Yabusame (流鏑馬) is a type of mounted archery in traditional Japanese archery. An archer on a running horse shoots three special "turnip-headed" arrows successively at three wooden targets.
This style of archery has its origins at the beginning of the Kamakura period. Minamoto no Yoritomo became alarmed at the lack of archery skills his samurai had. He organized yabusame as a form of practice.
Nowadays, the best places to see yabusame performed are at the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū in Kamakura and Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto (during Aoi Matsuri in early May). It is also performed in Samukawa and on the beach at Zushi, as well as other locations.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Language Do You Use for the Tours?

Tours Japan uses English for its tours, and all guides speak Japanese. Some guides speak other languages, too.

How Will I Recognize My Tour Guide?

Either your tour guide or a tour coordinator will be waiting for you at the tour meeting point before the starting time of your tour. They will be holding a sign or will have a Tours Japan badge.

When Should I Be At the Meeting Place?

If we’re not picking you up at the airport or at your hotel, please arrive at the meeting place at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. If you have difficulty finding the meeting point or are delayed along the way, please call the emergency phone number on your Confirmation E-mail. Tours will start on schedule.

How Far In Advance Should I Book My Tour? 

Schedules book up fast, especially in the spring and summer months. We recommend booking as soon as possible. We take bookings on a first-come-first-served basis.

What is The Cancellation Policy?

Tours Japan strives to make your tour as comfortable as possible. Often times this means that we must buy train tickets and pay admission fees long before the tour commences. All cancellations must be made in writing. Treat the first day of the tour as Day 0 and count back from there.

*60 or more days before the tour: Full refund, less transaction fees.
*Between 59 days and 45 days before the tour: 50% refund, less transaction fees.
*44 days prior to the tour & after the tour departs: No refund

What If I Get Sick on the Tour? 

You are required to have suitable traveler's medical insurance prior to traveling, and booking a tour. If you feel ill on the tour, tell your guide immediately. (See manifest form.)

What if I Have a Disability?

Please contact us to discuss any medical or other issues that restrict movement. ToursJapan provides full-day of walking tours, with a break for lunch. A typical tour is about 6 km or 3-3/4 miles.

Places to sit while the guide stops to explain a feature or site are usually not available. If you think you’ll need someplace to sit during the tour, consider bringing a travel chair that you can carry, so you can rest but still stay with the group.

We’re very sorry but we can not help with wheelchairs or baby strollers. If you are touring with a wheelchair or stroller please insure that you can manage it on your own, or that someone on tour with you can help you.

The major cities in Japan have gone to great lengths to ensure barrier-free sidewalks and public transportation. The vast majority of train stations have elevators to transport those that need them from the platform to the gates. 

Do I Need to Print My Confirmation Letter? 

Yes. You should print and bring your confirmation letter. It has all the detail of the tour, including when and where to meet, and your guides contact number. It’s not required to join the group as your guide will have your name, but it will have other information that you will need to insure that you get to the meeting place on time.

How Will I Know Where to Meet the Guide?

If you and your family or friends have booked a tour, the guide will meet you at your hotel and start the tour from there.

If you’re meeting the guide at a particular location, your confirmation letter will have all the detail and instructions on when and where to meet, as well as a mobile number for your guide, so you can call in an emergency.

Should I Tip My Guide? 

Contrary to other service areas in Japan, tipping your guide is perfectly acceptable. If you enjoyed your tour and feel like you received excellent service from your guide, please don’t hesitate to show your appreciation by leaving a tip at the tour’s end.

What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

We accept PayPal and Square. You don’t need a PayPal account to use the service to pay Tours Japan, but if you want more than an internet receipt of the payment, you might want to sign up for a PayPal or a Square account. In very rare cases, we can accept cash on the day of the tour. Fees are applied to PayPal and Square payments.

What Should I Bring On My Tour?

Your tourist visa requires you to have your passport with you at all times. Bring your passport and the confirmation letter. Wear comfortable walking shoes – ones you’ve worn before. Dress in layers, so you can adjust your clothing for the weather. Have sunscreen with you if you have sensitive skin, a bottle for water (or purchase water along the way); a hat is always a good idea. Bring a folding umbrella if rain is predicted. Consider bringing a backpack or other bag so that your hands are free.

How Does Weather Impact the Tour?

Our tours run rain or shine. Only if the weather is especially bad, like a typhoon or other calamity – will a tour be cancelled. If that happens we will make every attempt to contact you by phone or email or another way.

Still Have a Question?

Email toursjapan@icloud.com -- I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Tokyo, Japan

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