There are many interesting attractions in visiting Tokyo. The capital city of Japan is replete with shopping malls, karaoke bars, noodle shops, coffee shops, and other nightlife establishments. But if one should look for a place that offers no-nonsense fitness and sportsmanship, the Kodokan School of Judo is among the ideal locations.

It is home to Japan's most cherished Olympic sport, judo. This martial art traces its roots all the way back to 1532 when samurai warriors practice grappling to supplement the unarmed specialty of warfare. In 1882, Dr. Jigoro Kano revolutionized traditional jujitsu and formulated a new art that refines its rough edges. He then formed the Kodokan School as the main institution that fosters the art of judo.

What Is Kodokan?

Kodokan is the current headquarters of the worldwide judo sport. Apart from being the main training hall in Tokyo, this school also functions as an administrative office for all prestigious local and international events related to the sport.

Curiously, Kodokan is derived from three Japanese phrases. 'Ko' means 'learn,' while 'do' means 'way.' Lastly, 'kan' means 'hall' or 'facility.' Hence, Kodokan literally means 'the facility for learning the way [of judo].' Judo training encompasses both academic and practical spheres.

Training Schedule

Beginners' judo training is divided into two categories. Those who only have 3 months or less of experience are enrolled to Futsuka Division. Those with 9 or more months of experience but have not achieved black belt is enrolled to Tokushuka Division.

Both adult divisions follow this daily schedule: 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM for men and 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM for women. Children above 6 years old are scheduled at 4:30 to 6:00 PM.  Enrollment is only limited within ten days each month. All classes are open from Monday to Saturday only.

Other Features

Since this school also cultivates the theoretical/academic aspect of judo, enrollees may also visit the Kodokan library. Certified members who paid the monthly fee of $43.88 can also visit the gym for cardio and weights conditioning anytime of the day, or do free practice (randori) with available instructors in the dojo. Members can also book overnight accommodations in the Kodokan hostel, which costs from $15.80 to $78.89 per night (price may vary according to room type).