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Becoming a Samurai while travelling Tokyo! Samurai Trip

Trip101 Editorial
Updated Mar 06, 2017

Here’s your long-awaited chance of living out your childhood dreams - transforming into a sword-wielding hero! Here at Samurai Trip, you can indulge in the immersive Kendo Experience Tour for a glimpse into the art of ancient swordsmanship.

Are you ready? Don your armours and take your bows, and we’ll see you on the duelling grounds!

Top 3 activities to book in Tokyo

Firstly, what is Kendo?

The art of Kendo hones the mind and spirit by using bamboo swords to replace real katanas, instilling courage to bravely strike without fear of seriously injuring the other party.

Often quoted to be a form of martial art that “develops human character”, the elaborate procedures ensure that no matter who the winner is, a fair fight took place, and everyone leaves on a good note.

What Samurai Trip offers?

The “Samurai trip” organised by Kendo masters was set up to provide a true Samurai experience through Kendo practice. Samurais are famous for their sharp “katana” swords and always killing villains that they come across. However, they usually enjoy a simple life and practice their skill with wooden swords with each other. On this “Samurai trip”, you will be transported to the world of Kendo to experience the daily side of a Samurai’s life.

1. The authentic Kendo experience available in Tokyo

✓ It's located within Tokyo 23 Wards

Did you know that Samurai experience is available in Tokyo? That means it’s super handy to book this activity during your stay in Tokyo! The Samurai Dojo (gym) will be in a different location each day, so be sure to book the experience in advance so you can plan how to get there!

✓ Beginners welcome: learn the core of the samurai spirit from the many preparation ceremonies

Not only do you learn how to fight like a samurai, but you will also catch a glimpse of the true samurai spirit - how to respect others with the proper bowing style and what to take note of when you are in the sacred parts of the Dojo. If you’re a beginner in this, don’t fret - the samurai master will teach you with an open heart!

✓ All equipment will be provided

Conducted by the passionate samurais at Samurai Trip, let the friendly instructors kick off your samurai journey by helping you familiarise with the different kinds of sparring gears worn here - the protective gear, also known as Bogu, consists of the bulky abdomen gear and grilled mask. When you feel like you’re ready to land your first hit, pick up the Shinai (bamboo sword) and the pros will guide you along!

✓ An english-speaking samurai will teach you

For those who have little to no grasp of the Japanese language, fret not, for the bubbly tour guide Johari is well-versed in English and is also a certified black belt in Kendo - so don’t be fooled by his humorous jokes! After learning a few moves from him, you can try your hand at an exciting combat-styled tournament, where the first to pop the opponent’s balloon will emerge victorious.

✓ KENDO experience starts from 100 USD

If you are solely interested in Kendo experience, it costs JPY 12,000 (including equipment rental) and it is approximately a 2 hours experience. Find out more in the official website

2. Find out how armours are made by hand

✓ Watch the master craftsmen at work - he is one of the only five remaining Kendo armour craftsman in Japan

Decades of history have been embellished within the heavy armour of the Bogu equipment - watch as master craftsmen create intricate pieces of protective armour from scraps of bamboo, leather and hardened plastic, as they tell you stories about the legendary Samurais who used to roam the lands of medieval Japan.

✓ Have your questions answered by professionals

Did you know that 90% of Kendo equipment are made outside of Japan? It isn’t every day that you get to witness a live crafting session with seasoned professionals, so be sure to fire away!

✓ Not your typical souvenir shop

After that, head over to the gift shop to pick out unique gifts as a memory of your time spent here. The unique sling bags are carefully sewn from Aizome (indigo) dyed cloth made from a blend of cotton and leather, the very same cloth made from Kendo gear, creating a soft texture featuring a beautiful gradient of deep blue hues. Alternatively, you can bring the different Shinai swords back home - definitely a conversation starter!

✓ KENDO armour factory tour + Izakaya experience starts from 70 USD, excluding transport fees

The armour tour is not offered as a standalone attraction - it is only available when you book it together with the Izakaya experience below, or as an entire package of the KENDO experience, Armor tour, and Izakaya experience.

✓ Mail to book an appointment

Make sure to book your slots, as the place cannot be accessed without prior reservation!

3. Feeling hungry? Grab a bite at the Kendo-themed Izakaya & bring unique souvenirs home

✓ Delectable selection of food for you to choose from

After an honourable battle, one must always reward the hard work done by indulging in a delicious meal - in this case, head over to the Izakaya for a delectable selection of traditional food. The zen atmosphere is reminiscent of the ancient dojos, ensuring that you catch a moment of peace after the battle.

✓ Appreciate the history of Kendo

Re-watch some of the most legendary showdowns that took place over the years with the tournaments they broadcast, and look out for your favourite actors in the Kendo movies they show here.

✓ Authentic Japanese cuisine welcomes Muslims but not yet halal certified

Claimed to be halal, the inclusive food environment also features a special samurai menu, where you can experience how it feels like to be a modern samurai!

✓ Varying prices

For this Samurai trip, when booked the samurai lunch with the kendo experience, prices start from 15,000yen (around 130 USD), and when booked only Samurai lunch with kendo armoury factory tour, prices start from 8,000 yen (around 70 USD) excluding transport fees. Find more price details and book from here.

"Is the food good? Are the headgears smelly?"

We’ll let the video do the talking!

“Learning How to Be a Samurai”

Sharla is a Canadian who has lived in Japan for 10 years - when she’s not working as a translator, you can expect to see her roaming around Tokyo with a camera in hand, capturing the many sights and sounds of Japan in the forms of vlogs. This time, she decided to try out the Samurai trip, and you can see first-hand how the experience is like!

Interested to start a new life as a samurai? Send in your reservations today!

Samurai Trip

Location: Tokyo 23 Wards

Price: Entire package (Kendo experience + Armoury tour + Samurai lunch) starts from JPY 18,000 per person.

By reservation only

Duration: Around 5 hours for the entire programme

Book Now

This article was originally published on Jan 01, 2017
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