Monday, 25 June 2012



The population of Japan is 127 million people, 27 million people live in Tokyo. It is estimated that there are as many as 86 million bicycles in Japan!! Most people have the same type of bike. It looks like a girls bike with a basket on the front.
A common Japanese bicycle

Even with the amzing public transport they have, bicycles are still a common choice for transportation. You can see many different people using bikes, from business men wearing suits, mothers balancing their children and carrying groceries, school children, grandparents,etc . Everyone can been see around Japan riding their bikes. It's not a law in Japan to wear a bike helmet!

With so many bicycles, there are of course some problems with bicycle parking. Many people ride their bicycle to the train station and leave it parked at the station as they ride a train to work. As you may imagine, there are many, many bicycles parked at every station!

Outside a train station

where is my bike??

Eco Cycle Parking

To deal with the problem of bicycle parking, the Japanese have created the Eco Cycle parking system. It is a system of underground bicycle parking which reduces the space needed for bicycle parking. The Eco Cycle can store up to 144 bicycles underground - retrieval and storage in seconds. The longest it takes is 10 seconds

underground bicycle parking

These 'Gates' is where bicycles are parked and retrieved

At each gate there is a simple card reader. You have to take out a monthly contract to use these ones but there are some around Tokyo where anybody can park their bicycle.

The young lady swipes her card and a few seconds later the doors open. She docks the front wheel of her bicycle

and it gets pulled in to the dock. Doors close swiftly after.

This is what the bicycle park looks like underground.

The Eco Cycle caters for bicycles which are less than 1,950mm in length and less than 1,250mm in height.
It costs 2,600 yen for a monthly ticket to use the park. Students pay 1,300 yen.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Japanese Ice cream


Japanese have long taken pride in their ability to adopt, adapt and improve on customs, practices and styles from other countries.

Having succeeded globally with cars, electronics and even fashion, it was only natural the Japanese turned their hand to trying to surpass the West with one of its favourite culinary delights - ice cream

There are a lot of different Japanese ice cream flavours in this photo.
I can see Indian Curry ice cream, shark ice cream, squid ink ice cream, octopus ice cream, snake ice cream.

Have a look at some more ice creams

Cactus Ice cream
Chicken wing ice cream
Eel ice cream
Crab ice cream
Wasabi Ice cream
Octopus Ice cream
Shrimp ice cream