Only in Kyoto. Or perhaps Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Munich, Tokyo, and perhaps Davis, California. The key factors are: 1. robust cycling culture, 2. large number of universities in an urban area, and 3. thousands of abandoned bikes.
In a recent article in the Asahi Shinbun, Japan's paper of record, the problem of graduating students leaving their old bike in bike lots run by the university they recently left is causing a massive headache for many of Kyoto's universities.
The end of March is graduation season in Japan, and in urban Japan many of those leaving the city where they studied abandon the beater of a bike they used for four (or more) years.
In Kyoto, which is home to 30-plus universities and is densely populated, the problem of this huge pile of old bikes is serious.
Doshisha University, one of Japan's leading private universities, has been scrambling to create bike lots close to its Imadegawa main campus. The full-lot crisis is so severe that students unable to find a place to park are arriving late for class. (Great excuse!)
To combat this, many schools are implementing a registration system for bicycles, bike sharing on campus, and/or charging for parking spaces.
Parking facilities for bikes not near universities remain for the most part user-friendly and easy to find and use.
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Tags Japan Touring Kyoto Cycle Japanese