Javanese Archery Workshop

A Cultural Heritage That is Sure to Fascinate

$21.00 per guest


  • Learn more about the fascinating history and background of this rare Javanese heritage from local guardians of the craft
  • You will wear the traditionally required Javanese head gear and batik wrap (sarong) around your waist before beginning the workshop
  • Meet and interact with your host and his community - a group of passionate men who keep this 'almost-dying' heritage alive and thriving
  • Be surprised in understanding how Javanese archery involves meditation and philosophy
  • Learn techniques of Javanese archery and shoot arrows afterwards for a well rounded experience

Inclusive of:

  • All necessary equipments
  • Outdoor practice space in a safe environment
  • Safety briefing and basic techniques
  • English speaking host
  • Light refreshments
  • Traditional head gear and batik sarong (waist wrap)

Not Inclusive of:

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off service
  • Lunch
4.9 Out of 5
14 Reviews
D.D. Scholte Netherlands
25 Oct, 2018

It was a lot of fun to learn the traditional Javanese Archery. We had a good laugh together and learned a lot about the ...

Kelly Bassett
4 May, 2018

Very authentic, good experience. Enjoyed learning about the cultural aspect as well as the technical portion.

$US 21.00 per guest
3 hours
1 - 6 guest
Cancellation Policy: Moderate

Full refund available for cancellations made up to 24 hours prior to booking start time.

More About This Experience

It's true if the guide books claim that Yogyakarta captivates the curious! Within the city is a world rich in history, culture and arts where deep traditional practices permeates almost every aspect of daily life. Once you get to know Yogyakarta from the inside, you'll soon find out that this is where ancient Javanese traditions that are on the brink of extinction come to thrive and flourish. Thus it is no surprise that the ancient Javanese art of Archery or locally know as Jemparingan, is still practiced by a small community of people who live in Langenastro, a small village bordering the walls of the Kraton - while outside of the community, Jemparingan is virtually unknown. Jemparingan, (jemparing literally meaning "arrow') is unlike any archery you might have come across. The first unique feature is the cross-legged seating position archers must adhere to. We believe Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games would have been just as surprised to learn this. Next is the target itself - measuring just 30-35 cm in length and about 5 cm in diameter is the Pendulum, a cylindrical shaped target. As you will notice in the picture, the red and white rod like shapes are the actual target, yes, no bulls eye here, you either hit or miss - aim small, miss small as they say. And finally, every archer must where the traditional Javanese attire before practicing Jemparingan. However, what defines Jemparingan most is that it is a uniquely passive form of the sport. Where you would otherwise imagine archery to be about hitting the target, being fiercely competitive and perhaps even war like, it is quite the opposite with Jemparingan. People who practice Jemparingan think of it as being a meditative activity where the process of sitting cross legged, taking aim and releasing the bow with the slightest flick of the finger helps one to be calm and focused. And so it is in life that this principle can be applied as Mr Wintoro, the president of the Lagenastro Jemparingan community puts it, 'Life's goals cannot merely be reached with physical abilities, it takes a clean and focused heart to live'. First practiced by knights and nobility of the kingdom, Jemparingan today is embraced by the local community of Langenastro with a lot of gusto and they're thrilled to be able to host guests from all over the world. Come and join us in this unique heritage where our host community will introduce you to Jemparingan and the philosophy behind it, followed by a meditation and warm up before you get introduced to the technique. Once familiar with how to shoot in the unique style of Jemparingan, you're all set to take aim and release some arrows - gently of course.

Additional Information:

  • Pick-up location: Exact pick-up location address along with map direction will be sent to your email instantly after booking
  • Be at the meeting point 10 minutes before the activity begins
  • Children below 12 years are required to be accompanied by adults
  • Comfortable clothes are recommended
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended
  • Pro sharp shooter tips from Katniss Everdeen ;)

Upcoming availability

Tuesday, July 16
Wednesday, July 17
Thursday, July 18

Your Local Host

Agung and friends

We are a small but active community that wants to preserve and practice the traditional art of Jemparingan. We are driven by a sense of responsibility towards the preservation of such a uniquely Javanese tradition ...

More about the host

14 reviews from people who took this experience

D.D. Scholte Netherlands
25 Oct, 2018

It was a lot of fun to learn the traditional Javanese Archery. We had a good laugh together and learned a lot about the balance between the sport and meditation. Great way to spend a morning in Yogyakarta.

Kelly Bassett
4 May, 2018

Very authentic, good experience. Enjoyed learning about the cultural aspect as well as the technical portion.

Liyana Omar Senegal
5 Sep, 2017

We had an enriching experience learning about the philosophy behind the art of Javanese Archery. It was time well-spent and would go for it again if we're ever back in Jogja!

Tim W Malaysia
3 Jul, 2017

Tried a couple of Backstreet Academy's cultural tours (Silver smithing, archery and gamelan music) after soaking in the local sights and didn't regret any of the experience. Aryo and his crew run a tight ship, and he is very accommodating and quick to respond to any enquire. My personal favourite was the gamelan music course. Not only was the workshop venue scenic (the vast green fields were a sight to behold!), it was really interesting to learn more about this intriguing local music form from an accomplished master. Plus you get to play a part in keeping the local arts heritage alive! Highly recommended to all and will not hesitate to patronise Backstreet Academy in a heartbeat. :)

Caroline Vignollet France
8 Feb, 2017

We experienced cooking, archery and visit of water palace with backstreet. - Cooking: A great opportunity to share a time with a local family. Mimi and her family/friends welcomed us very nicely for a cooking time. We went to the market together and then cooked our choosen meals. This is not formal but instead, we cooked as if we were at home with some friends. It is great also to learn some local habits and few 'secrets' from Mimi. I was there with my teen, both of us loved it! No worry for your stomachs. I'm very sensitive to this but I had no issue at all. We shared the lunch with Mimi and we could understand more from the local culture. - Archery: great time spent during 3 hours. As it was on a Saturday we had our course while other ones had their regular course. It was very good because we felt totally integrated. 3 hours is very good to understand the spirit and traditions. We had a very good master who teached us the javanese archery. Not so easy activity. You have to be concentrated and focused. We can just recommend these experiences to all of you who like to have a better understanding of the daily life in Yodja and to meet local people while traveling.

US$ 21.00 per guest
14 Reviews