Greetings to all!
I am in dire need of some advice from those of you who have traveled and trained in Japan. Let me briefly explain my situation...
My wife & I are looking to move to Japan for a few years in about six months, as soon as she works out the details regarding her employment in Yamagata (Yamagata-ken). She is essentially going to move with me just because she knows that it has been a dream of mine to live and train in Japan for a period of time.
My fear is...how do I know that the area where I am going to be living is going to have a solid aikido dojo with a regular schedule of classes available? It seems that the majority of dojos, or at least ones that I can find via the web, are located in southern or central Honshu.
I just wanted to see if I could get some feedback from a few folks before we commit and are stranded in an area where training will require a considerable travel investment.
I know that the late Rinjiro Shirata Sensei had a dojo in Yamagata (right?), and that John Stevens teaches in Sendai when he is not traveling. Is Shirata Sensei's dojo in Yamagata still operating, and alive with his spirit of traditional aikido practice? If so...then I will be excited and hope that I might be able to train there. If not, can anyone offer any suggestions concerning the dojos in Northern Honshu? I appreciate any advice or information that anyone has to offer.
Okinawa Aikikai, US Dojos