June 07, 2010

Bicycle parking in Japan, I prefer the old way.

Articles about bicycle parking in Japan have been a popular topic on cycling blogs worldwide.  They usually describe Japans high tech underground bicycle parking garages where customers place their bike on a small rack, punch some buttons and their bicycle is automatically whisked underground and parked with thousands of others.  Bicycles can be retrieved from the system in under 30 seconds.  Convenient, safe, tidy, cheap and awesome.

But while the number of automated underground parking lots around Japan are on the increase, lets not forget that in reality bicycle parking in Japan is a lot more like the photo on the left which was taken at our local station just last weekend.

When the day arrives that bicycles are all safely stowed away underground, off the streets and out of the way of pedestrians, I will miss the random chaos that was once bicycle parking in Japan.

I won't miss the damage my bicycles have received in this chaos, but I will miss crazy scenes like the one in the photograph because surely this sculpture is more interesting than a stretch of empty pavement, is it not?

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