Aikido in Japan
I’m training aikido in Japan in years 2015 and 2016, mostly in Nagoya, Aichi. If you are planning to train in central Japan (Chūbu region) or if you like Endō Seishirō shihan or Kuribayashi Takanori shihan, you may also find the following useful.
I’ve also written some blog posts about aikido (mostly in Czech).
Note: In the following text I sometimes use the standard Japanese suffixes -ken (県) for prefecture, and -shi (市) for city. Thus “Nagoya-shi” is “Nagoya (city)”, etc. Sometimes, names of places, dōjōs and teachers spelled in Latin characters are preceded by the same names in Japanese characters.
Dojos and teachers in Nagoya and Aichi
名古屋市: 青志会, 森崎 雅之 先生
Nagoya-shi: Aoshikai, Morisaki Masayuki sensei
This is where I train regularly. Our dojo follows the seminars of Endō shihan and Kuribayashi shihan. The teacher and senpai used to train under Watanabe sensei (Tessekikai, see below).
名古屋市: 鉄石会, 渡邊 茂男 先生
Nagoya-shi: Tessekikai, Watanabe Shigeo sensei
Watanabe sensei is a formidable aikdōka. At the time of this writing (2016/7), he has one adult student and a kids’ class every Saturday. Watanabe sensei goes regularly to Endō shihan seminars and organizes his seminar in Nagoya every year in March.
豊田市: ゆうき館道場, 藤井 学 先生
Toyota-shi: Yūkikan, Fujii Gaku sensei
In addition to ordinary trainings, there is a Saturday morning kids’ class. Kids of any age and parents take part:-).
Other notable dojos
名古屋市: 明倫塾, 祖父江 満 先生
Nagoya-shi: Meirinjuku, Sobue Mitsuru sensei
Great teacher, still taking part in the regular trainings despite his age.
More dojos the Aichi prefecture can be found at 合気道ねっと (Japanese-only).
Dojos not too far from Aichi
滋賀県 草津市: 合気道さざ波, 渡邊 清志 先生
Kusatsu-shi (Shiga-ken): Aikidō Sazanami, Watanabe Seiji sensei
Watanabe sensei (not related to the one from Nagoya) also practices Tai-ji quan. See video with him from the 54th All Japan Aikido Demonstration (2016).
Most members practice very mindful, soft and fluent aikido. Practicing with them was at times challenging but really enjoyable.
長野県 佐久市: 佐久道場
Saku-shi (Nagano-ken): Saku dojo.
More information at Endō Seishirō shihan’s web site. The person in charge of the dōjō is Ariga sensei.
I frequently go to seminars of the following teachers.
Endō Seishirō shihan’s web site (Japanese and English) with information about upcoming seminars, some of them held in his home dōjō in Saku (Nagano-ken).
栗林 孝典 師範
Kuribayashi Takanori shihan is a honbu dōjō instructor. Relatively young shihan, powerful and compact aikidō.
My recommendation is to go for Tōzandō, you can either order online or visit their shop in Kyōto.
Tōzandō (Kyōto). Good value/price, has both Japanese and international web shop.
Note for future myself: I’m buying the #4 size AG60W keikogi (pants and jacket) set. Pants shrink by 6 cm, the top almost doesn’t shrink. #4 is just about right for me (I’m about 177 cm, rather slim, but this keikogi would work for sturdier guys too, and the white obi that comes with it is actually a tad too long for me). It usually takes just three or four days from ordering for an emroidered gi to arrive.
Note that Tōzandō also ships internationally and is very English-speaker friendly.
Iwata (Tōkyō). Iwata is more expensive/traditional (and has an awful web site).
Itō Shigekuchi Shōten (Nagoya). Sells martial arts equipment (especially kendō equipment). The cheapest aikidō (jūdō actually) gi they have is an ubleached one made in China (4500 JPY including tax, looks as cheap as it is and shrinks a lot). I bought it as a quick solution just after my arrival and still use it as a backup gi now and then. Open daily except Sundays and national holidays until 18:30.