archery

Ninja Wannabe? Train to Become One at the Ninja Academy in Nara!

Do you ever think, “Man, I wish I could do that!” when you watch Naruto? In feudal Japan, a ninja, otherwise known as shinobi, must learn to fight with agility and strength, slipping in and out of missions while remaining practically invisible to their foes. Becoming a true ninja takes years of dedicated and specialized…

Experience These 3 Ways To Transform Yourself Into a Japanese Warrior!

Have you ever watched old fashioned action movies and wished you could be a hero just like them? I know I always do. I love watching martial arts movies where the heroes save the day, and ride horses and forge their own special weapons. So when I came to Japan, I was determined to turn…

See a traditional archery competition in Kyoto

Every January in Kyoto since back to the 12th century there has been a Kyudo competition – “Toh shi ya” held in the grounds of Sanjusangendo temple, one of Kyoto’s famous tourist spots. Competition History Author’s photo Back in the day the competition was a pretty extreme event with a range of different categories. One…

Kasagake in Kyoto – Samurai Mounted Archery Festival

Every year in September at Kyoto’s Kamigamo shrine you can see the Kasagake festival. It’s a rare chance to see some this form of traditional Japanese mounted archery practised by the samurai which dates back some 800 years. wikipedia.org/ The festival starts at 1pm but it’s best to arrive a little early if you want…

Yabusame: the Traditional Japanese Mounted Archery

Do you know that mounted warriors have existed in Japan for more than 1,500 years? Yes, it has been a long time indeed, dating back to the Kamakura period. The need for it arose when Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder of Kamakura Shogunate, became concerned with the skill levels of his samurais. He was alarmed with…

Have a pleasant time in Nagano: hot springs, Japanese archery and snow monkeys!

If you’re looking for a great mountain getaway in Japan with mountains, snow, monkeys and hot springs, you should try heading to Uotoshi ryokan in Nagano. I stayed there during December and it was a great winter experience! Location Author’s photo Getting to the Ryokan from the train station only took about 10 minutes, even…