Hwy 10, West of Mandan

Hwy 10, West of Mandan

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bike Parking in Japan

A brief visit to Japan last week afforded the opportunity to share a glimpse of bicycling culture in this technologically progressive country.  My visit was limited to Tsukuba, Kameoka, and Kyoto, with travel to each squeezed into a very busy four-day schedule.

(Kameoka is immediately west of Kyoto)

Something new - at least to me - was the presence of fee-based bike parking.  At first I thought these ‘stations’ were for a bike share program, but upon further inspection I realized otherwise.  Commuters seem forced into using these stations, as locking bikes to signs, fences, trees, etc. is prohibited.  The locking mechanism affixes to the front wheel...  ...hardly a fail safe approach for securing a bike.

(Uncovered bike parking near Tsukuba Station)

Bicyclists were abundant in Tsukuba and Kyoto (both university towns).  Bikes were unsurprisingly utilitarian, with most bearing lights, fenders, and racks.