Dragon Boats – Game on!

September 5th Update: We’ve had a couple last-minute cancellations, so reservations for the races are open again! Please note that positions remain available on first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay! We’ll also have a waiting line in case of other unexpected cancellations.

Every year, a rowdy bunch of Miyazakians invade Kagoshima for a boating weekend. Don’t run off to get your deck shoes; you won’t be needing those. Grab a costume instead!

That’s right, our boats are powered mostly by the power of our genki. Sure, we put our backs into it, but our costumes are what make the event tons of fun and truly memorable.

If you’ve ever rowed against a full team of burly Japanese firefighters who train in their spare time, you’ll know that a bunch of teachers is little to no match. Sure, we may not be able to beat them at their muscle-y game*, but none of them can beat the MAJET teams’ sheer genki power. Not one team!

We’re a bit slower than many of the others, but the crowds and the kids absolutely love our teams, and it’s always a special treat to be able to look a bit, say, silly, in another prefecture!

So pick a team, make your reservation, and get cracking on your team costumes, chants, and good vibes!

boat racers in nejime


We have two boats, which means two teams! Each team is comprised of 12 people. There are 8 rowers, 1 drummer, and 1 skipper (the person steering the boat) in each boat. The race organizers also require that each team have 2 backups/cheerleaders. Seeing as it’s possible that the backup/cheerleaders won’t get to race, we’re offering a ¥1,000 discount to these people.


Team 1: Hakuna Matata

“It means no worries, for the rest of your daaaaaaaays! It’s our problem freeeeee, philosophyyyyy, hakuna matata!”

Put together your best lion, hyena, antelope, giraffe, insect, or plant-themed costumes and makeup and hit the water! We don’t want to tell you what to do… but it would certainly be quite memorable if there was a whole a-dzee-veh-gna scene recreation at some point…


Team 2: 1 Up

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.

That’s right, it’s a video game themed team! Dress up as a koopa troopa, Mario, Luigi, Guile from Street Fighter, Pacman, you name it! You can even make yourself 8-bit. The truly courageous might consider building a Master Chief costume. (Any Pikachus or Links from Zelda out there?)


Log Cabin Barbecue

volcano view

The race venue is in Kagoshima, and there is no public transportation in the area. If you don’t have a car, there will be carpools, so don’t worry.

Because of the distance, and the fact that the races on Sunday start early, driving all the way from Miyazaki on race-day is a bad idea. That’s why we’ve booked three mountain-side cabins near the race venue to spend the night before our races. We’ll have plenty of time on Saturday evening to enjoy a good ole fashion barbecue and make a few toasts to work up our courage. Don’t forget your marshmallows!



The kicker? We worked our phone magic and this event is cheap! See below.


Details and making your reservation

  • Dates: October 25th (arrive 5pm) and 26th (depart by 2pm)
  • Dragon Boat Race location: Minami Osumi, Kagoshima
  • Cabin location: Ohama Seaside Park
  • Price: ¥2,500 for MAJET members and ¥3,000 for non-MAJET members, with a ¥1,000 discount for backup/cheerleaders

To make your reservation, simply fill out this form. This is a very popular event and seats are limited to 24, so don’t delay.

Spots are first-come, first-served and the deadline to apply is September 8th at 5pm.


Nejime Onsen

nejime onsen

Did we mention the onsen? Free onsen tickets for all race participants! It’s a really big onsen with all kinds of soaking pools, including a strange electric pool, a huge sauna, and more!


*The two MAJET teams placed a respectful 66th and 78th out of 91 teams in 2013.

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