The Cycling Culture of Japan.
One of the most surprising discovery on the sidewalk of Tokyo was the amount of bicycle usage on the street. Bicycle and the city do not mix, unless you are the messenger boy in New York. Consider the amount of people that could potentially get hit by a bike, let alone by motor vehicles. A city where image is everything, the idea of Bike and the City is simply uncool.
Not in Tokyo! Japanese have a tendency to make anything looks cool, and that includes the bicycle. What is even more startling is that most of the bikes on the street are rather old fashion looking, yet extremely practical! You can always see a basket on the front of the handle plus even a back carrier for the kids! The side walk is filled with bicycles parking, commuting on bikes is simply a lifestlye, a natural means of transportation.
To me, it makes perfect sense. Not only does it save you taxi money,the amount of time you get to save between bus stops, and waiting for the train are very tangible benefits too. On top of that, its good exercise! Speaking about saving the world, this is the most practical way of being environmentally friendly by all measures. Apparently, the Japanese have had it all figured out, long before this essay.