The heartbeat of Japan
Each Scenic Eclipse voyage and Luxury Land Journey in Japan will immerse you in the fascinating cultural traditions of the country. Some also encourage you to get hands-on. Channel your inner Ringo Star on your next Scenic voyage to the Land of the Rising Sun, discovering how to ‘beat it’ with a Taiko Master drummer.
By Natasha Dragun.
The performance starts slow, a gentle rumble, teasing the audience in anticipation of what’s to come. The beat picks up, nimble performers quicken their pace. And suddenly, an almighty crescendo of noise envelops the space, the drummers’ arms moving in synchronous – almost theatrical – flurry to create music that reverberates through your body.
Welcome to the wonderful world of taiko drumming, a spectacle performed in Japan for millennia, and now practiced the world over. Perhaps its popularity has to do with the Zen-like rhythm percussionists create. Maybe their extreme athleticism (taiko drumming is quite the workout). Undoubtably the sheer thrill of the jo- ha-kyu structure, that build-up to the grand finale.
ABOVE: Taiko drumming, Japan
Undoubtably one of the best ways to take the taiko pulse, however, is by banging your own drum. When you arrive in Tokyo on the 14-Day ‘Hidden Wonders of North Japan’, 17-Day ‘Essential Japan’ or 18-Day ‘Allure of Japan’ itineraries, you have the chance to get loud under the tutelage of a Master Taiko drummer. This is a Scenic Enrich experience – providing exclusive opportunities to elevate cultural discoveries and delve deep into the destination. And it’s not one where you sit back and watch. The private group activity will see you ‘thwacking’ away in no time. Expect laughter, cheers, clapping and lots of noise.
And expect to leave in a state of bliss – the experience does, after all, nourish mind, body and soul.
BELOW: Carl Hush artwork, Koko's Fusion Restaurant, Scenic Eclipse; Teppanyaki @ Koko's