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How to attend the All Japan National Kendo Championship 2017

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  • How to attend the All Japan National Kendo Championship 2017

    Greetings, I am currently planning to visit Japan in the fall (2017). Much to my delight I discovered that I had found a deal on flights during the time that the All Japan Kendo Championships will be held this year on November 3rd. Right now I am trying to plan my time in Tokyo accordingly since I will be traveling around other parts of Japan as well. Does anyone know how someone outside of Japan would be-able to get a hold of a pair of tickets to the event? Is there the ability to buy tickets on the day of the event? Do they tend to sell out quickly before hand? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Generally, the way to get tickets is to buy them from a ticket vending machine or third party ticket dealer. The channels are:

    PIA vendors (Ticket PIA agent stand, 7-eleven ticket machine, CircleK, Sunkust... not sure if last two are via machines or go ask at cash register, both are convenience stores). For this channel you need the relevant P-code, which isn't out yet.

    Lawsons convenience stores via ticket vending machines. For this you need an L-code, which is not out yet.

    Channels are national so you can buy from any of the agents/machines anywhere in Japan. The P and L codes normally appear on ZNKR website a couple of months in advance with tickets on sale from Sept. 1 until around Oct. 28/29. Taikai is on Nov. 3, Culture Day.

    I do not know if adult tickets are on sale at the door. They do give free tickets to kids middle school age and under at the door on the day so there is a chance they can sell you an adult ticket. But then again, they might not be set up for that. ZNKR can be numbingly bureaucratic like everything else in Japan if they choose to be. And they also do not think too much about foreigners who might be interested in attending so getting tickets when not resident in Japan or able to read Japanese is a bit of a pain.

    Generally, the taikai is crowded but not at capacity. Upper tier seats are free seating and you can grab any seat that isn't claimed. It's full of high school kids who come and go so more likely than not a decent seat becomes available at some point. Floor seats are reserved. Not sure about lower tier.

    Here is the ticketing info from last year (in Japanese):

    Also on the same day are the koryu and yabusame (horseback archery) demonstrations at the Meiji Jingu. Yabusame is amazing and many well known koryu (Katori Shinto ryu, Yagyu Shinkage ryu, etc.) are represented. These demonstrations run from about 10am until 3pm iirc. It's outdoors and free.


    • #3
      It seems Circle K Sunkus has merged with FamilyMart. I think the brand merging is still going on so there are still Circle K Sunkus around (FamilyMart is ubiquitous). Anyway, when ZNKR makes their announcement for this year, it will be more clear.


      • #4
        Thank you for the info! It's good to know the approximate time window for tickets in particular. I will keep an eye out as it draws closer. It looks like I could possibly even buy through Lawson's website if it maintains the same as last year. Otherwise, the hostel that I have stayed at in Tokyo before is very helpful and accommodating to helping guests with arranging tickets for travel and such, so if needed I may talk to them to see if they can help..