Top Samurai Experiences in Kyoto

Are you coming to Kyoto for a vacation? I don't blame you, it is one of the most beautiful and historical cities in the world, oozing culture and history from every street corner. So much to do, so little time.

But you are also interested in samurai, right? I mean, who isn't? The samurai were a very important and formidable part of Japanese history for over 1000 years. Here are the top samurai experiences in Kyoto. All these places have English speaking guides, owners or translators. So there is no worry about language barrier. Just enjoy a taste of samurai culture.

1) Samurai Juku

Obviously we will start with a bit of self promotion. At Samurai Juku, we offer a very high quality experience in a beautiful old townhouse located in the heart of historical Kyoto. We will dress you in kimono and hakama, and teach you about the history of samurai and Japanese swords. Then our Iaido master, who has over 20 years of teaching experience will give you the basics of drawing, holding and swinging a sword. Finally you will get a chance to cut a tatami roll with a real samurai sword. We also have many suits of samurai armour on display, as we are also home to yoroi artisans.

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2) Samurai Experience

This is another place where you can dress in traditional clothes and experience using a samurai sword. It has a very high reputation and deservedly so. A very beautiful experience in a wonderful ancient samurai house, still owned by the descendents of a samurai family. With an emphasis on Zen meditation, and an opportunity to use a traditional singing bowl, it is certainly an excellent experience. You can also see a suit of Japanese armour here.

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3) Samurai Kembu Theatre

Kembu is a sword performance. It is an entertainment tradition dating back hundreds of years. A mixture of elegant beauty with the power of the samurai, it is a breathtakingly beautiful spectacle. Performers will stir your emotions as they dance on stage, showing off their prowess with the blade in the form of dance. You will learn all about the art, about samurai culture, and the culture that fostered it. Finally, there is always time for a photo session where you can pose with performers while holding weapons. Fun for all the family, it's a must-see for any tourist interest in samurai.

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4) Shishin Samurai Bar/Cafe

A samurai needs to eat. And what better than a restaurant that serves the very finest burgers, made with succulent Kobe beef and all natural, organic ingredients. The owner, a Western-educated Japanese man committed to world peace, will share his two loves with you: food and samurai culture. Also located in an old townhouse, and displaying swords and a suit of armour, you cannot find a better place to eat if you are interested in samurai.

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5) Samurai & Ninja Museum

This is a place where you can learn all about feudal Japan. See armour, swords, guns and other items of use by samurai warriors and ninja. You can experience being a samurai by dressing up and learning how to use a sword. So much to do, so much to see. Fun for all the family, and they have premises in both Kyoto and Osaka.

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