Experience the essence of the Bushido spirit through SAMURAI TOURISM

SAMURAI TOURISM in Kyushu provides an opportunity to get a true feel for the spirit of Bushido that has been passed along through the generations in Japan, by experiencing kendo and other Japanese martial arts together with local culture. Born during the centuries-long age of samurai warriors, Bushido has developed as the ethical code befitting a samurai. The culture of this spirit survives today in the respect for propriety of contemporary martial arts.

The chance to experience the samurai culture of various regions in Kyushu together with marital arts that developed in Japan, and to be touched by not only its history and culture but the appeal of the regions behind it, can be described as another attraction exclusive to SAMURAI TOURISM.

Experience the world of martial arts with strong roots in the land of Kyushu.

SAMURAI TOURISM offers a full range of experiences that anybody will find easily approachable, in not only kendo but also various other martial arts such as iaido and kyudo.

Kendo is a martial art based on the principle of aiming to build character through training in the precepts of the katana (Japanese sword). Kyushu is known in particular as a kendo stronghold and the home of numerous national champions. The experience takes place in actual dojo and practice facilities, where you can learn everything from wearing kendo robes and protective gear through civility and handling and using the bamboo sword, before finally participating in actual match. Under the attentive guidance of the instructor, you will learn about kendo in depth: in mind, technique, and body.

Iaido is a martial art that has always stressed the spirit of Bushido, as its practitioners constantly retain and never release their katana. For this reason, it is characterized by learning how the first draw of the sword is crucial to victory or defeat. In this program, you can learn about the depth of the discipline, etiquette, accurate technique, readiness, and other topics, as well as experiencing the essence of iaido training with a serious focus on practical technique that is rare even in Japan.

Kyudo is considered a martial art that aims for beautiful form completed by tempering mind and body through the series of movements directed at the target. Since it differs somewhat from other martial arts such as kendo in that it is directed at a target rather than an opponent, it requires repeated mental training to better known oneself at a deeper level. Since the program is taught with care by graded kyudo instructors, you should be able to find your own ideal shooting form in just a short time.

Highly appealing sightseeing spots and a rare chance to stay in a castle

What makes “SAMURAI TOURISM” so attractive is not just the martial arts experience. In the city of Hirado in Nagasaki Prefecture, the Shirohaku program, which lets visitors stay in the Kaijuyagura tower of Hirado Castle, named on of Japan's best known castles, is another major attraction for travelers.

Hirado Castle serves as the symbol of Hirado Island, the oldest of Japan's bases for trade with Spain and Portugal in the 16th and 17th centuries. While the original castle built during the Edo Period by clan chieftain Matsura had long ago been destroyed, the castle tower and four turrets were rebuilt during the 1960s. Then, in April 2021 one of these, the Kaijuyagura tower, was remodeled as a permanent Shirohaku lodging facility. Inspired by the Rinpa school of art, which also influenced the Austrian painter Klimt, its interior is characterized by a gorgeous design that also expresses the essence of Japan. The bathroom, the only structural addition made during the remodeling, is in an excellent location facing the sea, with panoramic views of Hirado Ohashi Bridge connecting Hirado Island with the Kyushu mainland. Since the Kaijuyagura tower is rented as a whole to each party of guests, it provides a rare opportunity to experience the life of a lord of Hirado Castle.

A wide range of other attractive sightseeing spots is scattered around the area. For example, Kameoka Jinja shrine in Hirado has a history that traces back to the Matsura family, chieftains of the Hirado clan. Since Nakayama Aiko, daughter of the 34th chieftain Kiyoshi Matsura, was maternal grandmother of the Meiji Emperor, Kameoka Jinja is a spot closely related to the Imperial family. It's said that the Showa Emperor and other members of the Imperial household have come here to offer prayers.

Akizuki in the city of Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture is another spot you'll want to visit. It is home to a number of structures with deep historical significance, including the Kuromon and Nagayamon gates on the site of the ruins of Akizuka Castle, designated tangible cultural assets by the Japanese government. The entire town has been designated a preservation district for important traditional structures by the Japanese government. A simple stroll through the scenic townscape, called the "miniature Kyoto of the Chikuzen region," provides a feel of its rich historic atmosphere.

SAMURAI TOURISM plans provide an opportunity to experience the esoteric world of the Bushido, which survives today in the land of Kyushu.

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