Did you know you can rent bicycles for free in places all over Matsumoto? If you’re planning a day in the central part of the city, bicycles are one of the best – and most flexible – ways to get around. Matsumoto even has designated bike lanes on its main roads, so you don’t need to fight with pedestrians for riding space!
Eighteen brand new rental bikes (photo above) have been added to the free bike pool offered by the Sui Sui Town public bike service. These new bikes are available at the bicycle parking outside Matsumoto Station’s Castle Exit (East Exit) and the North Bicycle Parking Area just a short walk from the station. The rental service is available from 9 AM to 5 PM, but you can return the bikes up until 9 PM.
The get to the Sui Sui Town right outside the station, simply walk to the right of Matsumoto Station’s Castle Exit toward the car lottery. You will see a bicycle parking lot to the left by the main road, which is where the rental bikes are located. Ask the attendant about the bikes. (See Google Map)
The Sui Sui Town at the North Bike Parking Area is can be tricky to find. To get there, immediately turn left from Matsumoto Station’s Castle Exit and walk down the sidewalk (do not cross the street). Turn left down the alley immediately before the Super Hotel Matsumoto and you will see an indoor bike parking lot, which is where the rentals are located. Again, ask the attendant about the bikes. (See Google Map)
One word of caution: The free bikes at the station tend to be completely rented out during busy times like the weekends. However, there are several other spots that also offer free rentals not too far from the station, including the car parking lot on Nakamachi Street, the “M Wing” near Parco, and the Matsumoto City Museum near the castle. See a map of rental bike locations on this page (also includes English information about Sui Sui Town toward the bottom) and more info on transportion in general here.
If you do run out of luck and can’t find a bicycle available to rent, Matsumoto is definitely compact enough that you can see many of the best sights on foot. You can also use the convenient Town Sneaker buses. But if you really want an extra classy ride, keep an eye out for Matsumoto’s one and only rickshaw puller! (He is often found at or around Matsumoto Castle).