Learn how to wield a real Japanese sword, and experience a slice of samurai culture.

The samurai school experience is located in a machiya (traditional townhouse) in Nishijin, the old weaving district of Kyoto. The beautiful house is also home to a centuries old armour-making business, with suits of armour exhibited on the ground floor.

Learn | Practice | Experience

Swords have played a very large role in the history and cultural development of Japan. Join Japan Holidays for a fascinating introduction to the history and culture of Japan’s samurai. Participants can dress in traditional clothing, learn about Japanese swords from an Iaido master, then brandish a blade and try to slice through a roll of tatami.

Japan Holidays offer a 90-minute course where you can experience a small part of samurai culture.

Participants will dress in a stunning kimono and hakama just like a samurai, learn about the history of swords in Japan, watch a performance from an Iaido master, practice basic sword moves, and then use a real samurai sword to slice through a roll of tatami. All this while surrounded by exquisite samurai armour in a beautiful old machiya Kyoto house.

The samurai school can host six people per session, but is also able to accommodate larger groups at outside venues. Please contact Japan Holidays directly for more information.


  • Learn about the history of Japanese swordmanship and watch a performance from a master of Iaido.
  • Learn how to safely unsheathe and sheathe a sword, as well as a few basic moves. It’s not as easy as it looks, but the master will guide you through the moves until you can wield a sword like a samurai.
  • Once you have practiced basic moves with an imitation sword, it will be time to try out your new skills with a real samurai katana. You will certainly feel the spirit of the samurai as you slice through a rolled tatami mat.

Note: Because of the potential danger of using real swords, children under 14 cannot have the hands-on experience. Children between 6~13 can observe for a fee. Children under 6 are free of charge.

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