This has to rank as the world's most high tech bicycle parking lot.
From the east exit of Tokyo's Shinagawa Station, a short walk brings you to Hoshi No Koen (Star Park).
As with many areas of urban Japan, it was until recently overrun with illegally parked bikes.
To solve the problem, the local ward office decided to build an underground parking lot for bikes.
Kyoto has several of them. However, in Kyoto you ride/walk your bike underground, get a ticket, enter, find a spot, park it, then walk out.
Not so in Tokyo.
With an IC tag attached to your bike, you slide your bike onto an aboveground platform, which reads the data of the registered user's tag. The door opens automatically and takes the bike below ground to a parking place. To retrieve the bike, you wave a card with a integrated circuit chip embedded over a sensor. The bike is carried up on average in 13 seconds.
This lot holds 1020 bikes, and you almost have to see this to believe it.
Only in Japan, and available at 43 facilities around the country.
Parking costs 1,000 yen a month and the lot is open from 4:30 am until 1:30 am.
Tags Japan Touring Kyoto Cycle Japanese