Musha Shugyo 武者修行
Day 1: Friday April 24th , 2020
After arriving in Japan, there will be a welcome party Near Hotel Ole in Fujieada City, Shizuoka. This fantastic hotel is only a one-minute walk from Fujieda Station which is on the main JR line 20 minutes from Shizuoka Station . Shizuoka is on the main Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Osaka, so if you’re flying into either Haneda (Tokyo) or Kansai (Osaka) airports, it’s very easy to get to. Please make sure you arrive at the hotel between 2pm and 6pm. To make sure that you arrive in Shizuoka with no difficulty, easy-to-follow travel instructions will be issued to all travelers before they arrive. The welcome party will start at 7pm and will be a wonderful chance to meet, greet, and get acquainted with your fellow kenshi and travelers.
Day 4: Monday April 27th, 2020
There’ll be a chance for an onsen bath before or after breakfast. We then take a leisurely ride to a tea plantation where we will learn about the local tea industry, try some of the local teas, and enjoy a locally made bento for lunch.
After leaving the plantation, we will check out the cool little village of Ieyama. There will be a visit to the local 110-year-old sake store and 105-year-old miso factory.
That night we will stay at a stunning ryokan, enjoy a wonderful meal and yet another type of onsen.
Day 2: Saturday April 25th, 2020
The Kendo Tour proper starts with a very early morning for the first keiko session of the tour. From the hotel it’s a 30-minute dedicated Kendo Tour bus to Yokokan Dojo, which is situated in the middle of the picturesque grounds of the beautiful Gokoku Shrine. Asa-geiko starts at 7am and runs until 8am, with kenshi who range from 2-dan to 8-dan.
After keiko it’s back to the hotel for a shower, breakfast, and a chance to relax.
During the morning we will take a walk to the neighborhood kendo shop before boarding our tour bus to head to Fugetsuro Restaurant, famous for its kaiseki style of Japanese cuisine.
After lunch it’s a 30-minute Kendo Tour bus ride along the stunning coastline to Yaizu City. Here we will visit the 2nd largest freezer in the northern hemisphere - yes, freezer! Here you will understand what all the fuss is about when it comes to tuna as a delicacy, with some fish costing $50,000!). Some tasting will be offered.
It's back to the hotel for a rest. Then at 6pm we leave for Inoue Dojo (Chionkenshukan), home of the late Hanshi 8-dan Inoue Yoshihiko-sensei. Keiko starts at 7pm with kata practice and then free keiko from 8pm to 9pm. Chionkenshukan is a small but very active machi dojo. Graham, one of the organizers of the Kendo Tour, is a member.
Finally, it's back to the hotel for a local dinner
Day 3: Sunday April 26th, 2020
It’s another early morning with a 30-minute bus ride to Iwakura Dojo for their Sunday morning keiko. This keiko is led by one or two 8-dan sensei.
Once keiko is finished, we return to the hotel for breakfast and check out. We then head off to experience rural Shizuoka via a stopover in Shimada City to visit one of Japan`s most famous sword sharpeners. This will be a real treat and more information is on its way. In the early afternoon we will venture deep into the tea growing area of Kawane.
Booking into the Kawane Hotel it will be time to enjoy an onsen followed by a buffet meal and a good night's sleep.
Day 5: Tuesday April 28th, 2020
There’ll be a chance for an onsen bath before or after breakfast. Then we will go for an amazing train ride together with the chance of experiencing some fantastic scenery in and around the Shizuoka high country.
Then there's a bus ride back to Yaizu where we check in to the stunning Yaizu Grand Hotel.
There is time back at the hotel for a rest before we proceed at 4.30pm to Chionkenshukan Dojo to meet Alex Bennett for a lecture and special seminar before the regular Tuesday night keiko session at the dojo.
Founder of Kendo World magazine, author, public speaker, and martial artist, Alex is one the leading non-Japanese kenshi in the world. He also has a deep and meaningful relationship with Shizuoka kendo.
A sayonara (farewell) party will then be held at a local Japanese izakaya (pub) after keiko has finished. It’s then back to the Yaizu Grand Hotel for the final night’s stay.
Day 6: Wednesday April 29th, 2020
If you’ve not over-exterted yourself the night before, there’s a chance for one more morning training at Yokokan Dojo.
Check-out of the hotel is at around 11am. The Kendo Tour team will be on hand to make sure that you get on the right train or bus to get from Yaizu to your final destination.
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