Japan Loves Unicycles!
Before coming to Japan, I don’t think I’d ever met anyone who could ride a unicycle with any real skill.
There may be reason why girls excel at unicycling.
But here you see little girls, and a few boys, whizzing along like pros almost everywhere you go.
Look ma, no hands! …Or helmet.
But why are unicycles so popular in Japan?
In 1989, the Japanese Ministry of Education had made it a part of the national physical education program for all third and fourth graders to ride unicycles. So almost everyone in the country has ridden a unicycle at some point.
Bows are not helmets!
Then, in 1992 a middle-schooler named Akira Matsushima rode his unicycle from Oregon to Washington D.C. (3261 miles) over his summer vacation. After that, unicycling became a huge trend in Japan.
My a$$ would hurt if I drove this far in a car!
There are races from kids to adults, with a national final in Kansai for the best of the best.
Almost all parades have teams of girls who dress up in matching uniforms and perform synchronized routines.
Even traditional Japanese festivals now include unicycling kids wearing old-fashioned Japanese clothes.
Always looking to improve things with advanced technology, Japanese engineers have taken the unicycle to amazing new levels.
Can you look like a badass on a unicycle? This’ll get you close.
With the “Max-Challenger” you can climb stairs!
Honda motors has introduced a self-balancing unicycle for the office, apparently it won’t fall over, although a typical American office worker would have trouble fitting their ass onto a small seat like this in the first place.
Naturally, Japanese scientists just had to make a unicycle-robot. It even has a skirt!
So if you plan come to Japan, bring your unicycle!
Off to the neko café!