Visiting the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo

I recently went on vacation to Tokyo, Japan.  While visiting, I stayed at the Kodokan Judo Institute.  The Kodokan is the founding school and international headquarters for the sport of judo today.  The Kodokan was established in 1882 by jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, and is now an eight-story building in Tokyo.  It has over 1,300 mats across six dojos—a Main dojo for training and large competitions, and dojos for beginners, International players and events, women, and Boys’ prep – plus a special dojo for retired judoka and special techniques training.  There are also separate facilities for athlete housing, supplemental training, research – and even a memorial museum tracing the lineage of judo.  No cameras though.  Must be some top secret stuff in there!  All international promotions, clinics and Olympic games administration are also handled at the Kodokan.
Unbeknownst to me, during my stay the top university-level, corporate sponsored players from around Tokyo had come for an open practice.  Even I couldn’t resist an opportunity to train with the best players of tomorrow.  My stay at the Kodokan is one memory I won’t soon forget.


  1. I will be visiting the Kodokan Judo this coming April too. Is it possible to train there if you dont have a gi & dont speak japanese?

  2. You will need a white gi. No blue gis allowed at the kodokan. You don't need to speak Japanese, but it doesn't hurt!

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