Boxed In: New House and Parking Lot
( Insert Your Caption Here ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 28mm — 1/320 sec, f/8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
(Insert Your Caption Here)

This is a new house a short distance from my place that I marvel at every time I go by, for any number of reasons.

You can see the shape of the previous building that was on the site by the roofline-marks left on the walls of the adjacent buildings. It's not uncommon for buildings to attach that way, which I can't understand because if I had a building, I couldn't imagine liking someone attaching to it.

In looking at the parking lot in front of the house, I can make a guess as to what's going on (but it's only a guess): the land owner might have been limited by zoning in how much of the land could be covered by a building, and so rather than waste the uncovered space with a useless garden or an ugly tree, he turned it into a pay-by-the-hour parking lot (that can hold three whole cars!) to try to offset his fantastically huge mortgage.

That's my guess, but I'm not wholly confident in it because it's a major business area, so I'd expect zoning to allow 100% building coverage (as the buildings on either side are doing). So, it may well be that the limitation the land-owner faced was in the finances to build a bigger house, and so faced with a smaller house, he decided to put the rest of the land to financially-productive use.

Or, it could have been.... well, this is Japan, so probably anything.

When I took this photo, the parking lot stuff had just been installed and wasn't yet working, which is why the spots are coned off.

These kind of short-term parking lots are extremely common. I've seen them as small as two spots, and as large as 20 or 30. They're generally called “100-yen parking” because prices are usually quoted in how many minutes 100 yen will get you. The spots in this picture will go for 100 yen per 20 minutes (a rate of US$2.60/hour) during the day, and 100 yen/hour during the night.

(More commonly these days, rather than 100 yen for 15 minutes, they'll do 200 yen for half an hour, which means they get double the money for a quick five-minute stop.)

The spots have sensors, and a minute or two after a car pulls in, a big plate moves up to block the tires from leaving until the spot is paid for. The ones here are orange.

Another interesting tidbit is that because the path from the road to the front door of the house takes away a tiny corner of the parking lot, the rightmost space had to be shortened, and is marked “compact.” The price is the same, though.

So, how would you caption this photo? Certainly, anything you come up with will be more witty than what I could scrounge up....


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

FWIW, this kind of setup (the plan – not the parking meters/rent/revenue stream) with parking and a tiny entrance into the home is fairly common in Bangalore.

As for a caption:

“Limited to 3 due to current technology”

— comment by mmk on October 20th, 2007 at 7:21am JST (9 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

listed in the order in which these ideas occurred to me:
1. The Incredibly Strange Zombie Homeowners Who Stopped Caring and Became Parking Lot Attendants
2. Couldn’t one of these parking spots be filled with vending machines that retract into the asphalt when the other two spots fill up?
3.Isn’t that parking lot big enough for a pet grooming salon?
4. Yoshiko: This is like “The Little House” in reverse. (“The Little House” is a children’s story about a house in the country that is slowly encroached upon by urban sprawl)
5. Marital dispute over workshop/vegetable garden has surprise ending when flipped coin stands on its edge.

— comment by nils on October 20th, 2007 at 11:09pm JST (9 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

“Have Parking Slot, Will Travel”

— comment by Highlord on July 28th, 2008 at 5:43pm JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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