Kashima Jingu Martial Arts Demonstration and Visit

Published on October 4 2016
Posted by: Kyle
Segment: tours
Sometime last week, I was browsing Facebook, and saw this post from The Japan Times talking about The 7th Kashima Jingu Shrine Hono Japanese Kobudo Demonstration, and I was intrigued.

So, since we had a car now (post coming soon), and Kashima Jingu is only a ~30 minute drive, we thought we'd visit.

The trip up was a little uneventful, although I was honked at by a fellow driver for stopping at an intersection where there wasn't a stop sign (a lot of Japanese intersections are absent of stop signs, so I wasn't sure, since I'm still new to Japanese driving. But we found a parking spot near the shrine, paid ¥500 to park, and went in. Best part of the shrine: it was free!

Being there was invigorating. The amount of martial art history that had been practiced, performed, taught, and fought at that location felt empowering. Watching the martial arts demos brought back memories of my own martial arts days, and although they did seem "practiced", it was nice seeing some of the weapons in action, like the kama!

We also saw some women fighting with naginatas, and that was pretty awesome! Those women can kick some butt.

Since there were 36 schools demoing about 8 minutes each, we knew that the demos would be going on for a while, so we thought to explore some of the shrine. Little did we know (well, little did I know) that there was a deer enclosure behind the demos. We paid ¥100 for a basket of carrots, and fed the deer. That was fun!

We continued down the path a bit and found a small shrine with a tree. I felt obligated to pray at the shrine - I don't know why, but it felt nice. I'm sure the native Japanese people were watching me and thinking, "What is that foreigner doing?" Yeah, I'm pretty sure of it.

At this time, it was about noon, so we made our way to a restaurant that Keat had visited before, and got a tempura chicken set with a lot of good food. Japan loves their dark meat, for some reason. The owner(?) didn't speak much english, so we had a challenge trying to order. Regardless, we got our food and ate, paid, received some nice little treats, and left. Much to my surprise, the owner ran after me and (through a series of gestures) explained that I gave him a ¥5000 bill instead of a ¥1000 (our bill was ¥1700, and I gave him 2 bills). I apologized and traded a ¥1000 for the ¥5000, and left again, feeling embarrassed.

We decided to get some video of our recent food experience, and halfway through the video, the owner ran after us again, explaining that I left my phone behind. So I was forgetting everything that day.... I profusely thanked him for returning my phone, and he was very nice about the whole situation.

After that, we left the restaurant area (hoping I didn't forget anything else), and made our way back to the Shrine for soft-serve ice cream - yes, there was an ice cream stand next to the entrance of the shrine. We got a grape/milk ice cream, which was really good, and browsed through the shrine once more. There wasn't much more to record since the demos all seemed to repeat each other, and there was very little difference. I could have recorded all 8 hours of demos, but that'd be very boring. Plus, Keat was getting a headache, so we needed to head home.

So that sums up our trip to Kashima Jingu. I'd like to go back there when there isn't an event, just to explore. That area is quite nice, and the shrine is even nicer (although the deer were a bit mangy).