Travel Photo| Way of the sword Tokyo, Japan

kendo champtionships tokyo

Japan National Kendo Championships Tokyo, Japan

Experiencing Japan’s National Kendo Championship

Kendo is the modern day version of Samurai sword fighting  and translated means,  “way of the sword” .  It’s an extremely technical sport and one students get the opportunity to train in and study at school.  When I was in high school I had the opportunity to study karate where I learned about the art of Kendo and gained an appreciation for the sport.  Later I would go on to study the Japanese martial art Shorinji Kempo.

Back in 2008 I a read a blurb in the Tokyo Metropolis (an English current events publication) that the national kendo championship was going to take place in Tokyo’s iconic Nippon Budokan Hall.  The giant octagon is spectacular and should probably be the setting for the next Karate Kid movie.

Wanting to immerse  myself in Japanese culture, and going for the experience, I wasn’t worried about the $60 price tag for floor seats.  Before I went in I stopped off at a nearby 7/11 and picked up lunch (since you can bring your own food into sports events in Japan).

The tournament was pretty exciting, but after the first couple hours and a few rice balls I ended up taking a little afternoon snooze.  Luckily I woke up in time for the semi-final match and decided to rip out my old point and shoot to capture this incredible shot of these two athletes preparing to battle.

If you ever get a chance to visit the Nippon Budokan Hall for a concert or sports event I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity, and I hope this glimpse will give you a little taste of Japan’s unique cultural heritage.

Find more amazing things to do in Japan

Happy Travels,


Ian Yacobucci

Traveling the Trans-Siberian, mountaineering the Himalayas, or teaching in Tokyo, I'm always trying something new. As a someone who's worked, studied, and traveled to 40+ countries around the world, I'm here to share my experiences so you can do the same.

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