Wield an Actual Japanese Sword at a Temple in Kamakura

From JPY ¥154,750.00
  • Duration: 300 Minutes (approx.)
  • Location: Kamakura, Kanagawa
  • Product code: EN-KNG-7070-70703


This is a five-hour course in which you will be able to try out an actual Japanese sword (katana). You can experience the martial art called "iai (sword matchup)" that the samurais learned. The venue is the Zen temple Kigen-in located in Kamakura and also popular among foreigners. In the beautiful grounds of this time-honored temple, you will learn the art of iai-giri, or sword-slashing that samurais actually learned. The iai experience will be held after you learn about zazen (Zen meditation) and are dressed in a kimono. We emphasize not only the correct way of using a sword but also the Zen philosophy behind it. Lessons and commentaries are available in English.


  • The location is in Kamakura, which is a popular destination among travelers to Japan and is only about 1 hour by train from Tokyo.
  • The venue is a Zen temple with a history of about 650 years
  • Take in the view of the beautiful Zen garden and experience the essence of Japanese architecture
  • Privately reserve the Zen temple within the premises of Engakuji temple
  • Learn about zazen from the head priest
  • Includes a snapshot photo taken by a professional photographer
  • Discuss your experience with the lecturer in an eighty-year-old tea room where we will serve you green tea


1. Orientation

2.  Changing into a kimono with a professional kimono dresser

3. Zazen guidance and meditation

4. Instructions from the instructors

5. Lecture with swords drawn

6. Slicing tryout (includes a photography snapshot by a professional photographer)

7. Tea break

8. Questionnaire and closing words


This course lets you experience Zen at Kigen-in, a temple within the grounds of Engakuji temple that usually prohibits tourists from entering. It is in the immediate area of Kita-Kamakura Station. Kamakura, where the course will be held, is popular among Japanese tourists for its rich history and nature. It is only an hour by train from Tokyo Station. This temple is a Zen-style temple with a history of about 650 years. In the temple, there is a beautiful Japanese garden abundant in nature, and you can hear birds and insects sing. Natsume Soseki, the great Japanese novelist, visited Kigen-in and wrote about his experience in the novel "Mon (Gate)." Experience this unique and famous Zen temple in complete privacy. This course has also been chosen by singers, MBA players, and ambassadors to Japan.

After the orientation at the beginning, you will change into a kimono with one of our kimono dressers. Afterward, you will receive instructions about zazen from the head priest and perform zazen. Zazen is a form of spiritual meditation that the samurais practiced as combat training and a way of living. In an iai matchup, you must swing your sword with the spirit of Zen. It is vastly different from merely swinging a sword.

After zazen, you will move to the temple garden where the master lecturer will teach you the correct forms of sword fighting and a safe method for swinging a sword. After that, you will hold a genuine Japanese sword, and apply what you have learned to slicing a tatami mat roll in half. This experience will have a profound effect on your body and soul. Marvel at the beauty of the sword, its sharpness, and the cut edge of the tatami mat roll.

This course includes a snapshot photograph taken by a professional photographer. You will be able to show yourself having the same experience as an ancient samurai to your family and friends. At the end of the experience, you will talk with the teachers over a cup of green tea in a tea room inside the garden.


  • Time:300 minutes
  • Meeting point:In front of the main gate of Engakuji temple where Kigen-in (closed to tourists) is located
    416 Yamanouchi,  Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture (ZIP:247-0062)
  • Access:JR North Kamakura Station, 1 min on foot
  • Minimum number of participants:3 people
  • Language support:English
  • Included :Kimono rental, wood sword · Japanese sword rental, insurance
  • Excluded:
    Our experience is in Japanese.
    Optionally, our interpreters are available. Please inquire for the optional fee.
  • Items to bring:Identification card (photo id such as passport, driver's license, Juki card) 
  • Toilet(Japanese/Western style):〇 
  • Other things to note:
    ※ In order to handle a sword on the day, we ask you to present an identification card. Please bring a photo id such as a passport, driver's license, or Juki card. If you do not present a photo id, you may not be able to participate. This experience will held in a historic temple that is normally closed to tourists. Please treat the building and the garden with care.
    We will be using real Japanese swords, which are works of art. You are required to sign a pledge not to injure any of the participants, yourself, or administrative staff, and not to damage the sword.


The day of the event - the day before: 100%
3 - 7 days: 70%
8 - 30 days: 50%
90 - 31 days: 30%
91 - 120 days: 15%
180 - 121 days: 10%
180 days: 0%