Later this year I will take my nephew (he is 19) to Tokyo for a week. We will spend most of the time together but I am considering having one or two afternoons were each goes his own way (I am interested in Martial Arts and ShoDo, he is more on the Manga/Anime/Action Figures camp).

I am 55, 3rd Dan in Aikido (25+ Iwama Ryu, 3 years closer to Aikikai since I moved to Germany, still practicing 3/times a week - I consider myself still fit enough for ukemi etc.).

If I were alone, I would either go straight to Hombu Dojo (as I did back in 2013) or visit a local dojo fairly regularly (like I did in Kyoto in 2016, where I went to Yoko Okamoto sensei's dojo for 4 or 5 sessions over 12 days).

Considering I will not have much time available, what would you suggest? I am perusing www.govoyagin.com to see what they can offer (e.g. https://www.govoyagin.com/activities/japan-tokyo-join-a-shinkage-ryu-bujutsu-martial-art-workshop-tokyo/8280 looks interesting) but maybe someone here can suggest less-known alternatives?

I realize that "one afternoon" is not enough time for, well, anything. I am also aware that most of the Voyagin stuff is probably designed for tourists with very casual interest in martial arts (and they may probably prefer flashier stuff like ninjutsu or stage fighting in Samurai garb).

I am open to try something different from Aikido, of course, but I would prefer either grappling styles like JuJitsu, or any traditional weapon style (in other words, I am not much into Karate or any striking-oriented art - I hope to find something were I can leverage my own Aikido experience a bit, and hopefully take back home at least one tiny technical nugget).

I can of course bring a Keikogi with me, my hakama, and I have zero problems in donning a white belt (I consider myself a beginner in anything which is not Aikido and I hope not to have any ego issue about that).

So, taking in account all this, what would you suggest?

  • 2
    I suggest asking this question on a forum related to Tokyo.
    – coinbird
    Jan 10 '18 at 15:32
  • You are right and I will (also) try to do it. My rationale to ask here was that -IMHO, at least - martial artists would have a better idea of what is appropriate from someone who has 20+ years of practice, while someone who lives in Tokyo and just noticed a "Ninja Experience" poster in the neighborhood would try to help but lack the experience to discern if this is is valid training or just a tourist attraction.
    – p.marino
    Jan 10 '18 at 16:09
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's travel-related
    – Mike P
    Jan 10 '18 at 17:21
  • 1
    I agree it's off topic, I took a look at the travel SE site and they also don't allow "what to do when in" type questions. Sorry about that.
    – JohnP
    Jan 10 '18 at 20:04
  • Sorry about that: feel free to close it if you consider this to be violating the charter - I won't complain.
    – p.marino
    Jan 11 '18 at 8:23

Just one option, but you could drop in on one of the open dojo sessions at a municipal sports centre. You should check current details, but in their old premise at least from ~2007 until ~2014, the Minato Ku Sports Centre near Tamachi Station (Yamanote line) had open nights on Thursdays with quite a reasonable and diverse turn out, and on Saturday afternoons where it was typically very poorly attended. FWIW, their old 2015 timetable is online. Thursdays would typically have five or six small groups (3-10 people) studying aikido, jujitsu, judo, ninjutsu, karate, taekwondo, kickboxing, muay thai, "kung fu" etc., a couple mixed groups that were happy to train together and typically welcoming to anyone who wanted to train together, and a smattering of individuals just doing their own thing. If your nephew ends up hanging around at the sports centre, there's a gym, pool, and sometimes table tennis, basketball etc.. Badminton, kendo, archery too, but they needs equipment.

I believe there's a similar venue somewhere around Shinjuku but never went there myself. The standard was as varied as the attendees.

  • Thanks, I will start looking into this... that's why I started asking so much in advance: to have time to follow any leads like this one. No idea why someone downvoted you. (I upvoted instead!)
    – p.marino
    Jan 10 '18 at 12:41
  • Some people seem to care more about whether a question's a perfect fit for the site's topics (I suspect I've been downvoted for daring to answer your question) than encouraging community and activity. Someone who cared about the site would at least say what they disagree with and try to contribute something. No wonder the site's almost dormant. Anyway, best of luck in Tokyo!
    – Tony D
    Jan 10 '18 at 13:57
  • "Someone who cared about the site would at least say what they disagree with […]". Down votes being anonymous and not requiring a justification are features, not bugs. Personally, I got nothing but grief and insults whenever I justified a down vote. Answering bad questions just encourages bad questions which do not make the site better in any way. In any case, your fake internet points raised by 18… Jan 11 '18 at 8:14

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