'Taiko Japan'

Fukui, Japan

April 2023



April 2023

Japanese 'Taiko' Drumming Courses

Taiko Master - Masaaki Kurumaya
Chiara Parisi

Facebook Introductory Course
Mon April 03- Fri April 07

Meet Sun April 02 19.00
Intermediate Course
 Mon April 10-Fri April 14

Meet Sun April 09 19.00

Participants meet at 08.45 Mon-Fri in the Fukui Station Concourse

* A Dojo concert is proposed for Saturday pm April 08 (TBC)

Return to Japan - Discount 2023

One Course per person is Free

Those attending both Courses pay for one Course

Under the guidance of Kurumaya-Sensei and in a wooded valley outside Fukui, a custom built Taiko Centre ( Dojo ) was founded in September 2001. Fully equipped with a complete range of Taiko Drums, and capable of taking classes up to 20 people, it is a superb facility.

In this secluded, and dedicated setting, the Fukui Dojo is designed to deepen the technical and spiritual understanding of the form and to connect with the Japanese essence of Taiko Drumming.

Fukui Dojo

The Courses progress from basic training in posture, technique, rhythm, through awareness of various Taiko drum techniques, towards the learning and performance of more complex Taiko compositions. The drumming technique is based on the traditional and unique ‘Hokkuriko’ style of Taiko, fused with other Taiko styles and world music influences. The Fukui style of drumming is recognised as one of the originating forms of Japanese Taiko music. 

During the courses, emphasis will be placed on mental and physical focus and discipline, on developing a pure creative space within oneself and on integrating the deeply respectful ways of Japanese Taiko.

Kurumaya Sensei - Sensei will be working closely with the group with Chiara Parisi,

an experienced Taiko player with good Japanese, as assistant and translator. 


Monday April 03 - Friday April 07 2023 Orientation - Sun April 02, 19.00
Course Fee – See Below

Designed as an introduction to local drumming techniques, especially for beginners to Taiko drumming, but also advisable for any newcomers to the Fukui Dojo.

Beginners - need to display a basic aptitude for Taiko drumming, and be reasonably fit. Drummers and musicians, dancers and active sports players, should have the necessary co-ordination, level of fitness and sense of rhythm and timing to progress in the art form.

Experienced Taiko Players - generally require 2-3 days technical transfer for learning new rhythms and modifying playing positions, and are encouraged to start with the Introductory Course.

Professional and semi-professional Taiko players, familiar with different Taiko styles, may apply for direct entry into the intermediate course.


Monday April 10 - Friday April 14 2023 Orientation - Sun April 09, 19.00
Course Fee – See Below

For all those who have completed previous courses at Fukui, and as a continuation course for those completing the introductory course, April 06 - April 10, 2020. Professional and semi-professional Taiko players, familiar with different Taiko styles, may apply for direct entry into the intermediate course. 
Course Fees Per Week

Based on the 2019 Course Fee of Y65,000 adjusted to average historical exchange rates:

USD : Y32,500 + ( $295 converted to Yen March Week 1)

EUR : Y32,500 + (€250 converted to Yen March Week 1)

GBP : Y32,500 + (£225 converted to Yen March Week 1)

AUD : Y32,500 + (AUD380 converted to Yen March Week 1)

The exchange rates to be applied at close of business NYSE, March 1st. If your Yen Exchange rate might be higher now than in March, then the advance purchase of Yen is recommended. Those preferring to pay Yen cash in Fukui may do so

 Reservations : Please make contact by email : espiritaorguk@aol.com

Masaaki Kurumaya
Masaaki Kurumaya

- the Japanese concept of 'Ki' (Life Force) is central to Kurumaya-sensei's Taiko style and forms the basis of his passionate, dynamic and intuitive technique.

Playing and performing Taiko since 1969, Kurumaya-Sensei has performed throughout Japan with Hibiki Daiko, and was the guiding force of the British based Taiko group, Mugenkyo, performing at 300 concerts throughout Europe in 1998/99 with them, culminating in a Japan Festival Award in London in 1999. He is an experienced tutor of Taiko with schoolchildren, students and adults and with foreign residents in Japan. 

Anyone familiar with Japanese Taiko knows that there are many different styles associated with regional folk traditions. In the Hokuriku-Fukui region there is the MITSUUCHI STYLE featuring the well-known DONDOKO rhythm. Kurumaya Masaaki Sensei is the spokesman of this particular style. During the course he will teach the MITSUUCHI basics and formal techniques and will invite everyone to build their own solo rhythms and movements, around and off the drum with fluidity and energy, encouraging individual expression. This style is recommended to all Taiko lovers!

Chiara Parisi

Chiara Parisi
began playing Taiko in 2004 with Kurumaya Masaaki Sensei in Japan. Co-founder of the KyoShinDo Italian Taiko group, based in the Ligurian Appenines in Italy. She currently performs with them and runs regular courses at their Dojo  primarily teaching the Mitsuuchi Fukui style. 


Course Information

The natural position of the Dojo, about a half an hour outside Fukui, means that transfer to and from the Dojo will be by local train at ¥640 return per day. The only mid-morning train leaves Fukui at 9.00am - the next one at 13.00 is too late - so course members are lodged within easy reach of the station, to gather for breakfast by 7.45am, set off for the station at 8.30am and take the 9.00am train. Upon arrival at 9.30am, it is then a beautiful 12 minute walk through the woods by a river (see photo right). The fresh air and the gentle exercise, even if it's raining, are an ideal preparation for the physical exertions of the day ahead

Five hours drumming per day is about optimum - the day's session lasting from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm, breaking for lunch at a nearby restaurant.

The social aspect of the Dojo enables course participants and local Taiko players to meet informally at session breaks.

Please note - Kurumaya-Sensei retains all rights to his compositions learned at the Dojo

Travel Information

- unless travelling to other parts of Japan before or after the course, all International flights should arrive at the nearest major airport at Osaka Kansai. As all Espirita itineraries are available internationally, we do not quote international flights. We can advise on best flights and routings, and can generate flight proposals which clients are responsible for paying independently. 

Transfer - (Yen 14,600-17.700 - Kansai Airport / Fukui return). From the train station next to the International Arrivals Terminal at Osaka Airport, it is one and a half hours to Kyoto station. Changing to an adjacent platform, trains depart regularly for Fukui - one and a half hours north east of Kyoto. For cheaper less convenient routings, change at Osaka or Shin-Osaka stations. Check Japan train schedules at : https://world.jorudan.co.jp/mln/en/?sub_lang=nosub

Komatsu Airport - ( Bus to Komatsu Train Station - 10 mins / Train to Fukui - 30 mins )

If arriving at Osaka Kansai Airport, the nearest major airport, then the train connections as stated above apply. However, if one arrives at Tokyo Haneda or Fukuoka Airport, there are 4 flights a day on ANA from both to Komatsu Airport. So depending on international flight selections and internal flight connections, Komatsu airport might come into play for international flights arriving into Tokyo Haneda or into Fukuoka. There are a very limited number of international flights going to Komatsu - from Seoul on Korean Air, from Shanghai on China Eastern and from Taipei on EVA Air.

Japan Rail Pass - those wishing to travel elsewhere in Japan should consider obtaining a Japan Rail Pass purchasable only from official Japan Tourist Offices, only outside Japan. Eg : if someone travels from Tokyo on the Sunday before Course and returns to Tokyo the Saturday after Course, plus the Rail Pass works on the local train to the Dojo each day, with a saving of approx.Y3,000-Y4,000 per week. Please check prices and schedules at the Japan rail pass websites. Then price your schedule at the Jorudan website above 



Accommodation - These are the hotels in Fukui within easy reach of the meeting point at Fukui Station. For extended stays, a minimum room size of 12 sqm is recommended. In theory, one could lodge by a train station in a nearby town and commute from there. But remember it is another 25 mins by local train to the Taiko Dojo : 

- Manten Hotel (Japanese Bathing)

- Dormy Inn (Japanese Bathing) 

- Hotel Keifuku

- Hotel Econo Fukui 

- Hotel Fujita 

- Riverge Akebono ( Good rates & Japanese Bathing) (But looks like they have still not committed to a no smoking policy)


Fukui  - Cherry blossom season coincides with the course dates, and Fukui has a famous riverside blossom walk. Weekends are free to explore the Fukui part of Japan with numerous places of historical and cultural interest in the area - the nearby charming Daianzenji Remple, open for Zen meditation every other Friday evening and the awe inspiring valley and forest Zen temple and seminary of Eiheiji. Visiting one of Japan's most famous gardens at Kenroku-en in historical Kanazawa (1 hour by train) is a very pleasant day trip. Kyoto is also easily accessible.



Two films on Japanese Culture, one at Cherry Blossom time, the other in the Autumn.
For general viewing, for viewing whilst in Japan………

Shishu - Intuition and Feeling In The Japanese Garden - 53 mins

Streaming - Free

Sen Shin An - the other world of Tea - 67 mins

Streaming - Free

Espirita - Forest Donation Policy