As my friend Shinya put it "Nagaokakyo is definitely a bike city, it's compact enough to get everywhere by bike and it's not so densely populated that you have to dodge so much foot traffic". I have to agree with him after being here for a while now, bike has become my main mode of transport (except on rainy days when I walk instead, need to invest in some good wet weather gear). Actually when I was in Australia I used to ride a mountain bike sometimes with 18 gears, here I'm happy with a 3 speed as long as it's got two baskets on it (plenty of carrying capacity for the daily shopping and carrying resources to our English classes). The other good things about riding bikes is it reduces greenhouse gas and keeps you healthy. I've lost 15kgs (30 pounds) since I came here in November. The only thing is with all of the bikes here some times with all of the bikes here some times it's hard to find a place to park it at the shopping centres even though there's more space allocated to bike parking than car parking! Then they make you pay a 150yen to park your bicycle at the train stations! In Australia I've never had to pay to park a bicycle, should be encouraging people to use them, not make them pay to use them I think.
This shot was taken of some bikes in the bike park of an apartment block only about 100 metres from my house.