Heads turn when Eru strides through Asakusa to the temple at Sensoji. His master is a local older fellow in a bomber jacket and one of those big baseball-style caps that the military issue, holding another scragglier looking mutt under one arm. He reins in Eru on a long retractable leash, issuing orders as they walk. Stop here. Pose. Stay. It’s unusual to see dogs this size. When the oohs and aahs reach a peak he says, OK let’s give the schoolchildren a picture here shall we, and they stop for a minute before moving on. He says the rare, snowy seven-year-old Shepherd used to work in maritime rescue. So maybe that’s why Eru doesn’t pussyfoot over cocking a leg while barely breaking stride, or seem fussed at being pawed by eager kids and aunties, or made to sit for the occasional snapshot with a young worshipper. But given his pace through the crowd, you sense he’ll be glad to be out of here, that he has something important to do.