Don and I were exhausted after our longer and harder than expected cycle trip to Kitakatta (see previous posts). So, after ramen and sightseeing, we made our way to the station, purchased tickets, and waited for the down train to arrive- rather than cycle back. Meanwhile, Don packed his bike into a carrier, while I simply removed my front wheel and begged the station master to let me through the gate- which he promptly did. The regional Japan Rail companies, offshoots of the former nationalized Japan Rail, do not charge passengers extra fare for such items as skis, snowboards, or bikes, provided the items are properly stowed. But as my experience shows, JR staff, whom I have invariably found to be kind and helpful, will sometimes waive the rules. Don't, however, attempt to take even a collapsible bike with you on a crowded commuter train.