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Samurai School in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day

Kyoto, Japan

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up to 24 hours in advance
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icon1 hour 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
More questions?
(888) 651-9785
More questions?
(888) 651-9785


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
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.
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the social distancing policy during Samurai School in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day?
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Samurai School in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day.
What is the maximum group size during Samurai School in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day?
This activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Samurai School in Kyoto: Samurai for a Day.

Traveler Photos

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
  • "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." See review


85 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
, 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!!
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
So much fun
, 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!
Brilliant experience
, 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!
Great day
, 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!
Oustanding experience!!
, 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!!
One of the highlights of our trip!
, 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!
Highly recommend. Unique experience.
, Oct 2018
Now for something completely different...! A fun 90 minutes and great pics to last a lifetime. Highly recommend.
A dream come true
, 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.
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.

Product code: 6911KYOPACK_C_A

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