Sunday, March 29, 2015

Rickshaw Rides and the Kaminarimon Gate in Asakusa, Tokyo

Because Japan was heavily bombed in the 1940’s there are not many places that remembers us of Japan during the Edo Period and before the war. Asakusa is one of the few places in Tokyo that will give you a little peek into life in the past.

The Kaminarimon Gate in Asakusa with the giant chochin, this serves as the outer gate of the Senso-ji Temple.

Rickshaws or Jinrikisha parked in front of Kaminarimon Gate.

Dutchman and I came here with the Tokyo subway. It’s just a few stops from our hotel in Kodenmacho, Chuo so I thought it would be an easy outing for me. I was sick with Bronchitis during this trip which unknowingly to us already developed into Pneumonia. I have been sick a few times while on holiday but this was the worse I have experienced so far. But nothing deters me from going out; I have had enough of the 4 walls of the hotel room. I need some air, some space and something to see and enjoy. I just need to take extra precaution and do things slow.

When we alighted in Asakusa, Dutchman and I followed the noise and the crowd and found ourselves in a busy intersection where the Kaminarimon Gate stood. The gate is one of the oldest in Tokyo, it is the outer gate leading to the main temple, Senso-ji.

In front and around the Kaminarimon Gate are many jinrikisha (rickshaw) peddlers stationed. They are going at 8,000 Yen for a 30-minute tour ride of Asakusa. I would not mind trying them out but I am with the Dutchman who will cringe when we do ‘too touristy’ stuff so I constrained myself from becoming too excited.

What’s interesting with these rickshaw pullers, or shall I say drivers is that they wear ninja outfits--ninja leggings and ninja shoes. The ninja shoes have split rubber soles and are called jika-tabi. Interestingly, one of the largest manufacturers of these shoes have a factory in Cebu, Philippines near my hometown. I’ve heard stories of the factory as a child about the kinds of shoes they make there but wondered where it is used for since I have never seen anyone wearing them except ninjas in ninja movies.

So yes, the rickshaw pullers in Japan do wear them, as well as construction workers, gardeners, farmers and other work men involving manual labour. Wearing shoes like this gives you tactile contact with the ground therefore having utmost control of your balance and movement.

Hi there! My souvenir picture with the chochin (red lantern). Excuse me for looking a bit bored here, I was sick, very sick that a week later I was admitted to a hospital.

Here is a rickshaw peddler in a ninja outfit and traditional hat trying to sell the Asakusa tour to tourists. Many of these rickshaw peddlers speak English. We were even approach by one; they really go out of their way to sell their services.

The gate leads to Nakamise shopping street and then to the inner gate, the Hozomon Gate before reaching the Senso-ji Temple.

This is the wooden carving of a dragon on the bottom of the huge red lantern (chochin).

More rickshaw peddling action here in front of the Kaminarimon Gate. If you want a rickshaw tour, just come here and speak to one of these guys. No need to book in advance.

This outer gate of the temple has been destroyed many times and this building was a reconstruction from the 1960's. The big red lantern is not the original one anymore though. 

Must be a lot of hard work to pull this thing? Well, it did gave me a different perspective about horses pulling carriages.

Travel Period: November 2014
Destination: Asakusa, Taito (Tokyo), Japan

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails