[Update: Looking for more parking policy information?
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I am planning more posts on the Asian parking study I have been doing. But the technical details and policy debates can wait.
First, some curiosities. A few days ago it was the parking predicament in South Asian cities, such as Dhaka or India's big cities.
Today: Japan's coin-operated parking lots.
Park a car at a coin-operated parking facility and a metal plate automatically rises to trap the vehicle (see photo below). Later, you pay into the machine (with coins, notes or prepaid card) to release the vehicle. No staff required on site.
The photos above are of the same lot in Ueno (central Tokyo). Daytime price: 200 yen for 20 minutes (around US6 per hour) which seems to be the norm in inner Tokyo.
Coin parking is a common use of small vacant lots. And Japanese cities have many small vacant lots (especially since the 1990 property crash).
Some coin-operated parking lots are VERY small.
This one has room for just one car!
In this case, someone found it too tempting to park for free at the alleyway entrance, rather than pay 100 yen per 10 minutes.
Vacant lot parking has some good points but can be deeply problematic too. I will say more on the policy angles some other time.