Learn the art of Kyudo

Japanese Archery Experience

soja city, okayama prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photo source | Soja City Facebook Page


Kyudo is an ancient form of archery that is practiced as a martial art in Japan. Practitioners wear traditional Japanese trousers called hakama when they engage in the sport, which is also distinctive for its beautiful longbow and the simple elegance of its movements.

Kyudo shooting ranges often have a rustic charm as they are often found in somewhat rural areas with plenty of open space. However, if is not unusual to see the sport practiced in enclosed areas in the middle of major cities.

One of the stand out features of a Kyudo dojo or practice area is that it is consists of two parts. Unlike Western archery, which is typically done completely outside, Kyudo arrows are launched by archers from inside the dojo, toward targets located at the end of a fairly wide ground. In this sense, it is both an indoor and outdoor activity,

The meditative quality of Kyudo separates it from other Japanese martial arts, aside from the fact that is non-combat and relatively non-competitive in its modern form. Kyudo practitioners are more concerned with refining their form and individual skill levels.

You can try Kyudo in Soja City’s Budokan or “Martial Arts Hall”. Located near Soja Station, the hall is the nexus of  martial arts in the region, with archery being just one of the many activities available there.It is a modern facility that employs traditional Japanese architecture.

Competitions and exhibitions are held regularly at the hall and of course spectators are welcome. Introductory lessons are offered to all ages and newcomers are encouraged to participate.


About the Area

Soja is an inland city in southwestern Okayama Prefecture. It is borders the cities of Okayama, Kurashiki, Takahashi and Ibara and the towns of Kibichuo and Yakage. This unique geographic position has meant that the city has always been deeply intertwined in regional cultural and political affairs.

With a name that literally means “all shrines”, it would be easy to assume that the city contains a lot of them and you would be correct. However, in many ways, Soja is very much a temple town, in that there are two major ones near the city center.

One of the most interesting parts of the city is the old shopping street that runs parallel to Route 180. There, you will find clues to life in the Meiji era in the stories told through its homes and storefronts.


Access: Take the Hakubi Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Soja Station. The Soja Budokan is about a 20 minute walk from JR Soja Station.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee