How to Park Your Bike

How to Park Your Bike

Written by sonicsuns

Topics: Everything, Tips

Welcome to the TMIJ post entitled “How to Park Your Bike”. This is the obligatory intro paragraph, where I say something broad and sweeping about bicycles in Japan before moving on to the actual details. Ok, moving on:
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/First, let”s note that bikes are really popular:
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Oh, frick. Where did I park?


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/I suggest making your bike stand out a bit, so you can find it. Put some stickers on it or something. Or you can do it the cheap way and leave a random wrapper in the basket all the time. (That’s what I do)
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/If you’re stopping off at a random store, just park right in front of it.
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totally normal


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also totally normal


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/This is fine for an hour or two. Beyond that, though, you run the risk of getting a ticket. (Actually I did 12 hours once. No ticket; though somebody had moved the bike about a 20 feet to make room for others. So if you ever can’t find your bike where you parked it, look around to see if it was moved.) If you do get a ticket, you’ll see a little red notice posted, and you have to go to the nearest “police box” (it’s like a tiny 2-man police station) to ask about it. You pay them like 3,000 yen ($30). Depending on the circumstances, your bike might still be (a) where it was when you left it, but now there’s a ticket on the bike, or (b) somewhere else, and there’s a ticket where your bike used to be, and the cops will give the bike back after you’ve paid the fee.
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Another popular place to park is DIRECTLY in front of the sign that says "no parking".


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/Next to apartments and such you’ll find little bike enclaves with a roof to protect you from the rain.
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/Watch out for wind, though. This is the path leading up to my building on a windy day:
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really windy day


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So I snagged the best spot ever, behind the building sign:

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Excellent Stability


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Later some dude tried to copy me


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/You can also find big bike parking lots, like these ones at my school:
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Lotta bikes


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/Some of these parking lots have employees who shift the bikes around after they’re parked, to save space.
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They typically wear armbands so you can recognize them.


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/So if you can’t find your bike, look around where it used to be. It’s probably nearby.
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/At school, the parking is free. At other places it’s not free. Like this place, near Hagiyama station:
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/Put your bike into one of the slots:
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/A guy will come out of this little building:
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/He’ll come up to you and ask for 100 yen (that’s like one dollar). Pay him and you get this receipt:
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/You’re done. When you come back, there’s no need to talk to anybody. Just unlock your bike and go.
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/Wherever you park, don’t forget to lock your bike (as I described here), and definitely don’t lose your key.
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/There’s another type of parking I like to call robo-parking, but I’ll save that for another post.
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/And if you want to know how to park your bike in a bunker, click here.

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