Samurai Sword Cutting Experience in Kyoto – Tameshigiri
Try a Real Samurai Katana in Kyoto and Experience Tameshigiri Test Cutting Workshop!
Tameshigiri, also known as the Japanese art of test cutting was popularized in the Edo Period and is the ultimate samurai experience! Test your skills on tatami cutting mats during your training with a swordmaster.
Make your childhood dream of being a real samurai come true with a real sword and a traditional hakama at our tameshigiri workshop – only available at The Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto.
The Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto is a unique, experience-based museum that lets you get up close and personal with history. Our Samurai Sword Cutting Experience in Kyoto – Tameshigiri lets you become a modern-day samurai-in-training for a day!
PS: This experience allows you to get inside the museum and see the artifacts by yourself. If you’d like to join the guided history tour and join other experiences, please reserve for the basic ticket (16:00 session) separately.
Book with us online to reserve a slot now!
Samurai Sword Cutting Experience
Lasts approximately 75 minutes.
Your Experience includes:
A Real Samurai Sword (Katana)
- You will be using a real katana to cut a tatami mat under the supervision of the museum staff.
- While there are a number of different materials used for test cutting, this lesson will be using bamboo tatami mats.
Sword Lesson and Practice
- You will be given a short sword lesson or review depending on your existing skills. The hands-on instructions will cover all the basics before proceeding to the cutting practice.
- A traditional samurai outfit will be provided for you during the whole workshop. Our hakamas are unisex and come in a variety of sizes for everyone in the family!
- At least 18 years old. Participants younger than 18 can also join the sword training by wearing a traditional hakama but they are not allowed to do the final cutting.
- At least 155 cm tall
What happens during the workshop?
Before beginning the lessons and practice, you will be putting on hakama or samurai armor, exclusively available at the Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto. You will be using a real samurai sword or katana during practice and during the trial cutting.
The bamboo mat or tatami used for the exercise will resemble the same strength and density as a human neck, making the experience feel just like samurai training! The tameshigiri is a form of practice for the samurai in old Japan (and now you) and is a way to test the edge of their blades.
Although this experience will focus on the tatami, tameshigiri is also practiced on thin steel, rice straws, and a variety of other materials.
The swordmaster will be going through the techniques you will need to make a successful cut. You will be given time to practice your posture and stance before proceeding to use your katana on the tatami.
You will be instructed in English or Japanese, depending on your preference. After the workshop, you will proceed to the inclusive tour of the Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto.
This workshop has a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.Participants younger than 18 can join the sword training by wearing a traditional outfit but not allowed to do the final cut.
Book your Tameshigiri Sword Cutting Workshop on this page!
About the Samurai & Ninja tour
Explore our collection of ancient artifacts and historical samurai swords and ninja weapons from feudal Japan. You will even get up-close looks at the uncanny replicas inspired by the Sengoku Period up to the Tokugawa Shogunate. The Samurai & Ninja museum is Japan’s largest experimental museum and offers unique experiences where you can tour around the medieval exhibits while wearing a kimono, yukata, or samurai armor – a fitting combination for the time period you’ll be exploring. Aside from this, there are also authentic Japanese tea ceremonies and Zen meditation workshops available for individuals and groups. The Samurai & Ninja Museum tour is available all year-round in English, Chinese, and Japanese.
The Samurai Experience
The samurais may have disappeared or integrated into the modern age of Japan, but their legacy lives on. Experience their legendary tales guided by the knowledgeable staff at our museum! Not only that, but you’ll also get a glimpse of what it was like to be one of the most prestigious ruling classes of old Japan. Bear the honor of the samurai as you learn how to hold and sheath a katana, just like the samurai and their two swords – one for the enemy, and one for their honorable punishment.
This experience is the perfect opportunity to take pictures to take home as a souvenir from your trip.
All of the rooms and exhibits at the Samurai & Ninja Museum are designed to embody the Sengoku Period, also known as the Warring States Period in Japan. This era was the time when the samurai held extraordinary power over the politics in the country, enough to eventually trigger the reunification of Japan. Your adventure with us will transform you and your friends and family into a modern rendition of the ancient legendary warriors. Our armors come in unisex styles and a variety of sizes for everyone, including children!
The Samurai & Ninja Kyoto also hosts its activities outside the museum upon request. All you need to do is contact us so we can arrange for our affiliated dojos! Don’t forget to check out the museum gift shop for a souvenir. There are also antique samurai swords and armor for sale if you’re an avid collector, along with ninja tabi-socks.
The Samurai & Ninja Museum is a family-friendly establishment that provides enjoyable activities for people of all ages!
A Brief History of the Samurai
The samurai are known as the best warriors in the world in their time, and stories about them still circulate to this day, staying as one of the most popular aspects of Japanese history and culture. These warriors were known for their bravery, military tactical prowess, and the “Bushido” or code of honor.
The samurai class rose to power around the 11th century, leading to the feudal age of Japan. They held control over the country and the Imperial court as one of the most powerful and intimidating classes until the abolishment of the feudal system in 1868. Since then, the samurai culture has greatly influenced modern Japanese society, with ideals of honor, respect, and loyalty deeply ingrained into ordinary everyday lives.
The samurai were known to wield a variety of weapons from bows and arrows to swords. One of the most well-known weapons of the samurai is the katana. The katana is an unrivaled quality sword and considered the most deadly and efficient weapon during battle. And although the weapons evolved throughout the time periods, the samurai kept the katana close, believing that it held the soul of the bearer. They also carried a short sword or knife known as a tachi. Wearing a katana and a tachi combination was called daisho, which became the hallmark of the Samurai. The two swords represented the path of the samurai: The katana was the symbol for fighting a righteous battle, and the tachi was a reminder of personal honor.
As the samurai class dissolved into modern society, their previous skills and education were passed through generations. This lead to the creation of some of the most successful Japanese companies and industries. Tactical skills were applied to managerial positions, and practical skills directly influenced the high-quality manufactured goods in the country. One of the most notable products is the unrivaled Japanese knife, which applied the same techniques and methods as when the katanas were made.
Skip the lines and book Samurai and Ninja Ticket with us online!
Simply fill the form at the top of this page to schedule a tour and wait for a confirmation email from us. We hope to see you soon!
When is the Samurai & Ninja Museum open?
Our museum is open with tours available every day from 10:30 am to 18:30 pm.
Is there a minimum age for the workshop?
All participants in the tameshigiri workshop should be at least 18 years of age.
What is the difference between the tameshigiri workshop and the samurai sword training ticket?
The tameshigiri workshop uses a real katana while the samurai sword training for adults focuses on a non-contact martial art called “Iaido”.
Will the tours, activities, and lessons be in English?
Yes! Our museum staff is fluent in English, but can also provide assistance in Chinese and Japanese should you prefer.
Are the exhibits real artifacts?
Each item in the museum has been authenticated and is maintained well for your viewing pleasure. The items used for the experiences, however, are models and duplicates to ensure the safety of our guests and the artifacts in our collection.
Can I buy a real sword like a katana?
Yes! We sell authentic samurai swords at our museum. You can talk to us during your visit or contact us online using the emails listed at the end of this page.
What is the best way to experience the Samurai & Ninja Museum?
Our tameshigiri workshop is the only one of its kind offered in Kyoto, and is the best for you if you want a hands-on experience with using a katana! This also includes the basic ticket for free, letting you explore the rest of the Samurai & Ninja Museum as well.
Do I need to book in advance?
We accept walk-in guests but we highly recommend booking in advance before your trip especially during peak seasons to avoid the crowd. Keep this in mind when you’re traveling in early April and mid-November!
Do you have a gift shop?
Yes! We offer a variety of souvenirs along with real samurai swords, replicas, and antique samurai armor.
Does the experience include a real katana?
Yes! A real katana will be used for the workshop to make the test-cutting work. This is our only workshop that offers this experience, and it is also the only one of its kind in Kyoto.
Can I wear anything besides the hakama/samurai outfit?
Yes! You, along with young boys and girls in your group can opt to wear a ninja uniform instead without any additional fees. If you came from Maikoya Kyoto in your kimono, you can inform us if you wish to keep wearing it during your time with us.