Vernicious Knids

Random musings and snapshots about life, love, travel and everything in between...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Where on earth can I park this thing?!

Japan doesn't have a lot of space. With mountains covering 80% of the land and over 125 million people cramming into the remaining 20%, it doesn't leave much room for bicycles.

Every year the amount of legal bicycle parking space decreases, which results in footpaths being overrun with illegally parked bicycles like this:



Workers from City Hall regularly impound these bikes (daily in the city, weekly in the 'burbs) and you must pay a 2000 yen fee to reclaim it before they are auctioned off! A nice little moneyspinner for the bureaucrats and places like this:



Bicycle Parking Lots - where you can pay by the hour or rent an individual space per month. Owning a bike in Japan can be quite an expensive affair as you generally have to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of parking your bike outside your apartment building too!

(Photos taken in the streets around our house.)
Posted by Picasa

Labels: , , ,

15 Comments:

  • At 11:04 pm, Blogger Liz said…

    Has anyone invented a folding bicycle that you can carry with you once you arrive at your destination?

     
  • At 11:23 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    You can buy folding bikes here, but you can only carry them on the train at certain times (i.e. not when you'd actually want to do so!).

     
  • At 3:55 am, Blogger Bearette24 said…

    yet another interesting factoid about japan...i never knew it was 80% mountains. did you see lost in translation? if so, did you think it was an accurate portrayal of tokyo?

     
  • At 11:14 am, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Bearette: I haven't seen it, I'm not a big fan of Sophie...I found "The Virgin Suicides" tedious. Maybe when I leave Japan, one day, I'll watch it!

     
  • At 12:06 pm, Blogger Carolyn said…

    Wow, that's a lot of bicycles.

    What a good way to stay healthy, if you can find a place to park.

     
  • At 8:04 pm, Blogger Liz said…

    I thought the book The Virgin Suicides was better than the movie...

     
  • At 8:16 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Carolyn: Good point! There's a lot more "daily" exercise here - which I believe is the best kind!

    Liz: I find books generally tend to be better than movies...unfortunately the movie has completely put me off reading the book!

     
  • At 10:15 pm, Anonymous Antonia said…

    The tape on the traffic cone is interesting too :-)

     
  • At 10:59 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Antonia: I call them "witches hats"!

     
  • At 4:53 am, Blogger Helen said…

    They could do with an impounding fee here in Gothenburg - there are sooo many abandoned bikes everywhere that there is no space to park!

     
  • At 6:14 am, Blogger Amy said…

    How very interesting about the bikes - is it possible to park it actually inside your apartment?

     
  • At 6:20 am, Blogger My float said…

    How else can you get around? God, they'll tax anything these days!

     
  • At 8:05 am, Blogger Stepherz said…

    Oh my! Japan is definitely more mindful of Mother Earth in that they don't all drive SUVs! But wow! Imagine if all of those bikes were cars! Japan's impact on global warming would be, well, almost as HUGE as America's!

     
  • At 7:38 pm, Blogger Louise said…

    The situation with bikes is like that in shanghai too- yet the govt usually doesn't have time to impound them before the theifs get the bikes. There's a very good chance that you're bike will be stolen before you get back to it. Everone I know has been through many bikes already

     
  • At 12:41 am, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Helen: And here I was under the impression that Sweden was a picturesque wonder with a smoothly efficient government ;)

    Amy: Technically you can park inside your apartment...but the typical J-apartment is TINY! Also not all buildings have elevators...so walking up and down the stairs would be a real ordeal...and not all buildings will allow bikes in elevators...catch 22!

    MF: Hee hee, I always wonder why people don't get more upset about this!

    Stepherz: There are still a stack of cars here too, but not many SUVs...as car parking is a whole different ball game! You are not allowed to buy a car until you own / rent a parking space for it. You actually have to show the proof of the parking space before the car yard will sell to you!

    LH: I imagine you have way more bikes in China! Bike theft happens here, but not to the same scale...here the impounding seems to be faster than the thieves - though some people think the government are the real thieves ;)

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 
counter
Online Movie Rentals