Diary of a Flipper - Summer yusuzumi ride in Tokyo

Diary of a Flipper - Summer yusuzumi ride in Tokyo

I’m Kay, a Flipper (meaning an iruka owner) living in Tokyo with my wife, two daughters and iruka. Here, I’m going to start sharing my diary of life with this lovely transformer. It would be my pleasure if it could give you any ideas or hints of what the life of having iruka is like.


Bicycle is the perfect transportation for exploring this amazing city of Tokyo, which is always full of discoveries and surprises like a kaleidoscope. It is not only fast and efficient, but also fun. Except in summer. 


I guess it’s the same in your town, the summer in Tokyo has been getting hotter year by year. Especially during sunny daytime, the temperature and humidity are sometimes dangerously high for outdoor activities. Even so, I know you still want to go biking, right? Me too. So one day in early August, I decided to go out for a yusuzumi ride with iruka.


Yusuzumi is a tradition in Japan of spending time outdoors such as on streets or at porches, to enjoy the coolness at dusk on a hot summer day. Although it is not as usual as before due to changes in housing conditions and the widespread use of air conditioning, it has been reevaluated as an eco-friendly way to avoid the summer heat in recent years.


版画大川端夕涼み図〈鳥居清長筆/錦絵、竪大判〉 文化遺産オンライン

Ukiyoe of yusuzumi cited from Bunka Isan Online


Here is my plan for today. First, I will travel from my home in East Tokyo to Tokyo Station with iruka by a local train to save my energy. Then unfold iruka and ride through Ginza to the bay area around Toyosu. It must be nice to bike along the shore with the sea breeze at night. Tokyo is covered with countless rivers and canals and has been called "Venice of the Orient" for a long time. If I am well enough after it, I will ride back home; if I am tired, I will take a train back. Hey, iruka, get ready.


At 4 pm, I arrived at Tokyo Station, unfolded my iruka, and then approached Ginza from Marunouchi Naka-dori Avenue. 



Ginza is one of the most luxurious shopping areas in Japan, with dozens of high-brand stores. It was named because it used to be where silver coins were cast (Gin means silver) before. 




Apple Ginza is the first Apple Store outside the United States. I heard an Apple employee once saw iruka and said, "If Apple makes a bike, it will be like this.”



When we reached Toyosu, the sun was starting to set, and the temperature was a bit more comfortable.



We saw a summer festival at a park along the canal. People were dancing Bon Odori with Japanese traditional folk songs. Originally, Bon Odori dance was an annual event originating in Buddhism for praying for family ancestors. However, its original purpose has almost been lost. It works as an opportunity of communication for the local community today. and works as an opportunity of communication for the local community today.



The sun went down, and the sky turned orange. Then, soon the evening darkness came on us.




We took a relaxing ride around and enjoyed the cool waterfront breezes. Another summer festival was on the way.



We crossed my favorite bridge, the Chuo Ohashi Bridge, on our way back inland. 



We arrived at Tokyo Station. I decided to take a train again and folded iruka into Walk Mode, then headed to the platform.





Well, we’ve come to the end of the yusuzumi ride today. iruka, where shall we go next?


Kay, a Flipper