Despite often being praised as one of the most crime-free countries in the world, for some reason when it comes to illegally parked bicycles, Japan’s law and order breaks down. Perhaps it’s due to a lack of legal spaces to leave bikes, but illegally parked bicycles are nuisance, especially in highly populated areas like Tokyo.

The issue is a particular thorn in the side of shop owners, who offer a limited amount of parking space for customers, only to have this taken advantage of by people who will leave their bikes for hours on end, sometimes even overnight. Stores with no parking spaces can also become victims of nuisance bicycles which block entrances and generally get in the way.

Angry signs threatening to tow away unattended bicycles often go completely ignored. Most people realise that this extreme outcome is rarely utilised. Usually upon finding an illegally parked bike, the police opt for a sticker or piece of paper urging the owner to stop leaving their bike around.

Fed up with the ineffectuality of these methods, one shop owner made a cheeky addition to his sign. It suddenly had a 100% success rate, warding off problem parkers for good. So what is the phrase that struck fear into their hearts?

Source: aseetsu

‘Please feel free to take any bicycle in front of the shop.’

By turning the space in front of the shutters into an involuntary donation area, suddenly people weren’t so eager to leave their bikes there.

By - Jess.