I have come to discover that a conformist culture does not necessarily mean a law-abiding citizenry.
The Kyoto City Government announced its intensified efforts to remove illegally-parked bicycles in May but the announcement didn't seem to have much effect. People continue to blatantly flout the rules by parking exactly where the "No Parking" signs are clearly visible.
I can understand the rationale for the bicycle removal but I am not sure if I support it, especially when parking space for bicycles is so scarce. And even if paid parking lots are available, I don't think I am prepared to pay a few dollars just to park a bicycle.
So when I do park on the streets, I try to ensure that I don't obstruct the traffic in anyway and then pray for good luck that when I return, my bicycle will still be waiting for me.