04 June 2009

Japanese Bicycle Parking

Fukushima Station
Like any country saturated with bicycles, parking is often the key. In the city of Fukushima, 250 km north of Tokyo, I was impressed at how orderly the parking was outside all the shops and outside the train station.
Fukushima Bicycle Parking Attendants
Then I noticed the lovely older gentlemen who serve no other function than to straighten up the bikes so they look nice and take up as little space as possible. In the top photo, the lady parked her bike, locked the wheel lock and headed off. The man sauntered over and straightened it every so slightly.

Fukushima Supermarket Fukushima Bike Parking
Even a local supermarket in Fukushima has loads of bikes. And while this bike parking area is empty, it looks rather impressive. It was at a sports centre on a weekday, so I'm sure it gets filled up at other times.

Shibuya Parking
In Shibuya, Tokyo, finding a parking spot for your bike is as hard as it is in Copenhagen. Nevertheless, the rows were orderly.
Shibuya Parking2

I can't remember the name of this Tokyo train station but there was loads of parking and you could pay for the area behind the girl - a modest 100 Yen - or continue on to the other unattended area.
Mama Chariots
Impressive to see so many 'mamachari' bikes with their kids' seats. We just blogged about these 'mama chariots' over at CopenhagenCycleChic.com if you're interested.


Anonymous said...

Very cool. Also, awe-inspiring that all these bikes can be left with nothing more than a ring lock, and nobody shows up to load them all into a van and drive away. My bike came with this kind of lock installed and I've never used it alone like that, because theft is so common. Would be nice to live in such a bike-safe society.

Just a cyclist said...

From what I can tell there is a Pinarello among all the beaters parked at the public bike-parking area. If you can do that and when you get back still find the bike, with all its parts left on it, well then that has to be something extraordinary.

molasses said...

I spent a tiny bit of time in Kyoto and Osaka last year and was completely blown away by the bike parking. People do just leave very nice, expensive bikes on the street with only a small wheel lock.

Even in dark, small alleys, there will be nice, expensive bikes just leaning against a home and apparently they have very little bike theft.

A local explained to me that it makes perfect sense...if you were to just go and steal someones bike, then they might just end up stealing someone else bike and then they'll end up stealing someones bike...and eventually, it'll just be ridiculous and people will be always stealing your bike. Which makes sense to me...


ladyhawke said...

I lived in Japan, and occasionally an inebriated worker coming home via train and looking for his/her bike at the station, takes the wrong one. Just as common, if you find yours was the one taken, you shrug and walk home, because like clockwork, the bike will be back the next day with a note of apology.