A kendama is a traditional Japanese wooden toy. It has two parts: the ken (the hammer-looking part with a pointed end) connected by a long string to the tama (the ball). The ken has several concave surfaces (called cups) where the player is supposed to catch the ball. The spike can be used to spear through the hole of the ball. In a way, a kendama is similar to a yoyo since they both have long strings and the player can do several tricks with them. Here's a guy explaining the basic tricks with a kendama:
When I first heard that go-en would import and begin selling kendama, my reaction was 'meh'. I was not interested in a wooden toy. Even after I saw some exhibition videos, my reaction was best explained by this meme:
It turns out that doing those tricks were a lot harder than I thought. Also, a lot more fun. We spent hours playing, with the restaurant's co-owner John serving as our impromptu sensei.
There are several kendama units that customers can play with at go-en and John and the other staff members are gracious enough to demonstrate the tricks and guide you through some of them.
Several pretty and colorful ones are also for sale, with prices ranging from P750-P1400. Seems a little expensive for a wooden toy, but these are good-quality ones manufactured in Japan.
go-en The Japanese Ramen Shoppe PlusJardin de Zenaida, Unit B1
#34 Sgt. Esguerra Ave., Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines 1103
Tel. No. (02)-441-GOEN (4636) / (02)-376-5761