I have visited Japan 3 times , the first time was about 15years ago and the cyclists were all riding on the footpath. No-one rides on the road unless there is no footpath. There they all ride on the footpath and ride through the shopping malls without any problems . They are very polite and courteous and ring their bell to let you know they are going to pass .They also don't talk on their mobile phones while in public places or on public transport. We here in Australia just need a complete change of mindset but that would take centuries.
Plenty of cyclists ride on main roads in Japan. but usually only the serious types.