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Samurai Kembu Theater, Kyoto

Samurai Kembu Theater, Kyoto: Our most recommended tours and activities

Kyoto: Samurai Class, Become a Samurai Warrior

1. Kyoto: Samurai Class, Become a Samurai Warrior

Study the art of the samurai warrior class that ruled ancient Japan for centuries. Practice the stylized movements that make up the samurai technique as you handle a sword and uncover the discipline of Kenbu. Watch a 4-minute film about the basics of the samurai. Then, suit up and take hold of your samurai sword. Learn how to bow before your sword training begins. Discover how to draw it and replace it in its protective scabbard. Get a short photo shoot in your samurai suit, and then discover how to show respect to your opponent with the sword. With a respectful bow to your instructor, grab your certificate of achievement. Before leaving, watch a 10-minute performance with commentary by a sword dance instructor to gain a deeper understanding of a technique that has been passed down through generations.

Kyoto: Samurai Kenbu Show, a Traditional Sword Dancing

2. Kyoto: Samurai Kenbu Show, a Traditional Sword Dancing

Journey back in time more than 700 years to Japan's feudal period and see a sword dance that celebrates the legendary Samurai warriors through grace, beauty, and power. Arrive at the Samurai Kenbu Theater and take off your shoes in accordance with the local traditions. Take your seat to listen to a performer narrate an informative introduction about the history and techniques of Kenbu. Watch a series of Kenbu demonstrations, each with a short history lesson about Samurai culture between the 12th and 19th centuries. Admire traditional and new-style Kenbu rituals, each involving a performer who will brandish their sword in a series of intricate movements while reciting Samurai poems used before heading to the battlefield. See the techniques used with the folding fan, too. After the show, when the performers return, take out your camera and capture the heroism of the samurai. You will go on stage in groups and be photographed with the samurai. The mini-experience begins. Pick up a sword, slowly pull out the scabbard and grasp the blade. At the instructor's command, swing the sword gently at first, then gradually and more forcefully. You can also shout out loud. If there is time, you will also have the opportunity to learn how to use a fan, a necessity for a samurai. Finish your immersion into Samurai culture with a photo with the sword.

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What people are saying about Samurai Kembu Theater, Kyoto

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 46 reviews

We had our lesson in a nearby temple instead of the theater. Our instructor has everything we needed for the lesson including the katana practice swords, scabbards kimonos, and "pants". We walked with the instructor to the temple for our lesson. Hoga did an excellent job demonstrating the various moves and giving us feedback. He was very patient and took pictures for us following the lesson. Upon our request, he made time for a demonstration connecting the moves we learned as well as many, many more. It was incredible to watch! I know my grandson will be very jealous when he finds out it was a real practice katana blade.

It is the highlight of my experience in Kyoto. Loved it and would actually start taking regular classes it I lived there. Our sensei was so nice and funny. We chose our samurai customs and he even helped me colour match. Then we learned a couple of moves and he was so patient everytime . He made sure we heard a ‘swoosh’ sound. At the end we got to take pictures and we received certificates!! thank you very much ☺️☺️

What an mind boggling experience it was. I enjoyed every bit. The samurai uniforms were very beautiful and high quality with a variety of options. Hoga sensei was very kind, patient, and talented. We learned so much from him. I would highly recommend everyone to give it a shot.

This was an extremely exciting activity, this is probably my most memorable experience of my trip to Japan. The instructor was also very good! Highly recommend this!

Good tour about samuray history and practise, well dressed.