Friday, June 16, 2006

Morioka Bicycle Patrol

When I first came to Japan I 'lost' six bicycles in two years. Always at train stations and always legaly parked. Looking back I think that maybe the bicycle patrol probably picked them up for some mysterious offense I'm totally unaware of.

Bike Patrol
[Bike patrol in front of Morioka Station]

In the area around Morioka Station the city sends out a patrol every morning to tag all the illegaly parked bikes. Afterwards a truck comes by to collect all the tagged bikes and haul them off to the impound lot. While they are not so vigilant the whole year round they have been particularly zealous these past two or three months.

OK, Any Questions?
[All about bike parking at Morioka Station.]

If you do leave a bike there and it gets carted away you can go to the impound lot behind the train station, pay ¥2,000, find it and get it back. Of course you'll need proof of ownership, such as a bicycle registration certificate!

There is an alternative, of course! You can park your bicycle at the city's underground parking area near the Kitakami River. It is only ¥100 a day and a quick four or five minute walk to the train station! There are discounts for students and it's cheaper if you buy two or three months at a time.

Bike Parking
[Underground parking area near the river]

Happy cycling!


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