Directions to Hombu Dojo, Tokyo

While in Tokyo, I went to train at: Aikikai Foundation / Aikido World Headquarters / Hombu Dojo
Address: 17-18 Wakamatsu Cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0056 Japan
Phone: (+81) 3-3203-9236, Fax: (+81) 3-3204-8145
Email: aikido@aikikai.or.jp
website: http://www.aikikai.or.jp/eng/index.htm (with class schedule, instructor roster, etc).

As I got lost each time, I’ve put these notes together to help me (and anyone else who’s reading!) next time.

First, print out this PDF of the subway map on a *color* printer. It was invaluable when lost or even just trying to confirm if I was on the correct train going the right way. Take note that on the subway map each station has a name in Kanji, a name in ascii, and a letter-plus-two-digit code. These letter-plus-two-digit codes are clearly posted in every station, on all maps, and were essential when trying to quickly figure out if I had missed my stop, or if I was on train going the wrong way.

Take the metro to Wakamatsu-kawada (“E03”).

Note: if coming from Shibuya (“F16”),  you take the brown Fukutoshin line to Higashi-shinjuku (“F12/E02”), and change there to the Oedo line. However, some Fukutoshin trains are express trains and do not stop at Higashi-shinjuku (“F12/E02”). According to their schedule, 1 train in 3 is an express train, but I managed to get on an express train *every* time I’ve went to Hombu. The platform displays will tell you if the next train is express or local – now that you know to look!!

  • in Wakamatsu-kawada (“E03”), take the Kawadocho exit
  • turn left and walk down the sidewalk of this main road
  • continue walking down this road for approx 5mins, when you should see a large “Eneos” petrol/gas station on the left hand side, just as the road slightly bend to the right.
  • a few buildings after the Eneos, there is a pedestrian crossing, and also the entrance to a lane on the right hand side. Cross over the road at this crossing, and then start walking down the lane.
  • after a couple of minutes walking in a straight line down this lane, you will see the dojo on your left hand side. It looks like this: (photo has creative commons license on wikipedia, see details here).
  • walk in the glass door, and introduce yourself to the staff in the glass booth on the right hand side. They will handle all the registration, schedules and fees.

Once inside, the main dojo mat space is on the 3rd floor, and looks like this:

Class was intense; 60-65 students in what felt like very crowded mat space. The students were all great to train with and were quite friendly!! One student claimed that the morning classes had 100+ students, which seemed insane to me, already there was soon many people . However, it did explain the racks of white gi outfits drip drying after class.

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