Premium Samurai Sword Experience in Kyoto - Better than Tameshigiri

Important Update: A recent Japanese swords and firearms law strictly bans lending a real sword and facilitating activities for travelers that involve using a real sword, aka tameshigiri. During this activity you will only be using replica swords.

This 2-hour  samurai course includes 6 activities: Dressing up in samurai kimono + training with a replica sword + sword fighting with a safe replica sword + ninja star activity + blow gun activity + bow and arrow activity

If you don't have enough time, reserve the shorter version this activity here Samurai Sword Experience for Adults in Kyoto
If you have a participant younger than 13, please reserve the simpler version of this activity here Samurai Sword Experience in Kyoto (Family & Kid Friendly)

Unleash Your Inner Warrior: Become a Samurai for a Day! ⚔️

Ever dreamed of wielding a katana and feeling the spirit of the samurai? Our Samurai Training Experience takes you on a journey through time, where you'll train like a true warrior!

Here's what awaits you:

  • Dress the Part: Slip on a traditional samurai hakama (pants) and feel the weight of history with every step. Imagine the battles fought and the honor upheld by those who wore this before you!
  • Master the Basics: Under the watchful eye of our expert instructors, you'll learn fundamental Iaido techniques with a safe replica sword. ⚔️ Experience the focus and discipline that defines the samurai way.
  • Test Your Skills: Put your newfound knowledge to the test in a fun and controlled sword fight! This is your chance to feel the thrill of samurai combat in a safe environment.


Why Choose Us?

  • Authentic Experience: We provide high-quality, traditional hakama for a truly immersive experience.
  • Expert Guidance: Our instructors are passionate about samurai culture and martial arts, ensuring you learn the proper techniques.
  • Unforgettable Fun: This is more than just a lesson - it's an interactive and engaging adventure you won't forget!

Limited Spots Available!

  • Dress the Part (‍👘) : Don a traditional samurai hakama (pants) and feel the weight of history with every step. Imagine the battles fought and the honor upheld by those who wore this before you!
  • Master the Blade (🗡️) : Under the guidance of our expert instructors, learn fundamental Iaido techniques with a safe replica sword. Experience the focus and discipline that defines the samurai way.
  • Test Your Samurai Skills (⚔️) : Put your newfound knowledge to the test in a fun and controlled sword fight! This is your chance to feel the thrill of samurai combat in a safe environment.
  • Become a Shadow Warrior (⭐) : Learn the art of stealth and surprise with a ninja star throwing activity! Test your accuracy and precision like a true ninja.
  • Hunt Like a Silent Assassin (☄️) : Master the art of silent hunting with a blow gun activity!  Experience the thrill of using this unique weapon.
  • Sharpshoot Like a Samurai Archer 🏹  : Take aim and test your skills with a bow and arrow activity! () Feel the power and precision of this traditional weapon.








The Samurai Experience


The samurais may have disappeared or integrated into the modern age of Japan, but their legacy lives on. You will 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.






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.


Tameshigiri: The Art of Japanese Sword Cutting (Not included)

Historical Origins:

  • Developed in feudal Japan to test the quality and sharpness of swords (especially katana) and the skill of the swordsmith.


  • Assess a sword's cutting ability by slicing targets like rolled tatami mats, bamboo, or straw bundles.

Philosophical Significance:

  • Teaches efficient attacks, emphasizing clean and elegant cuts as marks of skill and mastery.
  • Embodies discipline, focus, and the pursuit of perfection, similar to overcoming obstacles through dedicated practice and mindfulness (zan-shin).

Physics and Safety:

  • Ideal cutting angle: 70 degrees (avoiding the dangers of vertical (90 degrees) or horizontal (0 degreees) cuts).
  • Proper technique:
    • Push with one hand, pull with the other.
    • Balanced power distribution between hands.
    • Left hand ending movement next to the left hip.


  • Traditional targets: tatami mats (goza), bamboo (take), and rolled straw mats (waranugi).
  • Chosen for their density, simulating cutting through human bodies or armor.


  • Precise cutting techniques for clean and effective slices.
  • Understanding of angle, speed, and force needed for different materials.

Interesting Facts:

  • Tatami mats are soaked for 24 hours to achieve ideal resistance and protect valuable swords.
  • One tatami roll = resistance of an arm/neck; three = resistance of a torso.
  • (Historically) Tameshigiri was practiced on criminals (even recorded on sword tangs) - a banned practice now.
  • It is said that a criminal once swallowed rocks to damage a sword used for tameshigiri on him.
  • Our guests are sometimes upset if they cannot fully cut the roll which was actually a preferred way for the seppuku assitants. Seppuku assistants aimed for a partial cut (enough to kill but prevent the head from rolling, showing respect).

Respect for the Sword:

  • Tameshigiri emphasizes respect for the katana as a symbol of honor and skill.
  • Practitioners approach the art with reverence and mindfulness.


  • Paramount in tameshigiri.
  • Proper supervision and protective gear are mandatory.
  • Our facility uses barriers to prevent accidental cuts.


  • Competitions showcase cutting skills such as reverse cuts, multiple continous cuts or cutting multiple rolls at once.
  • Our facility prioritizes safety and STRICTLY restricts competition-style cuts.

Tameshigiri, also known as the Japanese art of test cutting was popularized in the Edo Period and is the ultimate samurai experience! During the Edo period, only the most experienced swordsmen were selected to test swords, so that the swordsman's skill was not in doubt in determining how well the sword cut. The materials used to test swords varied greatly. In modern times, the practice of tameshigiri has focused on testing the ability of the swordsman rather than the cutting ability of the sword. The swords used are generally inexpensive. Practitioners of tameshigiri sometimes use the terms Shito (試刀, sword test) and Shizan (試斬, test cut, an alternative pronunciation of the characters for tameshigiri) to distinguish between the historical practice of sword testing and the modern practice of testing one's cutting ability. Test your skills on tatami cutting mats during your training with a swordmaster.

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!

Need to cancel or reschedule? 




Please Note

  • You will not be allowed to join this experience if you are under the influence of alcohol
  • You will not be allowed to join this experience if you do not follow the instructions of the teacher
  • Participation in this experience may be restricted if you have any conditions that hinder your ability to stand straight and properly use a replica sword
  • If you have any type of health conditions that may pose a risk to you or others, please consider our simple sword training experience or our basic museum ticket
  • You must be 13 to participate in the experience


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". It is illegal in Japan to allow first timers to get engaged with the tameshigiri experience.

Will the 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.

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.

Do I need to book in advance?

For the sword cutting experience  we usually do not accept walkins this means you are highly recommend booking in advance before your trip . You also get 10% discount when you book online. Advanced reservations recommended especially during peak seasons to avoid the crowd.

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?

No, you will be using a replica sword. It is illegal to lend others one's own katan for recreational or training purposes.

Can I wear anything besides the hakama/samurai outfit?

Yes! If you came from Maikoya in your kimono, you can inform us if you wish to keep wearing it during your time with us.

Check out our other workshops and classes!

Kyoto Samurai & Ninja Museum

The Samurai & Ninja Museum Kyoto is one of the leading samurai museums in Japan, with a wide range of displays from all throughout Japan’s rich history. We are the only experience-based museum that specializes in providing in-depth and immersive activities that provide our visitors with new perspectives on Japanese history.
We have displays ranging from armors and weapons of the great samurai warriors and the mystical ninjas to everyday tools and artifacts from medieval and ancient Japan. Our souvenir gift shop features replica swords, tabi socks, and tabi shoes. 
We provide guided tours every day, lead by friendly staff who are fluent in English and Japanese. Join us as you explore the glorious history of the legendary samurais and the mysterious ninjas!

Contact Us

Address: 寺町詩の小路 2F, 292 Higashidaimonjicho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8043, Japan