Registration for the Shirataki-mura Gasshuku have now closed.
We have started preparations for a very special aikido trip to Japan in 2017 – a trip that will not only allow us to train in a very special location with some excellent instructors, but that will also give a great historical perspective on the development of aikido and the background of O-sensei.
This trip will see us attending the 2017 All Japan Aikido demo in the Nippon Budokan stadium in Tokyo. From there, by invitation of Shihan Sho Ozaki (8th dan and president of the All Japan Aikido Federation), we will fly to Hokkaido, the main northern island of Japan, and travel to Shirataki-mura. This town, founded by O-sensei, will welcome us with open arms and there will be some friendship activities organised with area officials and locals (including an aikido demo). There will also be a 3-day special Gasshuku training event in the local hall, where Ozaki shihan, Sawada shihan, Takase shihan and others (still to be confirmed) will teach classes. On top of that, there will be ample opportunity to relax in the local onsen baths.
After Shirataki-mura, we’ll travel to Sapporo, the main city on Hokkaido, for group sightseeing and then there is time for some individual travel around northern Japan or elsewhere. There is, of course, the opportunity to zip back to Tokyo (9 hours by Shinkansen) and train in the Aikikai hombu dojo but there is also plenty to be seen on the way south.
Detailed dates (all tentative at this stage):
Friday May 26: Depart NZ for Tokyo
Saturday May 27: Attend All Japan Aikido embu, Nippon Budokan
Sunday May 28: Fly from Tokyo to Hokkaido and travel to Shirataki mura
Monday May 29: Start of Shirataki mura Gasshuku
Wednesday May 31: End of Shirataki mura Gasshuku
Thursday June 1: Travel to Sapporo for sightseeing (start of 1-week rail pass usage)
Saturday June 3: Start of individual travel arrangements (feel free to organise amongst yourselves
Wednesday June 7: Expiry of Rail pass, easy if back in Tokyo
Friday June 9: Depart for NZ
As this will be a major trip from an organisational point of view, we’re looking to secure a list of participants as soon as possible. If you are keen, please pay a $200 deposit (non-refundable) to enable us to begin making arrangements with our friends in Japan. Payment can be made via PayPal (credit card) or directly into the Shinryukan seminar account (please contact us if you wish to pay by direct credit).
Costs to be covered during the trip are:
- Return flights NZ-Japan
- Flights to Hokkaido one way (organised by Ozaki Shihan)
- Accomodation, sightseeing and Gasshuku location in Shirataki mura all supported by the local council
- One week rail pass for travel around Hokkaido and back to Tokyo (and wherever else you want to go within that week).
- Seminar instruction fees
- General accommodation, meals and sightseeing costs.
A rough budget estimate for the whole trip would be $4,000+
The trip will be suitable for all levels of aikido-ka (including beginners), and with limited space at the seminar location, places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.