Cycle parking in Saitama

I am currently in Saitama, a prefecture of Japan in the Greater Tokyo area. despite being overshadowed by nearby Tokyo, Saitama is a city in its own right and a dense one at that, more so than most cities in the UK. Cycling here is a mainstream mode of transport used by young and old, man and woman alike. There are parked bicycles everywhere.


I have seen very little in the way of cycle parking facilities by UK standards, other than designated areas and structures to support cycles. No-one seems bothered about locking bikes up beyond a rear-wheel lock. These immobilised bicycles can be seen everywhere.


I assume that this area outside a chain restaurant is designed for cycle parking.


I spotted this cycle shelter by a small apartment building at around 16:45. I imagine it is more full after working hours.


This higher-density facility was provided for a slightly larger apartment building.


This alleyway near some fairly low-density (by Japanese city standards) housing is used for bicycle storage.


This space between restaurants and other businesses is used for medium-density cycle parking for customers and staff.


Underneath a Shinkansen train station, the large area is divided into blocks to help passengers find their bikes on their way home. Again, no Sheffield stands, just bikes on kick-stands with rear-wheel locks.


4 thoughts on “Cycle parking in Saitama

  1. Lovely blog, just catching up. Mrs. Swanky is Japanese, and I’ve borrowed bicycles and cycled round in the Japanese fashion – not too far, lots of pavements. I think the lack of proper locking is just part of the general low crime rate. Also bicycles are registered and have registration stickers – so if you look suspicious (i.e. foreign) the police will politely stop you and check the registration – it’s happened to a friend of mine a couple of times. The courteous motorists are partly due to good manners, but also due to partial re-testing being part of almost any motoring infraction. It’s very inconvenient to hit a pedestrian or cyclist.

    • I had heard about the registration thing, hence why I carry my bicycle receipt around with me as I cycle here. Probably helps that my Brompton is configured in such a way that it is probably unique (and well documented online). I asked the Japanese Embassy if I would need to register my bicycle with the local rozzers, but they advised me I would be ok. Almost a shame really as it would have been quite a novelty.

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