Feb. 27, 2019 UPDATE

Samurai Kembu Theater

- サムライ剣舞シアター -
Try your hand at samurai swordplay in the middle of Kyoto at Samurai Kembu Theater
Most of us don’t know what kembu is: literally speaking, it is sword dancing but it also means swordplay and performance. And at Samurai Kembu Theater you get to see masterful swordplay, but the best part is after show: you get to actually try it yourself! So the experience is divided into two parts: the show and the lesson, where you get to wear samurai clothing and swing a katana. And getting to hold and swing a katana is an experience you are not going to forget soon. Especially since during the show, you get to learn a lot about the samurai class, and after your interest has peaked you get to actually become one during the lesson. They have a simple kembu lesson for an hour for those who just want to learn the basics and a more thorough two-hour lesson where you also get to learn how to perform with a folding fan.
Kembu show
Kembu show
Kembu is actually performed to Japanese music and poems, but luckily the staff at the Samurai Kembu Theater will tell you what the performance is about before it starts. The performances have historical themes, but they are very short: between two and three minutes! So you need to pay attention in order to get it all.
The lesson is the most fun part of the experience, as you get to swing a katana, and even wear samurai clothing. The experience is just special; after it, you are sure to want to watch some samurai flicks. You even get a small present for taking part in the lesson and also get to take the tabi-socks home with you. They even have a 3-day kembu training course for those who want to take kembu a bit more seriously.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -

Tips - sword belt

First, you get your sword belt. Be careful which way you put your katana on it since there are two ways: the samurai way, and the pirate way. I got it wrong two times and so did many others; just be prepared to say yarr. 

Tips - samurai warrior

The instructors at Samurai Kembu Theater will also help you change into an outfit fit for a samurai warrior. 

Tips - certification

The staff will help you take pictures, and you even get one picture with your certification. The certification is a nice souvenir of your samurai experience. Note that you can also take pictures with your sensei! 

3.3 experience3.0 access4.0 photogenic3.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.3 experience3.0 access4.0 photogenic3.0
Like many people, I wasn’t really expecting that much from Samurai Kembu Theater. I thought it would be a bit of fun swinging a sword, but I was proved wrong. From the first moment, they tell you about the history of the samurai, and the reasons for doing kembu. It was interesting to get to know that the samurai used to do kembu before battles to raise their concentration, and then to actually get to do kembu was even better. Taking pictures wearing the samurai costume was one of the best parts of the experience for me.
4.0 experience3.5 access3.5 photogenic5.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
4.0 experience3.5 access3.5 photogenic5.0
Samurai Kembu Theater / サムライ剣舞シアター
Category Cultural Experience
Phone +81 75-751-2033
Address B1, GOZAN Building, Sanjo-hanamikoji Higashi-iru, 35-7, 3-chome, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Directions A three-minute walk from subway Sanjo Keihan Station.
Open Hours Mondays to Saturdays, check their website for more information.
Reservations You can make your reservation online.
Closed Sundays.
Price range
Show and full lesson: Adults with the costume: 10,000 yen, no costume: 8,000 yen, children with the costume: 9,000, without a costume: 7,000 yen. Show and light lesson: Adults with the costume: 8,000 yen, no costume: 6,000 yen, children with the costume: 7,000, without a costume: 5,000 yen.
Credit cards Accepted through Paypal.
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
One of the best in Kyoto.
Information English and Japanese.
Lanuages spoken The show and lesson are all in English.
URL1 http://www.samurai-kembu.jp/
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