Tour Leaders


Alex Bennett – Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan

Considered a world-leading expert in kendo. New Zealander Alex Bennett received a doctoral degree from Kyoto University in 2001, and another from the University of Canterbury in 2012. After working at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, and then Teikyo University’s Department of Japanese Culture, he is now employed as a Professor at Kansai University’s Division of International Affairs where he lectures on Japanese history and culture. He founded and is Editor-in-Chief of Kendo World, the world’s only English language journal dedicated to kendo, and holds the ranks of Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan, iaido 5-dan, naginata 5-dan, jukendo 5-dan, and tankendo 5-dan. Alex has been instrumental in setting up and we will be spending time with him on each tour.

Masayuki Norizuki – Kendo Kyoshi 7-dan

​Masayuki Norizuki has been a professional domestic and international travel agent for 45 years. He is an expert at operating the large international Japanese tours of the 80s and 90s to the now fashionable and more focused small group special interest tours of the 2000s. His company will act as the registered DMC (Destination Management Company) for the Kendo Tours company.​ Masayuki’s home dojo is Chionkenshuukan, the dojo founded by the late Inoue Yoshihiko Hanshi (1927~2015). Masayuki is also President of the Yaizu Kendo Federation, Shizuoka, Japan.

Graham Sayer – Kendo Renshi 7-dan


Living in Japan during two periods of his life, seven years in his twenties in Kyoto, and later a stint in Shizuoka running a business and challenging for 7-dan from 2009 to 2015. Graham has been president of the New Zealand Kendo Federation since 1987 and has been an auditor of the International Kendo Federation since 2009. Graham is experienced in machi dojo life and the etiquette required to enjoy this part of Japan rarely available to visitors. Graham and his wife Chikae still have a house and small business in Shizuoka, but are mainly based in NZ these days.

Check out the J-Concepts homepage for some background on Graham's activities in Japan and Auckland Kendo Club, Graham’s home dojo in New Zealand of which he is head instructor and one of the founders.


As well as our tour leaders, English speaking Japanese guides will assist with translation and interpretation for the duration of the tour.

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