Our usual location is Outdoors, at:
Weather: If the weather is bad, we cancel the
Occasionally events might happen at the
What is Kyudo?
Kyudo is a form of meditation using traditional Japanese archery. It is sometimes known as "Zen Archery," but Kyudo is not necessarily Zen. So at Miyako Kyudojo, we simply call it "stand-up meditation." For more information about Kyudo in general, browse the local Washington, DC Kyudo page. Our teacher is Kanjuro Shibata, Sensei. His site has lots of pictures, a list of other locations for Kyudo, and cool info.
Would it be possible to come observe a practice?
Sure -- you won't be disturbing anything, and it's best to observe before you start, anyway. We practice every Sunday, 11:00 - 1:00. Location and directions are below. (Actually, 11am is when we rendezvous to set up the class. We'll stop practice at 1pm, and then take down the targets, etc., and maybe leave around 1:30.)
What would I need to start?
Just your presence. The dojo has class equipment. You can learn the technique
at a weekend program (see "What about weekends" below), or in three or four
successive Sundays, at the regular practice.
Since we practice outdoors, what you wear should be practical for the weather. In the blazing summer, bring sunscreen, hat, and lots of water -- and in the winter, wear layers. We don't have an indoor location for bad weather, but if it's dry and it's not too cold, we'll be out there for sure. We've found a neat trick on the NOAA weather site : Use the "Hourly Weather Graph" for Zip 20783. Specifically, look at windchill being greater than 40 degrees and low probability of precipitation. We might go a little under 40 if there's not much cloudcover.
If the weather is borderline, i.e. if the windchill is 30 something, we may just go to the field to see how it is. Forecasts can't be precise, and we have missed a couple good days because the wind died down, or the sun shone more than forecast, etc. --So if it's in that range and you can handle some uncertainty, let's go out and see what it's like.
The same goes if it says "showers," or anything that's not all-pervasive rain. Let's go check. We've missed a few practices because when it's raining at one's own house, it only seems like it's raining all over the world.
Where Are Practices Held?
We practice at the Adelphi Manor Archery Range (officially "MNCPPC Public Archery Range"). It's on University Blvd. just west of the Univ. of Maryland College Park, in an unincorporated area called "Hyattsville, MD" --Or maybe it's "Adelphi, MD." It doesn't have a proper street address, but it's around 2600 University Blvd. East, in the ADC map book. But to make Google Maps point to the right place, we had to give it "2860 University Blvd." -- And for MapQuest it was "2800 University Blvd" -- go figure!
Try this Google or Mapquest link:
Besides looking at the map, click on the "Satellite" button and zoom in on the photo for a sense of place. It's in the Northwest Branch stream- park, down in the creek bottom. In the photo, look for a clearing in the trees just right of the creek, and just above the street. The little doo- dad across the street and on the other side of the creek is a sort of children's "splash pool." Driving by it, you'll see a baby blue dolphin sign. It's quite a landmark.
If you want to use Mapquest, try:
To get there by Metro:
Metro access is a little round-about. The "trip planner" on the Metro home page will recommend taking the Metro to Prince Georges Plaza and then one or two buses to 25th and University Blvd, which is maybe 5 minutes walk from the "field." Use "2600 University Blvd E" as your destination in the trip-planner.
We have one person who takes the Metro to PG Plaza and then skips the buses, and walks to the field. If you have a bike, you can take it on the train and pedal along some nice back-street routes. Use a bike map or online maps to plan your route.
Driving directions from Baltimore:
This is just like coming from Northern Virginia (below), except you'll be coming south on I-95 to the Washington beltway (I-495). At the beltway, I-95 splits, going either west or south. Take the I-495 West option (a.k.a. the "outer loop," going counter-clockwise around DC, toward Silver Spring and Bethesda, etc.). Go one exit to Exit 28, for New Hampshire Ave, heading south toward Takoma Park.
Directions from Northern Virginia:
Take the I-495 beltway (the "inner loop," clockwise around DC) past Bethesda and Silver Spring, to Exit 28, New Hampshire Ave and Takoma Park. Go south toward Takoma Park.
Continuing from Exit 28:
Go about two miles south on New Hampshire to University Blvd, and turn left (east). Continue on University Blvd about a mile and a quarter. On the way, continue through a major intersection with Riggs Road.
When you're close, there'll be a stoplight at West Park Drive. Passing through the light, you will notice a park on the left and a public splash pool on the right, which has a sign that looks like a big blue baby dolphin. Get into the left lane and take the left-turn lane (without a stop light) into Adelphi Manor Archery Range.
Directions for Those Coming from the District of Columbia:
Exit the District on New Hampshire Avenue going north. Turn right (east) onto University Boulevard. Continue on University Blvd about a mile and a quarter. On the way, you will pass through a major intersection with Riggs Road.
When you're close, there'll be a stoplight at West Park Drive. Passing through
the light, you will notice a park on the left and a public splash pool
on the right, which has a sign that looks like a big blue baby dolphin. Get
into the left lane and take the left-turn lane (without a stop light)
into Adelphi Manor Archery Range.
Directions to the Shambhala Meditation Center
Occasionally the Shambhala Meditation Center will host Miyako Kyudojo events. They are located just outside the Cleveland Park Metro stop in DC:
3520 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Click here for directions
How much does Kyudo cost?
Class Fees: The instruction leading to your first shot takes three or four Sundays, and costs $75. After that it's a membership issue - $10 per class, up to a maximum of $260 per year, which is the annual membership. A membership year is January thru December, and the $260 can be prorated. Ask about family rates, if that applies.
Equipment: We wouldn't recommend buying a yumi (bow) for at least a year. It'll take that long for your form to stabilize enough so that you will neither break nor outgrow your new yumi. We have a variety of class yumis for you to use until then. Yumis cost $500 and up. While you shouldn't buy a yumi too soon, there's another piece of equipment that can be bought as soon as you feel comfortable with the cost. It's the "kake," the glove used for pulling the tsuru (bow string). We have a variety of class kake, but only one of each size. New kake cost around $300. Because we have a lot of class arrows ("ya"), you probably won't want to buy any of these for a while, either, but they're cheaper. A practice ya is a little sturdier than the regular arrows, and has no feathers. It is probably the first ya people buy, for about $25. A pair of feathered ya start at about $60.
Clothing / uniforms: Not required. That said, the outfit is kinda cool, and it seems people seem to eventually want to buy one. Even the rankest beginner can wear one. It probably costs a couple hundred dollars.
And then there are all the tchochkes: tshirts, calligraphies, etc. etc.
To summarize, most people don't bring equipment to practice for as
long as they can stand sharing their favorite class equipment with others.
Class fees are $75 to start, then $10 per class afterward.
Other websites to look at:
The Zenko Kyudojo site -- This has lots of pictures, and cool info.
North American practice locations
There's also the Oko Europe site for
Zenko Kyudo in Europe -- also with lots of pictures, locations, etc.
Weekend Programs are listed on the Miyako Kyudojo website, at