This post was originally entitled “Keiko in Osaka before and after the World Kendo Championships.” Since the championships are finished I have amended it to act as a general introduction for kendo in Osaka.
Recently I’ve been getting a lot of messages about doing keiko in Osaka. So many requests are coming, in fact, that it’s hard to keep track anymore… so, rather than deal with them individually, I’ve created the following post detailing information about a couple of dojo in Osaka that are open to visitors from abroad: Yoseikai and Shudokan. There are of course many other dojo in the city, but these are by far the easiest to go to.
YOSEIKAI is a dojo situated in Namba in the heart of the city. I attended the dojo for over a decade, but now no longer go. Don’t let my non-attendance influence whether you go or not, it is a good place to practise kendo in Osaka, and I highly recommend it. However, please contact them directly (not me) if you have any questions.
Location: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium (currently branded “Edion Arena Osaka’)
Station: Osaka Subway Midosuji line, Namba station. The dojo is 5 minutes walk from exit 5.
Cost: 500 yen / session
Time: 19:00-20:15pm unless specified otherwise.
Schedule: View it online here (in Japanese but easy to understand).
Online: <a href=”http://doujyou.net/youseikai/>http://doujyou.net/youseikai/
Keiko flow: suburi (5 mins) -> kihongeiko (15+ mins) -> uchikomigeiko (5 mins) -> jigeiko (remainder)
Notes: Turn up early. Write your name on the form (English ok) and put 500 yen in the box. Someone will probably come and chat to you. Change and bring all your stuff into the dojo. Follow along. If you can speak Japanese – even a little bit – go and say hello and introduce yourself to the sensei.
SHUDOKAN is the dojo situated in Osaka Castle Park. It is owned and run by Osaka city and so is a 100% open practise. Keiko is held every weekday except for national holidays. I am not a member of this dojo and rarely go (despite working 4 minutes away!).
Location: Osaka Castle Park (the English maps located throughout the park have the dojo displayed)
Station: Any that gets you to Osaka Castle. Depending on the station and exit you take it could take between 10-25 mins to walk to the dojo.
Cost: 300 yen / session
Schedule: Every weekday evening except for national holidays.
Online: http://syudoukan.info/ (Japanese)
Keiko flow: The session changes depending on which sensei is taking it, but generally it goes: kihongeiko (20 mins) -> jigeiko (remainder)
Notes: Turn up early and go in through the BACK of the building. You need to fill in a form (ask the receptionist to help you) and hand it with 300 yen to the receptionist. The changing rooms are in the corridor at the back of the building. Once changed go to the dojo with all your stuff and wait for the children’s class to finish before entering. Follow along. As the dojo is 100% open, you don’t have to go and introduce yourself to anyway, though someone may come and speak to you.
Q) Do I need to contact you?
Q) Do I need to speak Japanese?
Q) I am a beginner, can I join in?
If you have bogu and shinai, go ahead. If not, no.
Q) I need equipment, where do I get it?
You have 2 options: 1. Visit Tsurugi Budogu, a kendo shop next to Yoseikai (<a href="http://tsurugi-kendo.com/">homepage</a> / <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tsurugibudogu">facebook</a>) 2. Order it from <a href="http://www.alljapanbudogu.com/?Click=123">All Japan Budogu</a> (maybe they will send something to your hotel).
Q) Can you introduce me to another dojo / XYZ dojo?
Q) Is there anywhere I can ask for more information?
I'm extremely busy and may not get back to you promptly, but you are free to message me on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/kenshi247.net">kenshi 24/7 facebook page</a>.