It’s not often something stops you in your bike tracks. But a spectacular “bike tree” invention from Japan bowled me over when I was in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago.
Fed up with bicycles locked to railings, piled on top of each other, blocking doorways and roads, a local council in the city installed the mechanical masterpiece. It’s basically an automatic storage system for cycles and operates with computer tagging of bikes and either storage in a building or a basement structure.
There are a number of locations where these bike trees are now in place in Tokyo â€“ some hold 600-odd bikes, others more than 6,000. The concept came from the massive Japanese steel company JFE, whose engineering works division first started them in 2007 but are now spreading.
The ‘bike tree’, an automatic storage system for cycles, can hold up to 6,000 bikes