Tuesday, June 29, 2010

culture shock

In Osaka, you will see bicycles parked anywhere and everywhere they can find space.

There aren't enough parking areas for them and even if there were, they cost money to park there, nothing free (unless you're parking illegally).

Most times there is a "patrol" to check on the illegally parked bicycles. This patrol attaches a paper ticket and leaves your bicycle there.

I think if the bicycle is still there when they come around again, they then load up your bicycle on a truck and take it off to the burbs or under the freeways where they lock it up until you come to claim it (and pay a fine).

Of course, no one claims their bicycle nor pays the fine, so the city has a load of bicycles and people go out and buy new ones...and the cycle repeats...how wasteful, yeah?

Personally, I think the city should re-sell these illegally parked bicycles at 2nd hand bicycle shops in order to re-pay the ridiculous amount of money they put out to haul and store these bicycles out of the city.

12 comments:

Rona Y said...

The first time I lived in Japan, I bought a brand-spankin'-new bike. I think I had it for about two weeks when I parked it in a no-parking area and it was "towed". When I finally went to get it back, it turned out someone had stolen it from the impound place!! I was so sad!

The second time I lived in Japan, my employers provided me with free second-hand bicycles that they got from the bicycle impound. They were the Board of Education, so I guess they had some privileges. I think I got two or three bikes from them, but mine kept getting stolen!

I liked what they did around NishiKita Acta and Nishinomiya Gardens with the bicycle spots. You get 2-3 hours of free parking, then it's Y100 for each additional hour. The only problem is there still aren't enough spaces, especially around Acta.

KirkK said...

Hey Kat - So there are piles of bicycles just stacked up somewhere??? Is the fine that much? That would be pretty wasteful.

K and S said...

Kirk, Yup! I am not sure how much it costs to get the bike back but I think it is cheaper than to get a new bike!

That IS sad Rona! I think I saw some of those parking machines near Nishinomiya Gardens. Good to hear from you.

Take care you two.
Kat

Pocky said...

Bicycles must be cheap in Japan if people can afford to keep replacing them. I agree, a second hand bike shop sounds like a good solution.

Rowena... said...

They just go out and get new bikes? (maybe stealing somebody else's wheels). How much does a city-type of bike cost anyway? I think it's about 100€ more or less over here.

K and S said...

I think they run a couple hundred Pocky and Rowena, not cheap to replace! Not sure how much the fine is, but it must be cheaper than to replace the bike!

Take care you two.
Kat

Tamakikat said...

Hi there.

In the past I had the 'joy' of going to the burbs to pick up one of my bikes.

If I remember rightly it cost me around 3000 yen to get my bicycle bike. (Worse than that was the time it took to get to where it was stored.)

To get a second hand bike it costs around 6000 yen.

I too think they should sell the ones that are left in the pound for over a month.

TK

K and S said...

Thanks for the info TK, really helpful since I don't actually have a bicycle :)

Take care.
Kat

Rona Y said...

Costco sells shopping bikes for about Y10 000, and if you wait a bit, they eventually go on sale for about Y5 000!

I suspect bikes abandoned at the impound lots do get sold, just based on the number of second-hand bikes being sold by bicycle shops on Rakuten. On Rakuten, the second-hand bikes are sold more cheaply than new bikes, but you can often find better deals if you look locally and don't mind buying last year's model.

The funny thing about my bike being impounded. . . When I parked it that morning, and older gentleman came up to me and said something (in Japanese, of course). I couldn't understand a word he was saying (I was "fresh of the boat, so to speak), but he kept repeating himself. I finally just said, "Gomennasai. Wakarimasen," and went off to work. I realized after my bicycle had been impounded that he was probably warning me that the bicycle tow-truck was coming!

Sigh! Things like that happened me during the entire 11 years I spent in Japan! Actually, they happen to me no matter where I live!

K and S said...

Wow you sure had a lot of adventure Rona! If ever you are coming back this way, let me know :)

Take care.
Kat

Barbara said...

I hope they do sell them. It seems a terrible waste.

K and S said...

Me too Barbara :) It is a waste!

Take care.
Kat