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Photo #16 – Kyudo Archery Students at Kyoto Budo Center

Kyudo lesson at Kyoto Budo Center

This photo corresponds with Episode 3 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 3 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


The Kyoto Budo Center is just a few minutes walk around the southwest corner of Heian Jingu, a famous and frequently visited large shrine on the east side of Kyoto. The Budo Center is owned by the city of Kyoto and the grounds are open to visitors, but I’m sure very few people that visit Heian Jingu ever realize how close they are to this interesting and ancient martial arts training facility.

If you’re fortunate enough to visit the Kyoto Budo Center while training is going on in Butokuden, the oldest martial arts training hall in Japan, you are in for a treat. Butokuden is used by many different martial art groups in Kyoto and is as interesting a place or more so than many of the temples and shrines found in Kyoto.

When I arrived at night, as you can hear in episode 3 of the Savage Japan podcast, giant double doors around Butokuden were open as kendo students practiced inside with their bamboo swords.
[And yes, I will photograph Butokuden in the future. :-) ]

Japanese kyudo archery is practiced in its own dedicated building at the Budo Center and visitors can watch beside a field the archers shoot across. You can see people standing in that area beside the archery field in the zoomed in map I’m placing just below this entry. The archers stand under the roof of the large building on the north side of the archery field. The wall is open and they shoot out to a covered row of targets on the south end of the field.

If you want, you can zoom out a couple of steps with the map below to clearly identify Heian Jingu just to the right of the Kyoto Budo Center.

Photo Details: One of my Kyoto house mates, Sakabe-san, offers kyudo archery guidance to fellow students at the Kyudojo on the grounds of the Kyoto Budo Center.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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