On Wednesdays, my Japanese class is held inside a local department store.  Last week I arrived slightly after it opened (10:00) and discovered that no bicycles were in the place where we usually park bikes.  Then I noticed a new sign, shown in the photo above.

In red it says:

Hokousya no samatage ni naru tame (Because it hinders pedestrians)

Chusya kinshi (Parking prohibited)

The “parking” refers to bicycle parking, of course, not car parking.

Anyhoo…..The word Kinshi 禁止 (prohibited) is SUCH an important kanji to learn while you are in Japan, even if you don’t actually learn Japanese.   You’ll see it on signs and you need to know that something is prohibited so you don’t get in trouble.  I know sometimes we can rely on our gaijin dumbness to get us out of sticky situations, but for safety’s sake, learn the word “Kinshi.”


This is the following day.  Now there are bicycles in the no parking area.  Obviously SOME people are not following the rules!