Tramnesia: Depot

Tramnesia’s terrific “Working” series of short video reports on independent businesses continues with yet another Tokyo-related company — previously Knee High Media and Postalco — this time the Depot Cycle & Recycle bike shop in Ichikawa.

Depot Cycle & Recycle is a bicycle shop in Ichikawa, an eastern suburb of Tokyo a little more than an hour’s bike ride from Shibuya. Established by Seiya Minato in 2001, Depot first began by offering bike parts and accessories to Tokyo’s far-flung messenger community. Seiya made his mark too by importing many foreign brands into Japan, introducing companies like ReLoad and Freitag to Tokyo’s cyclists while encouraging local producers to develop their own products. Seiya presaged Japan’s street trend of fixed-gear track bikes and for years was the only Tokyo-area bike shop selling used keirin frames, working with local frame builders to resell retired bikes. Now that the trend has exploded into a media-recognized phenomenon, spiking prices to unaffordable levels, Seiya has concentrated more on encouraging bike culture, the “things around the bike,” as he puts it. “I’m not so interested in the bike… I like riding bikes.”