↑ Return to Activities

Cultural Activities

Local Life-long Learning Centers (shougai gakushuu senta 生涯学習センター) often hold culture classes that include ikebana, the tea ceremony and seasonal activities. Visit your local Center and inquire about a schedule. Locals will be happy to help you, so don’t be shy!

Taiko (太鼓)

The Wai Wai Taiko Group in Kitakyushu is foreigner-friendly and has a large number of JETs. If you want to get involved, e-mail Kayo (simple English is OK) at mouri@bronze.ocn.ne.jp and ask for directions. The group usually practices Mon. and Wed. from 7 to 9 p.m.

Kimono (着物)

Kimono classes are run by Nihonwasou to promote the kimono industry. You can find classes in your city on the map on their website. Each session is 15 classes and meets once a week. Classes are free, but you need to purchase your own kimono and accessories. http://www.wasou.com/course/

Tea Ceremony (sadou or chadou 茶道)

Most junior and senior high schools will have a tea ceremony group, known as a sadoubu (茶道部), as an after-school activity. Your students will no doubt be thrilled to have you participate!

Ikebana (生け花)

Ikebana, or kadou (華道, “the way of flowers”), is a traditional style of flower arranging. There are many different styles and schools within ikebana.  Like tea ceremony, there may be opportunities to practice this art through your school or a local community center.

Mochi Pounding (mochi tsuki 餅つき)

Mochi pounding, which involves striking a ball of glutinous rice with a massive mortar, most often takes place around the beginning of the new year. The Hakata Machiya Furusatokan near Kushida Shrine holds a mochi pounding event at the end of Jan. each year. Information goes up on their website sometime earlier in that month.http://www.hakatamachiya.com/cms/event/

Hanami (花見)

Ohanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties take place everywhere from late March to early April. Kokura Castle in Kitakyushu, Nishi Park in Fukuoka, Gozu-Tenno Park in Koge-machi and Habu Park in Nakama are all prime locations. The idea is to appreciate the transience of life embodied by the fragile blossom. The traditional way to do this is to get drunk on sake.

Fruit Picking (furutsu gari フルーツ狩り)

The regions around Kurume, Asakura and Ukiha in Fukuoka Prefecture are known for their delicious fruits. Top picks include strawberries, from Jan. to May; grapes, from Aug. to Oct. and apples from Sept. to Nov. Fukuoka is especially known for “Hakata Amaou,” which is literally the sweetest “king” of strawberries.

http://www.blueberrynomura.com/farm.html Blueberry Farm (near Kurume)

http://ww7.tiki.ne.jp/~kajiwara/fu.html Kajiwara Fruits (5 min from JR Oishi Station by taxi; offers pears, grapes, strawberries)

Nihon Buyou (日本舞踊)

Learn a traditional Japanese art with other foreigners from professional dancers. The class meets once a week near Hakata in Fukuoka City from October to May, and will culminate in a public dance performance in May/June. No prior dance experience necessary, so come and try it out! Call Goro Nishikawa on 090-3732-4996 (mobile) or 092-281-1787 (landline) for further information.