|How do I get from Narita
Airport to Iwama?
There are two ways to get to Iwama:
(1) Train or (2) Bus.
Go to the basement of the terminal.
Follow the signs to the JR line.
Get a one-way ticket to Iwama. Ask what
time the train leaves.
@@You will need to take three trains:
@@From Narita Airport to Narita Station.
@@Change to the Narita Line, get off
at Abiko (43 minutes).
@@Change to the Joban Line* and get off at Iwama (63 minutes).
@@One level above the basement there are express buses
to Tsuchiura Station.
@@Get off at Tsuchiura Station.
@@Take the Joban Line* to Iwama
*The Joban Line has silver cars with
a dark blue stripe. Get on the train that is going towards
How much does it cost
to stay at the dojo? How can I pay?
You must be a member of Aikikai Foundation
to stay and train at the dojo. For Aikikai membership,
dojo training and living fee information please see the
Fees can only be paid in cash; credit cards, debit/bank
cards, or traveler's checks are not accepted.
When you need Japanese currency you can:
(1) Bring your country’s currency and exchange it at the local bank (Monday-Friday).
(2) Go to the post office and use the international ATM
(international cash withdrawal fees depend on your bank).
Exact change is appreciated when paying for your fees.
Note: The dojo does not exchange or accept foreign currency.
Is there internet access at Ibaraki Shibu Dojo?
Yes. There is a wireless internet connection you can use, but you will need to bring your own computer with wi-fi accessibility.
Are there kitchen, laundry
and shower facilities at the dojo?
Yes. The dojo has a full kitchen (gas ranges, microwave, toaster, refrigerators) that you are free to use. However, there is limited space and you may share refrigerator space with other Live-in student; please respect this. Though there are times when the Live-in student eat together, everyone usually buys and cooks their own food. There are few restaurants in Iwama, therefore it is best if you know a little about cooking.
The kitchen has cups, cutlery, dishes, and pots and pans;
you do not need to bring any.
There are two washing machines available for use; you
will need laundry detergent (at the local supermarket).
There are no dryers at the dojo; all laundry is hung outside
There are separate showers/baths for men and women. You will need your own soap, shampoo and any other toiletries that you will need.
Do I need to bring my
own mattress to sleep on?
No. As part of the living fee, a futon
set (mattress, blanket and pillow) will be rented for you
for the duration of your stay at the dojo.
What is the weather like?
In summer it gets quite hot and humid; sometimes up to 40°C. There are no air conditioners at the dojo, or in the living quarters. If you get sunburned easily, bring your own sunscreen. Sunscreen can be expensive in Japan.
Winter can be very cold sometimes (-10°C) and it does snow occasionally. There are no heaters at the dojo or in the living quarters. If you are from a warmer climate you might find winter very difficult. Autumn and spring are mild, but it can get cold in the morning and at night.
How many keiko-gi (training uniforms) should I bring?
This depends on the length of your
stay, the season, and personal hygiene. Most people bring at least two keiko-gi. Remember summer is very hot, and you will sweat a lot. It is best to wear a clean keiko-gi, not only for your own comfort but also out of courtesy for others.
Can I buy a keiko-gi (training uniform), hakama, bokken (wooden sword) and/or jo (wooden staff) at the dojo?
No. Ibaraki Shibu Dojo is a non-profit dojo and therefore does not sell any merchandise. However, if you need to buy a keiko-gi, hakama, bokken and/or jo, the sempai (senior students) will help you to order from the appropriate catalogues.
I have received sho-dan from a non Aikikai dojo. Is this a problem?
This is not a problem; however you will be asked to become a member of Aikikai (and must do so) in order to train and/or stay at Ibaraki Shibu Dojo. You will also be asked to take off your hakama and wear a white belt because any rank that is received outside of the Aikikai Foundation is not recognized.
It is a policy that only members ranked sho-dan
or higher by the Aikikai Foundation wear hakama.
What is the best way
to pay for things in Japan?
Japan is a cash society. In the bigger
cities a lot places accept credit cards, but most places
are cash only.
Other useful information
If this is your first time to Japan, you can expect to feel the effects of culture shock. You might want to research the etiquette and manners of Japanese culture; they might be very different to what you are used to. For example, it is considered very rude to eat in public, and smoking while walking is frowned upon in many places.
Try to keep an open mind (and stomach) to new things and make good relationships with people living with you and in the community.