The Truth About Osaka

Some people just don’t have any common-sense when it comes to Osaka.

Here’s Wikipedia:



two screenshots from

Zero percent cycling in a big Japanese city?  This should have been flagged a long time ago!  (Stats for 2010 are available here)

For the Osaka data, Wikipedia cites Singapore’s Land Transport Authority:


Which in turn cites a Japanese government survey:


However, the Land Transport Authority appears to have interpreted 二輪 to mean “motorcycles” when it in fact means “two wheeled”.  In urban Japan, the overwhelming majority of “two wheeled [vehicles]” are bicycles.

Basically, the Singapore LTA counted 100% of the mode-share for bicycles as “Private Transport”.

The actual mode-share statistics for Osaka in 2000 (assuming that 二輪 comprises 15/16 bicycles and 1/16 motorcycles):

  • Rail: 32.4%
  • Walking: 26.8%
  • Bicycle: 21.3%
  • Car: 16.3%
  • Bus: 1.7%
  • Motorcycle: 1.4%

That 15:1 ratio is estimated from this table:


It shows means of arrival/departure at train stations, and we see that in the city of Osaka, bicycles account for 6.2% of arrivals/departures, while motorbikes account for only 0.4% (a ratio of 15:1).  Perhaps even more interesting to note that only 0.3% arrive by private vehicle (and another 0.1% by taxi).

Based on first hand observation, the ratio of bikes to motorbikes is not much different for single mode transport.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.