A few days ago, we brought you a list of 14 things never to do on a bicycle in Japan in light of new cycling traffic laws that went into effect on June 1. Of course, the new, stricter laws are intended to promote bicycle safety and reduce accidents, but they mean a lot of cyclists in Japan are going to have to give up on some of their old bad habits, like riding while listening to music.

There’s a little speculation that riding with headphones in but no music on, and riding with just one earpiece in (although that sounds to us like a recipe for disaster when the other dangling earbud inevitably gets caught in your spokes) are probably not going to get you jail time or anything, but we like to play it safe here at RocketNews24, at least until happy hour rolls around.

So, when one of our Japanese writers – a noted music lover – was pondering other ways to get his music fix while commuting by bike, he stumbled on what seemed like an easy solution: If the law says you can’t ride with earbuds in your ears, well, just shove those suckers right up your schnoz. It’s so simple it just has to work!


Obviously, this idea makes absolutely no sense at all on the surface, but we all decided to take a moment and hear our writer out…while surreptitiously putting a psychiatric ward on speed dial just in case.

It turns out there’s been a rumor circulating around on both the Japanese and western Interwebs that lodging earbuds into your nostrils will still produce “audible” music because the vibrations from the sound waves will conduct through your skull. Supposedly, it even turns your damn mouth into a speaker! SCIENCE!


Armed with this knowledge, our writer proposed he take a set of earbuds, jam them firmly up his nose, and take a leisurely bike ride down the road to ask at the local police box if the trick was okay in the eyes of the law.

Donning some sweet aviator glasses because he wanted to look extra cool, our writer pushed those earbuds up into his schnoz just as far as they would go, until his nostrils resembled Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in that one Total Recall scene you probably shouldn’t click here to see if you have a weak stomach.


A short bike ride later and he’d arrived at the police box, where he pointed triumphantly at his nose buds and asked, “So, if you can no longer have earphones in your ears, then what about THIS?”

Presumably after checking to make sure our writer hadn’t suffered some sort of catastrophic head injury, the policeman on duty politely declared, “Well… it’s not technically illegal,” but rightly followed that with, “But people are gonna think you’re some kind of weirdo.”


Looking like a weirdo isn’t really something your standard RocketNews24 writer is much bothered by, as you are all aware, but alas: our writer reported that he really couldn’t hear much of anything from the earbuds during his ride.

It turns out there is a way to get the trick to work, and RocketNews24 Japan even covered it a while back, but you need to cover your ears anyway to get the effect, rendering this whole experiment moot. Well, there are always other orifices to try…

Photos: RocketNews24

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