Saw something cool today. It was a new bicycle parking facility that has recently been built in my neighborhood. Looking at it, I thought it was absolutely amazing! Or maybe it’s just me …
With normal bicycle parking in Japan you, perhaps, go to a kind of reception and from there push the bicycle yourself into available space. With the one I saw today though, you place your bicycle on at the ‘machine’ and it gets taken to a parking space automatically.
It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this in over 30 years of living in Tokyo. Real high-tech stuff. At first, I thought I would go in with the bicycle, but on closer inspection I saw that the ‘elevator’ used to take the bikes into the parking spaces was so small, you would have to be a hobbit from Lord of the Rings to get through.
After asking an ‘official’ nearby, I understood that you just put your bike on a special ‘lane’ and the machine does the rest. What’s really great about this system is that there’s no way of rides being stolen. For people with nice road bikes, for example, it can be a bit of a worry to leave them outside in the city. But with this parking facility that worry is taken away.
It costs 1,800 yen (adults) and 1,300 yen (students) to use this parking, per month. Not so expensive, I think. Of course, you can use it for shorter time periods, too. It costs 150 yen for 24 hrs, with the first two hours free of charge.
I think this a great system, and it would be good to see more of them in Japan’s cities.