Carspotting 2

Quite a list
Maybach 57.  The darkened windows and Kobe registration suggested that the owner might be camera-shy.

Rolls Royce Phantom in white
Prius PHV.  Quite a few, actually.

Prius PHV in Himeji
Prius PHV in Himeji

Austin A35.  Nissan did make Austin copies under the Datsun brand, but this particular car has Austin badge and bonnet ornament.

Austin A35 slowly climbing a hill - Kobe
Austin A35 slowly climbing a hill – Kobe

Corolla Fielder Hybrid (Corolla station wagon)
VW Type 3 wagon in LHD (Kyoto)
Four Prius NHW10-11 in the space of a few minutes and about 500m

Prius NHW10 in Kobe.  Note the wheels and bumper-mounted fog lamps
Prius NHW10 in Kobe. Note the wheels and bumper-mounted fog lamps

Mitsubishi i and i-MiEV.  It’s hard to tell them apart unless you can hear an engine running.
Nissan Leaf

There’s also a curious range of bicycle branding, typically on small-wheeled full suspension models
Ferrari.  There have been Colnago-Ferrari collaborations… this wasn’t one of them.
Chevrolet
Hummer

Quite why butch brands appear in dinkys I haven’t quite worked out.

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Bicycle Parking – making the streets safe for more cycling

Everyone, like even your mum rides a bicycle in Japan.  As transport options go they are cheap, easy to maintain and easy to park.  The last one is a bit too easy sometimes.

Railway stations often have large parking areas for bicycles, sometimes outhouses with multiple levels of racks.  Take  a walk around a Japanese city or outside a department store and the sheer number of bicycles and mini motorbikes is astonishing.  So too are the signs imploring the always polite and law-abiding not to park bikes there.  Recently the problem of bikes parked and abandoned must have reached a crisis point and the friendly reminders needed some reinforcement.

In Sannomiya, several de facto parking areas have been converted for paid, secure bicycle parking.  Garden boxes have been removed to install racks with integrated locks and a pay system.

Bicycle and motorbike parking warden issuing warnings (orange notices).  Bicycle parking area behind
Bicycle and motorbike parking warden issuing warnings (orange notices). Bicycle parking area behind

All bicycles are registered, so issuing an infringement notice is relatively easy.  I’m not sure if owners are being fined or merely cautioned with orange bits of paper; I haven’t seen any bicycles impounded though that option exists.

Bicycle Parking -Sannomiya Kobe.  Suddenly there's a footpath to walk down!
Bicycle Parking -Sannomiya Kobe. Suddenly there’s a footpath to walk down!  And yes, that red bike does say “Ferrari”.

Motorcycles are also catered for, though with cables instead of racks.

Parking area for 50-150cc motorbikes - Sannomiya Kobe
Parking area for 50-150cc motorbikes – Sannomiya Kobe