Kendo, which has been inherited from Japanese samurais, is a budo whose philosophy is to train the mind and body and to shape the human character by continuing exercises.
There are many kendo dojos in Osaka, where the foundation has been laid for children to become familiar with kendo. There are also many enthusiastic trainers, and numerous major dojos which are well known nationally.
Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, located in the Senshu area in the southern part of Osaka Prefecture, also has a kendo club with more than 70 male and female members. They won both the men’s and women’s Kansai Intercollegiate Kendo Championships in 2021, and they are a competitive club that has won the National Intercollegiate Championships. Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences, which focuses on budo tourism, is currently planning and promoting an experience program that allows foreigners to enjoy and recognize the depth of kendo while learning how to put on a kendo uniform and armor, rules of etiquette, and the handling of a bamboo sword.
Osaka has a large population of naginata competitors, and naginata is quite popular in this area in the country. There are about 30 dojos there, and Osaka University of Health and Sport Sciences also has a naginata club. The club is one of the strongest, and they won the fourth National Intercollegiate Championships in a row in the demonstration category, won the individual competition, and took second place in the team competition as well in 2021. As with the kendo club, they promote an experience program to introduce the beauty of naginata to foreigners.
There are two types of naginata: one is a demonstration in which players compete over their techniques in a specified movement without wearing protective armor, and the other is a match in which players compete by striking each other at specified body parts with protective armor. The main characteristic difference from kendo is that the striking points include the shins.
Although there is an image of naginata as a budo for women because no men used to be allowed to practice this budo, the number of male practitioners has been increasing recently. In the experience program, you change into a practice suit, learn the rules of etiquette, the handgrip of the naginata, and body movements, and then practice. It is also important to be aware of the elegance of the postures.
Izumisano City in the Senshu area has a unique place where you can experience Shugendo, Japanese mountain asceticism. Mount Inunaki is a sacred place that is said to have been founded by Enno Gyoja, the founder of Shugendo, in 661, and men and women can participate in the experience of Shugendo for a day (except between December and February / advance reservation required) including waterfall ablution in Shipporyuji Temple.
You can also learn about the spiritual culture of Japan by copying sutras carefully one character at a time, focusing on the state of your mind during the practice of transcribing sutras (prior confirmation required).
The approach to Shipporyuji Temple is a hiking trail, where you can admire various stone statues and beautiful valleys while walking through the dense forest.
Take a break at Inunakiyama hot spring on your way back. You can spend a relaxing time at inns and facilities, where you can enjoy a day visit hot spring such as Fudoguchikan, with an airy outdoor bath with a view of a mountain stream.
The Senshu area faces Osaka Bay, and the catches in the Izumisano fishing port are ranked among the best in Osaka. The open-air market directly connected to Izumisano Fishermen’s Cooperative Association is a foodie destination where you can enjoy fresh seafood. You can enjoy fresh and eye-pleasing dishes, for example in Iruka, which is popular because of its rice bowl dish with conger tempura so large that it sticks out from the bowl, and in Yutaro sushi, which is popular thanks to its Osaka Bay whitebait tricolor rice bowl dish with raw and cooked whitebait and salmon caviar.