Rickshaw pullers (shafu) may not appear to be the most attractive job in the world but its popularity among men is steadily increasing in Japan. They are also known as “jinrickisha danshi ” or “rickshaw boys” among their admirers, and in most cases have lean and muscular physiques. Some are even aspiring professional athletes who not only work as rickshaw pullers to make money but as a workout too.
A rickshaw is a traditional two or three-wheeled passenger cart that has become increasingly popular in the tourism industry in Japan. The rickshaw puller or shafu manages the entire process himself and generally has a lot of local knowledge so that tourists can also experience the hidden gems in the area, along with beautiful scenery, and even local favorite eateries that are also hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the main attractions.
The rickshaw pullers are fit, so it can sometimes feel like you are traveling fast but it’s generally slower than a bicycle. They also work all year round and passengers are provided with blankets to keep warm and comfortable in winter.
As you can imagine, this type of work requires a vast amount of cardiovascular energy so, a shafu is generally young, fit, lean, and muscular.
On top of their rickshaw pulling work, there are several shafu members that work in other industries such martial arts, sports, acting, and art. In most cases, they’re extremely friendly which makes for an enjoyable ride around the area’s attractions. As their popularity increases so is their female fanbase, due to the hot and sweaty nature of the job!
So what do you think ladies? Does this make you want to try a new mode of transport this summer as part of your sightseeing plans? If so, definitely be sure to keep an eye out for them on your travel adventures around Japan, you won’t regret it!