Saturday, 9 October 2010

Day 7 In Japan : Nakamise Dori

After visiting the Senso-Ji Temple at night the day before, viewing the temple's lovely illumination, we went back to the temple complex the next day. However, this time we hit the Nakamise-Dori; said to be one of the oldest shopping centers in Japan.

Nakamise is a shopping lane that extends for about 250 meters from Kaminarimon Gate to Hozomon Gate, with stalls selling ningyoyaki (a baked confection with a thin skin filled with a rich bean jam), handmade rice crackers, crafts of Shitamachi old town and other (touristy) souvenirs,
Approaching the Kaminarimon Gate, which is one of the entrance leading to Sensoji Temple (and Nakamise-dori); one can see these rickshaw pullers looking out for potential customers. They are cheerful and energetic bunch. :-)
A shichimi (seven flavour chilli pepper) seller, selling his ware near the Kaminarimon Gate.
Nakamise-Dori on a Sunday. If you hate crowds, avoid this shopping street on weekends and public holidays at all cost. The street will be jam packed with tourists!
Plenty of souvenirs can be found here, even an Obama mask! Truthfully, for me I didn't buy much souvenirs here but we always find time to walk around the area whenever we are holidaying in Tokyo.
A rickshaw puller with his customers. These rickshaw will take you around the area and stopping at choice spots and the pullers will give a detailed explanation about the area. Not too sure whether any of the rickshaw pullers are conversant in English though. 

For me, the rickshaws and the people pulling them are good for the tourism market of the area so I find it disheartening when I heard a disparaging remark from a fellow tourist (who come from similar region as mine) made to his daughter. He was saying stuff like "If you don't study hard, you'll end up like those people and pull  rickshaw" and how those people didn't do much studying at school and nonsense like that. Hello! What's wrong with people earning an honest living and what makes you think you are so good anyway? There's nothing wrong about wanting the best for your child and pushing them so, but does one have to look down on people who chose not to sit in office 9 to 5?

24 comments:

  1. Oh, that shopping spot looks like so much fun. A tourist's paradise.

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  2. @Poetic Shutterbug,
    You can find almost everything to buy as souvenirs here. :)

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  3. lina,

    another thing, those jinrikisha (human-power car), melted by English to become ricksha or rickshaw, is pulled by part-time university under-grads. Most of them are athletes or strong runners. How innocent (stupid?) some people are!

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  4. Lots of people on the streets. Did you purchase any seven flavour chilli pepper?

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  5. looks like a shopping paradise that no one can resist.

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  6. Such a crowded place, I don't enjoy jostling with the crowd to get yummy food but in such tourist areas, it is inevitable.

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  7. @Kak Lela,
    Wow - that explains it. They sure provided knowledgeable, interesting tour on two wheels. And they are indeed strong. I even saw women pullers amongst them.

    How great that these students don't mind to be outdoors working and meeting people, right?

    I sure have respect for them. :)

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  8. @Mei Teng,
    No. I am no gourmet and his shichimi was a bit expensive. I just settle for shichimi sold at Jusco. ;)

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  9. @LR,
    you'll be spoilt for choice looking for souvenirs here. :)

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  10. @ECL,
    True. Some places, joining the crowd is inevitable because they are famous for a reason and everyone wants to experience it. ;)

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  11. Is this rickshaw the same as what we have in Melaka and Penang? Look like this guy is a young guy.

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  12. @zezebel,
    all the pullers are strong,young men (and women too!). :)

    Do you know that Muzium Negara mentioned that our rickshaws originate from Japan?

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  13. Eeeeeh....
    For real Lina? I never been to muzium negara before. Maybe will try to squeeze some time on December for that.

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  14. Interesting place to be. What JahRera said about undergrads manning the rickshaws brings to mind organized walking tours overseas esp in New York. The tour guides are mostly highly-educated, some are history and art professors even, who have a passion to share their knowledge of the city esp one as history-rich as NY City. Truly, never judge a book by its cover rings true.

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  15. @zezebel,
    You're coming to KL end of this year? For work or vacation?

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  16. @HappySurfer,
    True. Never judge a book by its cover and never underestimate or look down on people.

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  17. Ehhhh that person is so terrible to judge them. Put him in front of the telly and watch PENARIK BECA 1000 times so he can get the gist of that story ..how rude and what a way to tell your own child about something!! At least people earn an honest living out of pulling rickshaws like this. I think its a lovely tradition to still keep up in Japan as it has been around for centuries. I like that they do this BUT i guess its the joy of the job that makes it enjoyable despite having to run around and pulling customers of all different weights :)

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  18. @cuteandcurls,
    My sentiments exactly. How can one teach their child such a thinking and look down on people?
    :(

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  19. Nice place to visit! You should have buy more souvenirs....for me!! haha!!

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  20. Oh yes! Terrible way to teach the child! Looking down on others is a big NO!!

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  21. @foong,
    Those who received souvenirs from me have to accept the fact that I don't buy keychains, magnets or similar items for souvenirs. LOL

    It's indeed terrible to look down on people. No wonder we have to get foreign staff to do most of our "dirty" works here because most of the population think that such works are beneath them. DOn't you agree? :(

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  22. Obama mask? That's just so weird!

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  23. @Ayie,
    Well, Japanese seems to like "weird" stuff, don't you think?:D

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  24. OH you got me there...so much weird stuffs I agree! haha

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