It's no secret that Japan is one of the world's great bicycle cultures. The bicycle is a main feature on the urban, suburban and rural landscape. They've reached their 'tipping point' ages ago. Outside train stations all over the nation there is a sea of bicycles in various forms of parking.
These photos are from Nagoya, a couple hundred kilometres south of Tokyo, outside the central train station. A simple dual solution to the question of bicycle parking. An orderly way to keep the bicycles in rows and a locking system that is user-friendly. At the stand on the left you select your numbered spot - the little green light indicates that it is in good working order - and pay a whopping 100 yen for 18 hours. That's a bit over $1.00. :-)
Most things are cheap in Japan, but this parking price takes the cake. Brilliant.
Two tongs click out to prevent your bike from being removed. Most bikes have wheel locks, too, or a simple wire lock.
This may only be a solution that works in countries that have already reached their tipping point, since I'm sure that someone could nick the bicycle if they wanted to. I wouldn't mind seeing something like this back home in Copenhagen near the train stations.