Tokyo – Fitting in

Posted by jerry on February 3rd, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Travel

With a population of around 12 million – how do they all fit in to a city the size of Tokyo? The answer lies in efficient use of space. Perhaps there are lessons here for Sydney.

The cars are designed to make really good use of space. The majority are small cars, and the good road surface means that small wheels are no disadvantage. One popular car seemed to be one called ‘the cube’

Tokyo cars

Tall and box-like it seems easy to park and a fine example of how to get the most interior space with th e smallest external footprint.

Or you could go for the classic motorcycle, as this individual has done, getting around on a beautifully maintained Royal Enfield motorcycle. This one is an older example of the new classic bikes made in India.
Tokyo Royal Enfield motorcycle

There were quite a number of larger motorbikes being ridden around Tokyo, with teh Japanese marques being well represented, as well as a fair sample of Harley Davidsons.

And for firms with a lot to deliver, you could always use the all-weather scooter. Although it has three wheels, the cornering is still quite stable as the rear wheels stay firmly planted while the rider and front wheel lean like a motorbike. There are hundreds of these on the road. Interestingly, I rarely saw a parked one without the key in the ignition. And very few pushbikes are locked – clearly this is a city with a low rate of property crime.
Tokyo - scooter

With parking at a premium, you could make use of the ‘rack and stack’ method as seen here

Tokyo - parking

Though it’s hard to see how you would get out in a hurry if yours was the car on top!

In a city, one of the challenges is to keep all the cars on the move, and petrol stations which typically take up a lot of room have found ways to minimise their footprint too – just get rid of the fuel pumps and hang the hoses from the ceiling 🙂

Tokyo - service station

Once again we could learn much from this use of space in our cities 🙂


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