In May 2010 I wrote about these at Reinventing Urban Transport. For the next week or two I will be reposting a few more parking posts from over there. New original posts are coming too.
Here are the key parts of my May 2010 post: Tokyo's coin parking lots
Park a car at a coin-operated parking facility and a metal plate automatically rises to trap the vehicle (see photo below). Later, you pay into the machine (with coins, notes or prepaid card) to release the vehicle. No staff required on site.
|The photos above are of the same lot in Ueno (central Tokyo). Daytime price: 200 yen for 20 minutes (around US6 per hour) which seems to be the norm in inner Tokyo.|
Coin parking is a common use of small vacant lots. And Japanese cities have many small vacant lots (especially since the 1990 property crash).
Some coin-operated parking lots are VERY small.