Japanese roads follow the rules of a basic need to optimize urban spaces. In a highly populated country where car drivers are the minority, and public transport to reaches its highest efficiency peaks, pedestrian areas often become places of passage for large amounts of people and places of cultural encounter, characterized by hours of frequent and extremely crowded rush . Even the right to own a car in Japan, subjected to a long series of bureaucratic processes, requests, among other things, the proof of possession of a garage or reserved parking place, with the precise aim of not subtracting square meters to the precious public land. It still can happen, walking through the big cities like Osaka and Tokyo, to come across large areas designated to bicycle parking, a mean rather popular and widely used by young people and commuters. This was a problem that seemed impossible to solve, at least until the installation of the first automatic underground parking.
The incredible device, which looks like a sort of juke-box giant, is a creation of the company “Giken”, a manufacturer of industrial machinery located in the southern part of the island of Shikoku, in the great and ancient city of Kōchi. The operation is very simple: you pay for the parking at the kiosk at the side of the road, you get a card (do not miss it) and place the bicycle on the appropriate conveyor belt. The machine is going to make it disappear into the depths of the earth…
This video is the work of DannyChoo blogger, born in the UK but of Malaysian origins who has lived in Tokyo since 1999 and is committed to making known the Japanese culture abroad. This is an excerpt from the documentary Culture Japan Season 1 Digest, available in their entirety at its interesting YouTube channel.
Underground parks of this type, inspired by the Japanese model, could one day make their appearance in many other countries of the world but it will be important to reproduce the exact original functionality.