Thursday, 15 July 2010

Diary date - August Bank Holiday Monday

Wish I could be going to this event, but I'll be too busy getting things ready for the Great Northern Quilt Show! If you can attend, it looks like it will be a memorable day.

Samurai Warrior to perform at

Chiddingstone Castle’s Japanese Festival

Inspired by the castle’s impressive collection of Japanese lacquer, armour and swords, Chiddingstone’s annual Japanese Festival is an action packed day out, taking visitors on a journey through the Japanese culture.

This year’s Festival is taking place on Bank Holiday Monday, 30th August, between 11am and 5pm and will be an extra special event as the castle welcomes Mr Nakagawa, an old style Bushido Samurai, who is visiting from Japan especially for the occasion.

Visitors will have the unique opportunity of watching Mr Nakagawa demonstrate the art of Iaido and Tameshigiri. Iaido is a Japanese sword art characterised by a ‘quick draw’ and cut straight from the scabbard – modern Iaido is an art form that develops the mind, body and spirit although the techniques involved are still rooted in combat effectiveness. Tameshigiri, the technique of cutting with a sword, teaches the student how to effectively strike with a sword; it not only measures the speed and power of the swordsman but also demonstrates the physical and mental elements of swordsmanship.

Visitors will also be able to witness the Samurai’s more gentle and artistic side as Mr Nakagawa performs the traditional Tea Ceremony, known as Chado, The Way of Tea.

Other special activities taking place throughout the day include Taiko Drumming demonstrations and special workshops by the Tamashii School of Taiko. The workshops will run throughout the day and visitors are asked to sign up when they arrive. (The workshops are suitable for 8 years+ and are free with admission).

Children will also be able to take part in a variety of arts and craft activities held in the castle’s activity rooms and marquee. The activities will be based on the castle’s Japanese Collection, allowing children to test their creative skills whilst learning about this fascinating culture.

Outside in the castle’s beautiful grounds visitors will be able to admire a unique selection of ancient Bonsai trees, which will have been brought in for the Festival.

As well as the special activities, visitors can explore the Japanese displays in the castle, which are full of beautiful artefacts including a stunning collection of swords and Japanese armour. The collection demonstrates the exceptional skill of the Japanese craftsman. Other collections on display in the castle include the fascinating Egyptian, Buddhist, Jacobean and Stuart collections of the late antiquarian, Denys Eyre Bower.

The castle’s delightful Victorian Tea Room will be open serving homemade treats, including cream teas and cakes, as well as light lunches, hot and cold drinks and ice creams. Visitors can choose to sit inside or outside in the Tea Room’s pretty courtyard.

The Festival is included in the castle’s normal admission price – Adult: £7, Child: £4 Families: £19.50 (2 adults and 2 children). Please note that on Activity Days, a charge of £2 will apply for 2- 4 year olds to cover the cost of materials and entertainment.

Parking is £2.50 and gives access to the grounds, Tea Room and Gift Shop only.

The castle is renowned for its innovative events programme, which offers a choice of entertaining activity days throughout the year. Families can enjoy all the event days, as well as entry to the castle for the whole season for just £48.50 for a family of four (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children).

For more information please call 01892 872746 or visit

Chiddingstone Castle is open until the end of September, Sunday – Wednesday 11am –5pm; last entry is at 4:15pm.

Chiddingstone Castle is located on the outskirts of Chiddingstone and is best approached via the B2027 from Tonbridge to Penshurst. Turn into Mill Lane when you reach Bough Beech and keep straight for one mile.

For press information including images, please call Caroline Edmunds of Pennington PR on 01892 616647 or email


Lis said...

Thank you for all the information about the festival, it sounds fantastic. I'm off to check my diary and then persuade my beloved - he's quite keen on Taiko drumming so that'll be my starting point!

Barb said...

I just love your blog and the beautiful fabrics...totally love Kona bay and the Asian influence....

shigatsuhana said...

Hmmm... I will seriously consider attending this. Looks like dogs are welcome in the grounds, so they might be ok at this festival. This is the last part of my holiday time so we'd have dogs in tow. Thanks for telling us about it!

Susan Briscoe said...

If you're going to that area specially, it's worth having a slightly longer visit, as you're not far from Hever Castle and a lot of other really interesting places!