Travel | Tokyo 113 Jinrikisha Asakusa can easily be explored on foot. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour on a rickshaw (jinrikisha, literally ‘human-powered vehicle’). A 30-minute tour for two people costs around ¥8,000. Shorter and longer tours are also available. Asakusa dapat dijelajahi dengan berjalan kaki. Anda juga dapat menyewa becak (jinrikisha yang secara harafiah berarti “kendaraan bertenaga manusia”). Tur 30 menit untuk 2 orang ini menghabiskan biaya sekitar 8.000 yen. Tersedia pilihan tur singkat dan tur lama. Tokyo was known as Edo, and its ‘high city’ was up on the hill, in and around Edo Castle, where the rich and powerful built their swanky homes. But it was ‘downtown’ Asakusa where everybody else headed (to eat, sleep, pray), as had been the case long before the castle was erected. Tokyo was known as Edo, and its ‘high city’ was up on the hill, in and around Edo Castle, where the rich and powerful built their swanky homes. But it was ‘downtown’ Asakusa where everybody else headed (to eat, sleep, pray), as had been the case long before the castle was erected. Kaminarimon, for example, was first built in 942, so has seen a millennium of travellers pass between its glowering gods. And they come for the same reason today as they always have done: to see Sensō-ji Temple. First established in the year 645, the temple protects a small Buddhist figurine reputedly dragged up in fishing nets from the muddy floor of the nearby river 17 years before. It’s an event that is celebrated here every March 18 and October 18 with the Kinryu-no-Mai Golden Dragon Dance. this by recruiting their shafu from the ranks of ‘resting’ actors, wannabe models and pumped-up fitness trainers. Pullers’ pics and potted biographies are touted on the company websites (www.jidaiya.biz or www.ebisuya.com, for example) to tantalise prospective customers before their trips. Admittedly, in any given month Tokyo’s oldest temple seems to be at the thumping heart of one celebration or another. Visitor numbers go through the roof during the three days of New Year, and the temple precincts and surrounding lanes are inundated with festival-goers for Sanja Matsuri (May 16–18, 2015), one of the city’s most boisterous Shintō shindigs. A half-hour rickshaw ride costs ¥8,000 to ¥9,000 (it’s fairly standard – the prices are often displayed on boards) and takes passengers on a whistle-stop tour of the district…and perhaps also a little back in time, to the days when the city was logjammed with 40,000 rickshaws. Back on the pavement by the ‘Thunder Gate’, dozens of rickshaw pullers – known as shafu – drum up business. They’re an amenable crowd who will happily pose for a quick snap, knowing that their ‘traditional’ dress (including hanten jackets and split-toed jika tabi shoes) is of secondary interest to their bright smiles and heroic poses. Though there is a handful of women pullers, this is still a man’s game – and many of them have earned pin-up status in recent years. Rickshaw companies have capitalised on Then, in the 1870s, the rickshaw (from the Japanese jinrikisha for ‘human-powered The busy junction of Nakamise-dōri and Denboin-dōri. Walking along Hoppy-dōri. A rickshaw ride along Denboin-dōri. Girls read their ‘o-mikuji’ fortunes at Sensō-ji Temple.