Visit a Katana forge, the Japanese sword
About 1 hour from Kyoto, meet a blacksmith and observe the various stages of Japanese sword making. Immerse yourself in the ancestral world of the Katana, considered the pinnacle of Japanese craftsmanship.
The Japanese sword or "Katana"
Just like kimonos or cherry blossoms, the Japanese sword, called "Katana" or "Nihonto", holds an important place in the Japanese imagination. If you close your eyes and imagine Japan in the past, you will envision samurai in their hakama (wide pleated trousers) carrying a sword on their left side.
Japan is not the only country where warriors use swords. But the Japanese sword fascinates for many reasons: is it its elegant, slender shape? Is it its legendary sturdiness? Its ability to cut through anything? Perhaps the time spent making it?
We all know Japanese craftsmen's great skill and dedication to their art. It is not surprising that in their hands, a sword becomes a miracle of perfection, the perfect balance between cutting capacity and sturdiness.
Visit a blacksmith's forge
We suggest you visit a craftsman's forge in Kameoka to discover the secrets of Japanese swordmaking.
The session will start with an explanation of the Japanese sword, its history, its manufacturing techniques, etc. You will observe real swords and your host will explain to you how to look at a Japanese sword, which details are important, how to differentiate them, etc.
You will then go to the forge, where the craftsman will start working in front of your eyes. You will be able to observe "live" the daily life of a sword maker, and learn about the different stages of production. Enjoy this meeting with this craftsman who is passionate about his art and eager to share, and do not hesitate to ask questions.
An interpreter will be present to convey the blacksmith's words to you throughout your experience. You should be over 10 years old to participate in the activity, but if your group includes children under 10 years old, please contact us.
To get there from Kyoto, take the Sagano Line to Kameoka Station (about 30 minutes). Then, take a taxi to the forge, which takes about 20 minutes (taxi fare: 4,000-5,000 yen). Have the map with you and ask for the "Masahiro Tantôjo" forge.
We also offer an activity where you can forge your own blade under the instructions of the blacksmith.
1. Please bring your own drinks. There are no stores or vending machines once you arrive.
2. In the winter it can be cold, we recommend wearing several layers of clothing so that you can adjust for the temperature.
3. Avoid wearing nylon. Sparks can fly through the air and damage your clothing.
4. Because the forge floor is dirt, we recommend wearing clothes that can get dirty.
*Please note that the exercise will only be conducted in English or French. Please let us know your preferred language.