6 Reasons I’m dying to Ride in a Japanese Rickshaw

Japanese rickshaw Ginrikisha  人力車 in Japan

1. I want kids to look up at me and think I’m royalty.

Let’s face it, I’m a (fairly) mature adult, and I still get envious every time I see someone in a rickshaw. How can they afford it? Are they secretly a celebrity? Are they Japanese royalty out for a daily tour of the city?

I think sitting up in one of those rickshaws, with a thick red blanket over your lap and holding hands with the one you love, is the best way to spend the afternoon. And every once and a while, I want to look down, catch some little Japanese kids staring at me, and give them an elegant princess wave – the kind I learned back in 5th grade after watching Princess Diaries and dreaming about my own royal wedding.

I want to be a princess.

But since that’s not going to work out, I would settle for pretend royalty. Or I just want kids to think I’m cool.

2. Bragging rights.

I have a list of cool things I’ve done in Japan. I’ve eaten whale, horse, crickets, and fish eyes. I’m about to climb Mt. Fuji; I’ve done sulfur onsen hot springs. I’ve worn a couple different kimonos and participated in the Japanese coming of age ceremony.

Inner racial, innerracial Japanese American couple

I’ve never ridden a rickshaw in Japan. Or any other country. I would like to add that to my list.

3. I want to know what it feels like.

I want to know what it feels like to go over the pavement. Can you feel the bumps in the road? What about the turns – can you feel the cart move? Does it creak with the strain of two bodies, or hold fast like iron?

4. It’s an awesome date idea

I see this kind of stuff in romantic comedies all the time. I would love to try it. Next time I’m in a historic section of Japan, I would love to hail down one of these Japanese rickshaw drivers, in their traditional clothes, and hitch a ride all over the city.

5. I want a picture with the driver

The friends that have gone in the rickshaw cart in Japan were able to get pictures both in the cart and later, with the driver.

Japanese rickshaw Ginrikisha  人力車 in Japan

6. I want to be able to look down at Tokyo.

I think I could get some pretty awesome shots of buildings and crowds, from the bird’s eye view in the rickshaw. I always dislike when people’s heads get in my shots.

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About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

6 Comments on 6 Reasons I’m dying to Ride in a Japanese Rickshaw

  1. Its a giant two person wheelchair!!!!! :) As someone in a wheelchair… it’s kinda fun… but for me it would be like I’m riding in like 40s!!!! :)

  2. i hope you had a good sitting on ricksaw like royalty.

  3. Haha Is it terrible my first thought on the rickshaw picture was “Wow, That guy has a really great butt!” Maybe rickshaw pulling can be the new exercise fad that hit America.

  4. dorisdolina // 7 June, 2013 at 7:55 am //

    I haven’t seen that when I was in Japan….Had I seen one, for sure I would have taken a ride too.

    http:dorisdolina.wordpress.com

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