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 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.