According to Time magazine, the estimated number of bikes in Amsterdam is 880,000
The population of the Dutch capital is home to just 800,000 people.
To our surprise, the numbers here in Kyoto are not that different. According to a city report on bicycles and city policy from 2008, the estimated number of bikes in Kyoto Prefecture was 1.65 million (see page 7).
With a population of roughly 1.5 million the city of Kyoto - which is inside and a part of Kyoto Prefecture - enjoys the exact same per capita ratio of bike ownership as Amsterdam. (Note: that number is for the prefecture, so some of those bikes are out in Kameoka, Tango, and other rural areas: however, the great majority would be in Kyoto city.)
Amsterdam is apparently overrun with bikes. There are not enough parking spaces, crossing the street for pedestrians can be problematic, and there are "bike traffic jams."
For all of its northern European charm, we will stick it out in messy, hot, and laid-back Kyoto.
Tags Japan Touring Kyoto Cycle Japanese