Okinawa unleashes a series of karate programmes

A new series of karate-related offerings for business groups is now available in Japan’s southern island chain of Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.

Launched by the Okinawa Convention Visitors Bureau under its latest web platform, “Enjoy Karate Tourism in Okinawa,” the programme features karate trials for beginners (120 minutes), as well as workshops for more experienced karate practitioners. The gi, or karate uniform, can be rented onsite.

On completion of the programme, participants typically receive a certification of completion and a group photo with their karate master.

Meanwhile, corporate groups seeking experiences rather than lessons can try Ryukyu traditional tile smashing and Zen seated meditation (45-minute or 60-minute programme) at the famous Shuri Kannondo Temple in Naha.

A six-hour-long tour (US$290) to explore the island’s karate roots via visits to monuments, shrines, museums, dojos and shops is ideal for a corporate excursion, while the 30-minute karate demonstration performed by local masters is suitable (USD$ 390) as pre-event entertainment.

Most programmes are held at Okinawa Karate Kaikan in Tomigusuku, about 15 minutes’ drive from Naha International Airport. This facility, which was opened in 2017 to preserve and develop the heritage of Okinawa karate, also has rooms for small group meetings. Its main gymnasium can be transformed into a conference space.

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