We have always admired the Japanese people for their innovations and unique technological decisions. They quite often make Bulgarian technology look like taken out of the Stone Ages. The last thing that seriously impressed us was their underground bicycle parking station at Shinagawa.
Generally, in Bulgaria we are still working on the explanations of why riding a bike is such a good and important action. Meanwhile on the other part of the world there is a country so full of bicycles, that people can no longer store them above ground.
The name of the installation is „Giken“ and so far there are three different parkings created. On the surface there is a cabin that literally swallow your bike and put it in a large conainer.
In order to use that service you need to register and pay a monthly tax of 14 euro. For students the tax is 10 euro. During that period you can use the parking without any limit.
After you pay your monthly tax you get a chip that is mounted on your fork and once you get your bike close to the door of the cabin, it opens and grabs your tire. You also get a magnet card with which you call your bike back.
This „garage“ is 11 meters deep and one container can hold up to 200 bikes, as long as their size is between 1400 mm and 1900 mm, and their weight under 30 kg.
The TV show Culture Japan had a special report on this unique technology, which you can check on here: