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Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day

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Kyoto, Japan
Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day

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Number of travelers
1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults0 Children1 Child2 Children3 Children4 Children5 Children6 Children7 Children8 Children
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon2 hours 15 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

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Overview

Prepare for battle as you learn the skills of the samurai during this 1- or 2-hour class studying the basic techniques of these ancient Japanese warriors. Take the 1-hour session, providing an introduction to the basics of the samurai art, or choose the 1.5-hour course, practicing more complex movements using a sword and folding fan. When your class ends, enjoy a photo session with your samurai costume and receive a certificate of completion.  This samurai session also includes an English-speaking guide and instructor and a 'tenugui,' a traditional Japanese towel.
  • Samurai lesson in Kyoto
  • Discover the traditional performing art of Kembu, practiced by samurai for centuries
  • Learn from a master instructor how to bow, draw a samurai sword and strike with stylized movements
  • Upgrade for a longer practice session and perform choreography
  • Enjoy a photo session in costume and receive a certificate
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English-speaking local guide/instructor
Photo shoot
Tenugui towel (Japanese traditional towel)
Lesson completion certificate
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Food and drinks
Gratuities
Samurai Kembu Theater , Japan, 〒605-0005 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, Sanchōme, 35−7 GOZANビル 三条花見小路東入ル

35-7 Sanchome, Higashiyama-ku | B1F GOZAN Hotel, Kyoto 605-0005, Kyoto Prefecture

This activity will end right where it started.
Study the arts of the samurai, the warrior class that ruled the battlefields of ancient Japan for centuries, during this 1- or 2-hour session in Kyoto. Practice the graceful, stylized movements that make up the samurai technique as you handle a sword and uncover the discipline of Kembu, a samurai performing art that’s been perfected over many hundreds of years.

Start your samurai training by making your way to the Kembu Kyoto Dojo. Your class time will vary depending on the length and option you have selected. Meet your instructor and watch a short 3-minute film detailing the basic practices of the samurai, the warrior class that dominated feudal Japan between the 12th and 19th centuries.

Then suit up in your samurai uniform for the day, including a white belt, Japanese-style socks and, of course, your sword. Start your experience by learning the proper methods to bow, then begin your sword training with an introduction to drawing it and replacing it in its protective scabbard. As you attempt to master this tricky technique, you’ll also test out various methods of striking the sword.

Take a moment during your training to suit up in a traditional samurai costume for a short photo session before learning how to wield the sword against a potential opponent. For those that selected the 1-hour session, your experience ends here with a respectful bow to your instructor.  Grab your photos and a certificate of achievement before departing.

Optional Upgrade: 2-Hour LessonIf you booked a 2-hour lesson, continue to learn stylized movements of the samurai, including how to walk and how to use the folding fan if you wish. Complete your session with some challenging Kembu choreography, which you will perform with your sword on stage, accompanied by a poem and music.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 5 years
  • Please wear clothes suited for exercise and moving around
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • The lesson part is currently about 90 minutes in this program
  • Includes about 15 minutes of break time
  • Finally, learn by watching the sword dance demonstration show
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Ginbu Co., LTD. (former name: Samurai Kenbu Co., LTD.)
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
See all safety measures taken by Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day?
A:The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Samurai School and Show in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "Overall this class is a must, easy to get to on the train and its for everyone to participate in." See review
  • "One piece of advice - it is on the outskirts and you need to afrrive 15-20 minutes early so allow at least 30 minutes if coming by taxi" See review
  • "Recommend this experience for anyone interested in JAPANESE culture, We had a great time and want to repeat again in the future but ONLY with this school!" See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

5.0
star-5
86 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 86 reviews
star-5
Great family activity
carol_o
, Feb 2021
A super-fun family activity! The show was excellent and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thank you.
star-5
Heeee-yah!
Shawnee_R
, Feb 2020
What an amazing experience! We had such a great time learning about the samurai and Hisyo was very funny and entertaining (as well as patient!) Thank you!!
star-5
Great Fun and Wonderful Experience
Michael R
, Nov 2019
Absolutely loved this experience. The instructor (great grandson of last Samurai) was fascinating and really gave of himself. Not easy let me tell you with all the clobber on. One piece of advice - it is on the outskirts and you need to afrrive 15-20 minutes early so allow at least 30 minutes if coming by taxi
star-5
So much fun
Nathan_W
, Sep 2019
My husband and I did the 1 hour Kembu Samurai class and it was so much fun. Learning about the history with a 4 minute video and then the basic katana strikes set us up for the last process which was a choregraphed sequence of moves all dressed up in our samurai costumes(which you get to choose).Eiki our instructor was very professional and made the class comfortable with a lot of laughs as well. We also had opportunities to take photos. Overall this class is a must, easy to get to on the train and its for everyone to participate in. Loved it!
star-5
Brilliant experience
Kaz332014
, Aug 2019
Myself and my teenage son did this activity. We both had a great time, really enjoyable and staff were lovely. Would definitely recommend!
star-5
Great day
Jack_D
, Jul 2019
Really fun and interesting day. We got to practice with swords, get dressed up in full samurai attire, then more practice with swords, practice with fans, then learned a choreographed sequence with the swords. Our teacher was fantastic, very knowledgeable and skilled. My only negative is that we didn't get to cut anything with the swords!
star-5
Oustanding experience!!
BillyBob957
, May 2019
Great instructor and really super experience to learn Samuari sword movements. Recommend this experience for anyone interested in JAPANESE culture, We had a great time and want to repeat again in the future but ONLY with this school!!
star-5
One of the highlights of our trip!
Sheena_P
, Mar 2019
Excellent experience, and so much fun! The instructor was experienced and provided clear instructions. Still can’t believe we were able to learn the samurai performance in 1.5 hours! Thanks so much!
star-5
Highly recommend. Unique experience.
Christine_H
, Oct 2018
Now for something completely different...! A fun 90 minutes and great pics to last a lifetime. Highly recommend.
star-5
A dream come true
Almagrand
, Aug 2018
It was only a game but represent it a little big dream: samurai for a day. I enjoyed this activity so much and the instructor made me feel like a real samurai. Thanks for the good memories.
star-5
We had a great time! We did the...
Robyn A
, Jun 2018
We had a great time! We did the 1-hour class and had a wonderful time, the 2-hour class looked really fun. Those of us in the 1-hour class went first we got changed into our Samurai outfits and got our pictures done first, as we were leaving the 2-hour class was learning their choreographed moves. The instructor was great and really funny, and they all spoke English very well. 10/10 would go again.
star-5
This was such a fun experience for...
Michelle S
, Apr 2018
This was such a fun experience for our family of 5. I wasn't sure if the kids aged 10, 13 15 would be too embarrassed to perform their choreography but they absolutely loved it. Our samurai master was very patient but also very funny! This was a real highlight of our trip and the kids still love watching the videos of our performance. Highly recommended
star-5
It was really fun being a samurai...
Michael S
, Apr 2018
It was really fun being a samurai for a day. From using the swords to dressing up in kimonos, this was a great experience. It was actually more intense for a two hour lesson than I thought it would be it wasn't just dress up and some basic moves, but a full fledged workout and I actually learned a lot more than I thought I would. The instructor was great.
star-5
It was great! I went with my 10 year...
Agnes N
, Apr 2018
It was great! I went with my 10 year old nephew and we had so much fun! They were fantastic and there was a lot of time to take pictures as well! Thanks
star-5
Fantastic experience. We went for...
Sascha K
, Sep 2017
Fantastic experience. We went for the 2 hour lesson - after the initial induction, we got dressed in our kimonos and were shown a few samurai moves. However, the lesson also includes art - your training leads up to a performance at the end where you combine all single elements you have been shown throughout the 2 hours. There are also plenty of photo shoot opportunities. We had a great time and can highly recommend the samurai school.
star-5
I was so impressed and pleased by my...
Anatoly N
, Sep 2017
I was so impressed and pleased by my samurai sword-training lesson. What a wonderful experience! What made it so special and memorable is that the teacher didn't treat us as if we were merely tourists, but rather actual samurai in training! Even the swords we practiced with were real. The teacher was patient, enthusiastic, highly skilled and spoke very good English. A memorable and fulfilling experience; I would recommend at least a 2-hour training session to anyone interested in traditional Japanese culture, swordsmanship, or the vanished world of the samurai.
star-5
Loved this but felt 2 hours is a...
Melissa S
, Aug 2017
Loved this but felt 2 hours is a little too long, an hour is long enough. Glad I did this, the instructor and staff were very nice and friendly.
star-4
I had a really interesting and fun...
Moe Adi
, Aug 2017
I had a really interesting and fun Samurai lesson for one day. My sensei was funny, and very polite.
star-5
I had a great time at this activity...
Luc C
, Aug 2017
I had a great time at this activity. The instructor was patient and the introduction to Kenbu was informative and fun. I highly recommend this activity to women and men of all ages.
star-5
This was a very fun, entertaining...
Karuna S
, Aug 2017
This was a very fun, entertaining and educational event. The instructors took time to explain how to put on the traditional robe, demonstrate basic sword movements and was attentive. This is a great cultural experience.

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