Shingen-ko Samurai Festival travel to Japan

Every year, the Shingen-ko Festival celebrates the legacy of Yamanashi’s famous warlord, Takeda Shingen, with the roars of samurai and folks people, delicious food and materials at stands around the station and the castle park with cherry blossoms in full bloom, and a variety of stage shows and performances!

Unrivalled view of the past, before Shingen’s army, headed off to battle more than 1,600 infantrymen from all over his domain would gather and march through the streets of Kofu. If you have travel plans or searching for information for your itinerary, bookmark this event to visit during Spring time in combination with many other Cherry Blossom events.

Shingen-ko Samurai Festival Photo credit: Yamanashi-kankou

Shingen-ko Samurai Festival
Source courtesy and Photo credit: Yamanashi-kankou

This year’s festival will be held from April 4th to 6th. The main highlight is the Koshu Battalion Deployment, which is World’s largest re-enactment of warriors. Around 1,600 locals dress in traditional samurai and commence on a march around Kofu.

For more information visit the official Tourism website of Mount Fuji in Yamanashi prefecture “Home of Mt. Fuji”; sightseeing website, information on festivals, culture & Resorts Hot Spring resorts.

Map photo credits: www.mustlovejapan.com

Map photo credits: www.mustlovejapan.com


Tripadvisor NL 300x600

This is by far the most popular samurai festival in Japan. The participants spend the entire year practising for their roles in this event that imitate the battle of Kawanakajima. The armour was worn and the equipment carried is spectacular and accurate. This event would probably be the most recommended event to witness, especially for anyone interested in Japanese samurai culture and Takeda Shingen. The festival is held by Takeda Shrine. To help plan your itinerary and ideas for sightseeing, places to visit, things-to-do visit the video travel guide to Japan; Watch Japan in Motion by Must Love Japan.

To get more ideas for suggested itineraries try Japan the official guide as another source to help to find your destinations or just for more insights all mentioned websites are in English. Visiting Japanese Onsen is a relaxing must and absolute worth to consider and plan as a destination,  Japan the official guide has a listed overview of all Hot Springs here.

A bit of Tea history of Taiwan

Taiwan pictures digital archives – photo courtesy of Taipics.com

The Dutch East India Company, also known as the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie), after being driven out by Chinese Ming forces near PengHu they arrived in Taiwan in 1623. Quick to recognize profitable sources they protected their trading interests and used the island as a base for trade with Japan and China. However they were later on expelled from Taiwan in 1662 which brought Taiwan back under control of Qing dynasty, now different tea varieties were imported from Fujian to be cultivated in northern Taiwan during the Qing dynasty (1796-1895). The VOC earliest mention of wild tea found growing  in the central mountain region of Taiwan was in 1645 (two wild, indigenous tea subspecies, Taiwan Mountain Tea and Red Sprout Mountain Tea).

China had severe restrictions on trade and Britain ignited the Opium War for tea in 1839 as a result China was forced to open five ports to foreign trade of which two were in Taiwan, Kaoshiung and DanShui. The Dutch built two forts; Zeelandia in Tainan and Antonio (part of the Fort San Domingo complex earlier built by the Spanish 1628). Fort Antonio is locally referred as “hongmao” Red Hair Fort 🙂 or Red Tower, due to the Opium War the British took over and made it their trade consulate. The former British consular residence is a popular tourist attraction since it is located at the DanShui (TamSui) river, during the weekends many locals are found to stroll around the waterfront, old street up to Fisherman’s Wharf relaxing and enjoying sea breeze to cool down.

Map of Formosa by Dutch, photo source en.wikipedia.org


With the open port and trade consulate in DanShui, the Scottish merchant John Dodd arrived shortly during his visit to buy camphor he realized that the land in the region had superb qualities for tea exploitation. Most people have forgotten or not even realize that Taiwan during Qing dynasty was worlds major producer of Camphor. Camphor is used to make celluloid and one of the components to make film, as such you could say contributing to Hollywood’s success early hay days. John Dodd saw the potential of Taiwan Tea and provided loans to farmers to increase tea production. In 1867 he started tea company in WanHua, Taipei City together with Fujian-born Lee importing seedlings from Xiamen and bringing in skilled workers from FuZhou. Selling Taiwanese Oolong Tea as “Formosa Oolong Tea”, aware of British plans to develop a tea industry in India, Dodd’s successfully exported tea in 1869 to England and New York. Without a doubt Dobb and Lee were the front runners of successfully penetrating the global tea-market and sky-rocketing Taiwan’s tea industry together with the economic policy as a basis for the beginnings of Taiwan’s modern international trade legacy set up earlier by the Dutch VOC beginning with the port system facilitated at the time.

We moved to Taiwan in 2000 and in 2001 Taiwan Tourism bureau  launched a new campaign with the slogan “Taiwan Touch Your Heart”, the logo colours basically represented indigenous tribes people with the following text:


The “T” represents the sheltering eaves of Taiwan in a symbol of the island as a warm home. The “a” represents the host of this home, ardently welcoming travellers to Taiwan. The “I” is the traveller who has come to visit and is being received by the host. The “w” is the two people, host and visitor, shaking hands and greeting each other happily.The second “a” and the “n” represent the two sitting together, drinking tea and chatting casually. In the upper right corner of the logo is an image of the island that expresses Taiwan’s earnest and sincere desire to “Touch your Heart.”

We travelled on to our next destination, but our sojourn was absolutely amazing. The campaign was a beautiful and a well thought enterprise to market Taiwan it really embodied what we experienced. We can full heartedly confirm that visiting this ‘beautiful island’ is absolutely worth the discovery to plan as your next holiday destination.