I got invited to visit Sensei Matsunaga Genrokuro, a traditional Japanese swordsmith at his home in Arao, Japan.
Not only was we able to watch as he demonstrated the stages of making Katana sword but also had his students show up at his 'Genseikai dojo' (meaning pure source school) to perform his very own 'Kobudo Shodai Ryu Zanshi' (Martial art that involves the drawing of a sword, approaching a target, cutting through the target, sheafing the sword and retreating).
After the performance we was invited into his home as he showed us his very own personal collection of Samurai items, including antique armor, swords, spears, guns all used in battle.
Sensei Genrokuro Matsunaga, one of the few sword-smiths still using traditional methods.
In order to make 1 sword, about 9kg of 'Tamahagane' (melted down iron sand) is required. After the temper folding and hammering, the final weight of the sword is usually only between 800g to 1000g.
Sensei Matsunaga Genrokuro's students displaying 'Kobudo Shodai Ryu Zanshi' (drawing of a sword, approaching a target, cutting through the target, sheafing the sword and retreating)
Makiwara (straw targets) for Shodai Ryu practice are soaked in water for at least one week, rinsed and cut whilst wet. This results in a target which is tougher to cut than would otherwise be the case and is, reputedly, comparable to the resistance offered by a human neck or limb.
Suginohara is one of three resorts that make up Myoko Kogen. That ski hill has a massive 1,124m vertical drop and the mountain receives up to 13m of snow per year. Also boasting one of Japans longest runs at 8.5km. From the top you can witness breathtaking views of Lake Nojiri, the surrounding mountains, and even Mt. Fuji on a clear day!
Stay Wild is a new up and coming Surf wear brand designed by Anna, a Professional Kite surfer from Poland. This shoot was done mid-winter on the West-coast of Japan in freezing conditions. We battled with strong winds and hail stones throughout the day, waiting for breaks in the weather.
Okinawa Surf | Skate
Known for its crystal clear waters and deserted beaches, it is a popular holiday destination for both domestic Japanese and foreign tourists. When you talk about surfing in Okinawa most people don't know much information on the topic and have little knowledge about the local scene...........
Hire a Ski and Snowboard Photographer to capture those epic powder shots.
Ryan Butterfield is an Action Sports Photographer specialising in Ski and Snowboard Photography. Based in Nozawa Onsen, Japan each Winter offering Professional Photography services to suit all levels and abilities. Available on request to shoot in various resorts around the Nagano region.
A more relaxed tour! For those who would like to explore the 'Blue Cave' without the kayak option. Discovering the most famous snorkelling and diving spot on the main island of Okinawa is a wonderful experience. We will set off in our Mini van to 'Cape Maeda point' driving though the local sugarcane farms.
Private Guide with small group!
Our most popular tour package!! Start the adventure direct from Malibu beach as we Kayak out into the Sea and around the rocky coastline. We will anchor our kayaks at the entrance of a big cave and prepare ourselves for our Snorkel tour around the beautiful Cape Maeda dive spot and head into the famous 'Blue Cave'.
Taiwan is a small island nation 180km east of China with modern cities, traditional Chinese temples, hot springs resorts and dramatic mountainous terrain. With only week to explore, we decided on starting in the bustling capital of Taipei and heading down the East coast
Kumamoto is a great city located in Kyushu, Japan. Famous for its castle and rich Samurai heritage. We ventured off from the city towards the outskirts and found this awesome home made park hidden under a bypass. Not sure when the ramps were made but they was pretty beaten up and weather damaged.
Japan has never been the easiest country to explore on a budget but it is definitely possible. Road tripping and freedom camping in Japan makes for a great adventure whilst traveling at your own pace. Free camping in Japan....
There is nowhere else in the world you will find monkeys enjoying a hot bath in the middle of the mountains. The Snow Monkeys live in Jigokudani (Hell's valley), at the foot of Shiga Highlands.