In an Asahi Shinbun (newspaper) poll, respondents chose the big stories of 2012.
Local Boy Done Good - Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka - took first place.
Yamanaka of course won a Nobel Prize for his work with iPS cells. At just 50, he is the youngest of Kyoto University's many laureates.
The rest of the big stories were:
2) Opening of the Tokyo Skytree on May 22
3) Annular solar eclipse ("when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth") on May 20
4) Purchase of the Senkaku Islands on September 11
5) Anti-Japan demonstations and violence across China
Nothing, alas, about bikes or bike lanes or transportation policy.