to get the bicycle back at a specified place. It always should be parked at the designated area.