Kyoto Tours
Kyoto Samurai Experience
5
LIKELY TO SELL OUT*

Kyoto Samurai Experience

By Kyoto Samurai Experience
Recommended by 99% of travelers
99% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
What is Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
About
Try your hand at being a samurai for the day during an experience that’s designed with families and first-time visitors in mind. You’ll gain access to a usually off-limits samurai house and handle a real katana sword. Plus, a short duration makes this ideal for time-pressed travelers.
from
$116.60
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 6-99, max of 10 per group
Duration: 1h 30m
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: Japanese, English
More

Highlights
  • Learn the way of the warrior during a hands-on cultural experience in Kyoto
  • An obvious choice for travelers with an interest in the age-old Japanese tradition
  • Hold an ancient sword that's usually off limits
  • Choose a morning or afternoon start time to suit your schedule
Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best
2023

  • Professional instructor
  • Use of a real Katana (Japanese Samurai sword)
  • Zen experience
  • Pictures of during the activity
What's not included
  • None


Start:
  • Kyoto Samurai Experience/和樂Waraku, 111 Inabachō, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8803, Japan
    Our gates will be open 15 minutes prior to the start of the experience. Please arrive as soon as possible so we can help you change into samurai attire for your session. If you are worried about finding our location please contact us ahead of time.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Infants must sit on laps
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 44484P1

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Comfortable clothes
    • Minors must be accompanied by an adult
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 44484P1

    Reserve your spot

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Kyoto Samurai Experience
      951
      Japan
      Joined in October 2016
    • alicerZ4415KG
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Worth checking out when you’re in Kyoto! Includes a sound bath meditation
      This was a really cool experience! The staff was extremely attentive and accommodating. I mixed up my dates when booking and they were able to reschedule us seamlessly. The samurai master taught us how to hold, swing and slice bamboo mats with a real katana. Afterwards, they guided us through a sound bath meditation that brought on the zen. Definitely worth checking out when you’re in Kyoto!
      Written February 23, 2020
    • youngiethekim
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Really good experience fun for the family
      Staff super friendly and they let you cut something with and authentic 150 year old katana. What else can I say it was super cool.
      Written February 23, 2020
    • Robbyn S
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Perfect Experience
      This was an amazing experience! Very organized, informative, and interesting! The fact it takes place in a samurai's home was amazing. Everyone is very kind and helpful, and the feeling of sucessfully cutting the bamboo with the samurai sword is so rewarding. The zen meditation was the perfect way to end it! Plus they take high quality photos of you the whole time. You MUST book this experience!
      Written February 1, 2020
    • pgj_dred
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing experience
      Excellent experience. Fun and informative. My teenage sons loved it. The guides were delightful. You can take lots of photos. Very safety conscious as well.
      Written January 17, 2020
    • paveras
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great Cultural Experience
      Friendly, fun, interesting culture, great moments captured in pictures, unique setting in original Samurai home.
      Written December 27, 2019
    • Jeffrey L
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Met and Exceeded Expectations
      A “must do” experience for anyone who has appreciation of, or is interested in, samurai and budo culture. The class starts inside a historic samurai-owned home and instruction provided in the garden. For us, the best part was the unexpected brief Zen mediation at the end with the Tibetan Singing Bowls. My sons and I also train Japanese martial arts back in the US and have a passionate love of old and modern Japanese culture and history. Add this to your bucket list of things to do. Also right down the street from Nijo Castle, so perfect to knock out both. Oss!
      Written November 28, 2019
    • richardregatta
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Exceeded expectations
      Great experience professionally run by great people in great surroundings. Excellent photos produced afterwards for free. Definitely recommend it
      Written November 20, 2019
    • 789martinel
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Fantastic experience!
      They were able to go beyond our expectations with live demonstrations, flute demonstrations and meditation. Actual katana experience was amazing! Definitely recommend
      Written November 7, 2019
    • Kyotomax
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      The real deal
      We were given a demonstration of swordsmanship before having a chance to cut tatami mats in half with a real Japanese sword. Thrilling and fun too. Its not cheap but well worth it IMO. Its also hosted in an old Samurai house in Kyoto so it feels very authentic.
      Written November 5, 2019
    • Scott Y
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Very interesting!
      Very passionate staff with impressive demonstrations of sword skills before letting customers try their hand at cutting tatami matts themselves. Great feeling when you get it right! If you have any interest in samurai history and culture give them a look!
      Written October 30, 2019
    • annal124
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Samurai training with the history
      Having an English speaking translator, Elle made all the difference! The experience was truly amazing, with a brief history of the samurai, demonstration with the katana and the drums before training with wooden swords then the real thing, finished off with a meditation to calm you down before sending you back out to the streets of Kyoto. The staff were very attentive and patient. They let you take your own photos as well as taking a lot for you which they shared on the day. Worth every yen!! We loved it.
      Written October 24, 2019
    • 496trentb
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Quintessential Japan
      What a privilege to have been inside the house of a real samurai with deep connections to the history of Kyoto. A very authentic experience from beginning to end. Staff were excellent - and the masters with the swords and instruments were wonderful. A truly memorable and unique experience. A Kyoto must do!
      Written October 22, 2019
    • Midboss
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Excellent experience
      If you visit Kyoto you must try to do this. The experience takes place in a genuine samurai mansion and is hosted by a wonderful roster of staff who are friendly and knowledgable. The first event, after donning the appropriate gear, is an introduction to the venue and the way of samurai themselves, with a demonstration of an Iaido sword technique. After this you practise with bokken and are then unleashed with the katana itself. Finally you wind down with a zen meditation session and shakuhachi flute performance that complements the building perfectly. The staff take photos throughout the practical part of the activity and can also take photos with your own devices if you wish. All in all a truly great time.
      Written October 21, 2019
    • airamyh
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      So much fun!
      This was so much fun! I don’t want to say too much and ruin the experience for others. But suffice it to say that it was really well organized, the guides were all so kind, and I highly recommend it. This is suitable for families, folks traveling alone and everyone in between. Elle the translator was great! She was kind, knowledgeable, encouraging and made everyone feel welcomed.
      Written October 21, 2019
    • Johnless23
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing experience! We loved it! :)
      Thank you to all the team, we had a wonderful experience with you, we recommend this activity above anything else in Kyoto! Everything was well explained and we enjoyed every part of it! :D
      Written October 19, 2019
    See all 951 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    5.0
    5.0 of 5 bubbles647 reviews
    Excellent
    632
    Very good
    13
    Average
    1
    Poor
    0
    Terrible
    1

    Robert H
    Glasgow, UK2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2020
    I had booked this experience for myself and my two adult children. We were met at the train station by two members of the samurai experience staff and escorted to the location. One of the Staff (Rino) told us what the experience would consist of.

    The group was about 12 children and adults and we were all dressed in traditional Japanese robes to begin with. We were shown around the traditional Samurai house, had a demonstration of the use of the samurai sword by an expert. It was very impressive. We then were shown the proper technique for handling a samurai sword and how to use it to cut through objects using a wooden practice sword.

    The highlight of the experience was getting to use a real sword to slice through a rolled up bamboo mat. Every member of the group took turns to slice the mat into several pieces while being instructed by Taisuke.

    There was then a question and answer session with Taisuke which was very instructive and informative.

    Finally there was a lead zen meditation session where we learned the purpose of and technique of meditation.

    All the staff were very welcoming, approachable and knowledgeable and photographs were taken throughout the experience and shared afterwards by email.

    This was a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience and I highly recommend it.
    Written February 5, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Abigail
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2020
    This generous, thoughtful, concise, informative and educational cultural experience was the best we've had in Japan. Truly amazing. Adults and our children alike were given the chance to learn all about Samurai history and culture and, under proper expert guidance, the chance to cut an item using a real sword (not easy, some participants unable to do it), following by an amazing meditation experience (my husband is not a meditator and still thought it was incredible). Our journey took place in a real and ancient Samurai palace house. The teaching was in Japanese with a respectful and appropriate interpreter. High quality pictures were emailed to us free of charge. In any other country you'd be charged for these extras. In any other country children would not be allowed and treated with this respect. Truly an amazing day - thank you so very much for sharing this incredible experience with our family. 10 out of 10.
    Written January 7, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Kleinerboys
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2020
    Taisuke and the team at Kyoto Samurai Experience transported us into the world of the Samurai from the moment we entered their historic Samurai mansion. This was a great family activity. Our 11 and 13 year old loved the opportunity to wield a real Samurai sword. The entire experience was well timed and there were several special touches which made the experience very enjoyable. We would highly recommend this activity to anyone who wants a unique cultural experience in Kyoto.
    Written January 5, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Kaito-in-Japan
    Melbourne, Australia5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Everything about this experience was entertaining and enjoyable. We also found it to be very educational as the guide/translator spent the first 15 minutes talking to us about the history of the house and the Samurai reign. After we were dressed in Samurai outfits, we were given a demonstration of their incredible swordsmanship while accompanied by traditional instruments. We then went outside (it was freezing but they handed out complimentary hand warmers and tea which were much appreciated). After a brief training session we got to use the real swords to cut down some poles which was incredible. They finish the session with some zen meditation and singing bowls. Although shorter than we had planned (just over 2 hours) we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would highly recommend spending a morning in Kyoto doing this.
    Written December 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Katharina B
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2020 • Friends
    The experience was really cool. It is a located in a real ancient samurei home, you get to wear samurei clothes and get a good idea of the samurei. The coolest part is to lead a katana yourself and the zen meditation afterwards.
    Everyone is super friendly and the explanations are in perfect english (simultaneous translation by an american women).
    Written March 19, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    MarikoT
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2022 • Family
    My family and I had a wonderful time. Being inside an authentic samurai home was such a unique experience, especially one as well preserved and with so many decorative pieces that survived from long ago. It was easy to imagine that we had been transported back in time. The thorough explanations from the guide were so interesting as well, although I am not a history buff I loved hearing about how samurai evolved throughout the ages. The sword demonstration was absolutely captivating too. I was a little scared to try using a sword myself but the instructor was easy to follow and I really enjoyed it, both my kids also had a chance to try using a slightly safer sword at my request and loved it! It can be hard to impress a 12yr old boy but he is already asking if we could come again next year. The photos afterwards are a great touch, our determined expressions say it all. I really recommend coming here if you want something unique and authentic to experience while in Japan.
    Written December 30, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    John Q
    Lisbon, Portugal15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2023
    This Samurai experience was a highlight of our stay in Kyoto. We were a group of 5, comprised of 2 unrelated families. Two teens (14 yr male, 15 yr. female) plus a mom signed up for the experience with 2 grandparents watching. The experience was so much more than we expected starting with its location in a residential area of Kyoto, opposite a school and near a temple complex and Nijo Castle. We can only echo the other reviews about how organized, supportive and informative the staff are. The participants were dressed upon entry and the introduction included an oral history of the Edo period of samurai glory and the unique features of the original house where the experience is held. Fascinating. The intro was followed by a demonstration of Samurai sword wielding to the beat of a giant taiko drum. Amazing. Then the participants were trained, first with wooden swords and then the real thing, using the sword to slice a water logged bamboo stalk with one blow. It's not what you think. It's all about focus and form, not strength. The experience ended with the best lesson in how and why to do meditation and a relaxing practice to the hum of golden bowls. We were free to take photos and videos throughout and the staff posted their photos of each participant to a www site. This was so much more than we expected. I highly recommend it. Also, we arrived early and grabbed a bit to eat "around the block" where we came across a walking street filled with restaurants and second hand shops with inexpensive kimonos and other goodies. A great afternoon with glimpses into the real Kyoto.
    Written April 13, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    J W
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Oct 2022
    It's hard to put into words, but the atmosphere, setting, and gravity of the experience were all just incredible. Emily and Elle were extremely knowledgeable and gave a great summary of the traditional building we were in as well as a very brief history of the time period. The live demonstration set to traditional music was breathtaking, and I still get chills thinking about it! There were plenty of photo ops - the photos they sent us afterwards were so professional, and it was great to not have to worry about getting the action shots. Everyone was so kind, patient, and encouraging when it took me a few tries to get a clean cut (I'm sorry I didn't get everyone's names!). The meditation afterwards was a perfect way to close out the experience. Highly, highly recommended... a must-do for sure!! Thank you all for everything!
    Written December 13, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    pwilson012345
    Nashville, TN3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Apr 2023 • Solo
    From the teaching, music, demonstration and being able to use a real sword, made this a truly memorable experience. There is definitely a sense of peace when you enter which made me feel very welcomed. I highly recommend this to anyone, not just samurai lovers, You really get a true feel of Japanese culture. English is fluent.
    Written April 28, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    BetsyGtx
    Houston, TX9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2022
    I could not recommend this experience more! It was so informative, entertaining, and fun. Communication in advance was so easy and responsive. One of the staff members scheduled was American so we had perfect English translation to fully understand and connect. We truly learned so much between the history, performances/demonstrations, and then getting to practice ourselves. It was largely booked for my teen sons but I don't know which member of our family had a better time because we all loved getting to practice using a katana. Highly recommend!
    Written January 9, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    *Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

    Kyoto Samurai Experience provided by Kyoto Samurai Experience

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