Japanese street/trials/muni riders

Are there any? There must be some… There are more than a million unicyclists in Japan, apparently, so some of them must’ve tried it.

Or do they all ride freestyle?

Yeah thats interesting it might be to crowded in most parts?

They exist, just thats what they are shown. Because there are more freestyle riders, and they are pushing the freestyle angle so much, they aren’t exposed to trials, Muni and street as much, so there are just less of them.

Well, does anyone know of any good ones?

Has anyone ever seen a street or trials vid from Japan? They’ve got to have some…

yes Yuta Ando.

Japanese Xtreme Unicyclists.

How are you doing Ivan? It is kind of weird that there aren’t any famous Japanese trials, street or Muni riders. Japan has a lot of mountains and a lot of concrete two necessary ingredients for Trials and Muni riding. Japan also produces a lot of good Xtreme athletes. I think that there are a few good reasons for this.

  1. The Japanese don’t speek very good English therefor they are not in these forums.

  2. The European and American cultures kind of have a way of ignoring most other cultures.

  3. Japan being a bunch of islands with a huge population is kind of isolated from the rest of the world.


Okay, European and North American cultures? :smiley:

According to the JUA, more than six million people have learned to ride unicycle in Japan in the last 30 years or so. But their system is very institutionalized, and focuses mostly on the schoolyard, gym and track, probably in that order. You learn to ride at your school, and there are large organized events for track racing and Freesyle, but not a lot else.

That’s my understanding as someone who lives very, very far away but I think it’s fairly close. There are other events that go on, but they’re on a much, much smaller scale, and there is probably nobody organizing MUni or Trials-type activities. It could be harder for them to start up in Japan because the more traditional unicycle events have sponsors, budgets, tradition and acceptability.

But when we do those events at Unicon, including in Japan, there is a group of riders who are obviously very interested in them. However for those of you who were there, you may have noticed that the foreign visitors were not outnumbered by Japanese competitors on our day of MUni and Trials. It was a long bus ride, and the vast majority of Japanese unicyclists aren’t necessarily even familiar with those events.


That’s really interesting. I think muni is an interesting one, the UK has no major organised muni events (ie. the sort of event you register and pay someone money for), yet has lots of riders, and quite a few small grass-roots events going on. I don’t think in general muni translates to the large event, sponsors etc. thing particularly well. Maybe there is something cultural meaning this kind of informal growth is less likely to occur in Japan, or maybe people doing muni there just don’t get in touch with the mainstream unicyclists at all?


Probably most/all of Japan’s unicyclists started in the mainstream so they at least know it’s there. But there is a definite cultural thing as well. Japanese people tend to either do stuff in large groups, or not at all. You don’t see as much people doing “eccentric” stuff over there. If you do see eccentric stuff going on, look around and you might see a whole bunch of people doing it.

So the traditional areas of unicycling have a strong foothold, but off-roading is not mainstream. I believe there’s also a problem with accessibility to trails. I know they had a really hard time finding a venue for the Unicon XII MUni events, and it was a 3-hour bus ride to get there.

An additional aspect may be access to the unicycles. The traditional categories have lots to choose from, but the one “MUni” that was for sale on the MYS web site the last time I looked (not recently) was a very entry-level looking Miyata uprade type of thing.

Believe me, you can have plenty of fun riding trails with that, because that’s what I used to use. But for the most part I don’t think there’s easy access to MUni and Trials unicycles either.