First though, a little history. For 2 years and 2 months, from February 2003 to April 2005, Sonia and I were out of the country teaching English in Osaka, Japan. We followed up this stint with 4 months of backpacking in China and South-East Asia, bringing our total time living out of the country to 2 and a half years.
So what follows, are some pics taken in Osaka in June 2003. Enjoy!
Bike parking garage in our neighbourhood of Juso, Osaka.
A blond Sonia demonstrating how to use the bike parking. Pull out the "tray", angle it downwards, load up your bike and lock it up.
Space is at a premium everywhere in Japan, so they try to cram everything together anyway that they can.
Small cars in small spaces.
One of my most favourite pics...ever. I came across this scene as is. Kobe, Japan.
Bike parking outside Kyobashi train station in Osaka. Click on the picture for a larger version, and you can see how far behind me the bikes go on.
As you can see, granny bikes are the bike of choice. In Japanese, they are affectionately called a "Mama Chari". Baskets, fenders, chain guard, bell and kickstand are all standard features for roughly 60 to 70 dollars. With bikes being so affordable, it's no wonder so many people own one.