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This activity will offer you the opportunity to make a Japanese-style knife in the atelier of genuine swordsmith. Asano Taro has been certified by the Japanese government as one of the few genuine Japanese swordsmiths.
- It's only available 2 days per week!
- Make your own samurai knife in this very exciting experience
- You can bring your own items for the activity
- Easily accessible in 30 minutes from Kyoto
- Enjoy "kajiya", the art of black smith in Japan
Pick-up at Gifu-Hashima Station
[The Swordsmith is concentrated for Japanese Sword making on Jan, Feb, Sept and Oct.]
Booking of the knife-making workshop is not available during that period. So please send us message if you really want to take the course.
There is always a danger of getting burnt, so please be very careful. We will not assume responsibility in case of an injury.
Please come to Gifu-hashima station of Tokaido-shinkansen at 8:50 am.
At the north gate, I'll have the plate
"Make your own Samurai knife".
If you can not arrive at that time, please inform and consult.
What you need to bring
Long sleeves, long pants made of cotton material.
- 日本語 (Fluent)
- English (Intermediate)
I am a Japanese swordsmith with a certificate from the Japanese government. I established my blacksmith, in 2004 after 6 years of training. My works have been successful both domestically and internationally.
I was invited to MIT which is one of the most advanced universities in the world. I was surprised because there was a smithy in the basement. "Why is there a smithy at such a place?", I asked. The answer was that all high-level technologies require low-level technology, and above every low-level technology there is a high-level technology. When the low-level technology is gone, high-level technology cannot be produced.
Then I was convinced that I have a mission to inform people from all over the world about the traditional technology from over 1000 years ago that I use to do my works. Because I utilize the oldest low-level technology in the world.
Let me introduce my lovely family. A beautiful wife, three energetic boys and the youngest child is a girl. A total of four children and one pet dog.
Every day is very exciting. You are welcome to come and visit me. My only rule is to drink alcohol every day. I love every kind of alcohol, especially beer. Among them IPA and Yale are the best. If you bring them to me as a souvenir, my heart will burn up to its maximum. Like a steel that turned red.
Thank you for reading to the end. I am waiting for you at Asano Kajiya.
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a glimpse of Japanese culture and lifestyle first-hand
Taro-san is so welcoming and has so much passion for what he does. the workshop is informative fun and very enlightening. if you appreciate Japanese blades and want to see Japanese culture from a passionate master-swordsmith who truly loves what he does and answers all of your questions with utmost thoughtfulness and heart then go and experience this with the best.
Thank you so very much Taro-san for welcoming me into your home and teaching me how to create a knife that i will always value. you are an excellent teacher and the workshop is the most memorable experience i have of my trip to Japan. Thank you and your wife Rika-san, so much. Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu!
Best experience of our entire trip!
If I could give more stars for this I would! Taro was a great teacher, and the day was tons of fun! We were super happy with our knife, and excited to have such a great souvenir from Japan! Tarps wife made us lunch which was also Amazing! This truly one of Voyagin's best experiences, for price and value!
Best day in Japan! Excellent experience with Taro and his team.
I signed up for this course after looking for forging classes in Japan. I have taken some courses in Canada before, and my husband has never taken any. We both took the class and Taro made the experience enjoyable for both of us.
The day began with a description of the knife forging process, and selecting the shape of the knife we would like to make. The morning was spent hammering the knife into a basic shape on the anvil and heating the carbon steel in the forge.
Lunch was prepared by Taro's wife - and was incredible! I won't spoil the details, but suffice to say it was the perfect break after a morning of exertions.
The afternoon was spent further shaping the knife handle and blade, and tempering the knife using the oil technique. We also were shown how to engrave a symbol on the handle that represented our 'mark'.
This was the highlight of our Japan trip. And next time we are there, we would definitely take the class again. Taro is very skilled and has a great sense of humour - don't miss this!
Christina and Jason
Amazing!!! Best experience ever!
This was by far the best experience we had in Japan and well worth the cost! I would have probably paid double and I don't say that lightly :). Taro was an excellent host, who was friendly, understanding and patient. He let us learn out our own speed while jumping in when we needed that little boost of help. His wife and him served us a lovely lunch where we had a good chat with them, Taro's English is pretty good! I will recommend this to anyone visiting Japan!
Such a unique experience
I'll just start by saying wow.
This was one of the most fun things I've ever done, it was difficult, but incredibly rewarding. Taro is a great teacher- he takes you through the history and process before starting you very slowly. He explains everything thoroughly, and offers great tips. Working so closely with him was a pleasure (The lunch his wife cooks is also delicious)!
You get to work with raw materials, as well as use his forge that is 100 years old. He's very steeped in the traditions and knowledgable.
He works closely with you to achieve whatever look of knife you want to make. They take photos of you and print them to take with you, so you get some cool action shots of hammering.
At the end you feel really accomplished, also a bit sore, but mostly accomplished. I highly recommend this experience. It's just so freaking interesting, unique and special. It's super freaking cool, my friend and I were both elated we had the chance to do this, and we can't recommend it enough. If you have the chance to do it, I'd do it.
Amazing day learning from a genuine Swordsmith
There are so few places that provide this type of experience, not just in Japan but all over the world, so I was super excited when I found Taro's page here. I literally booked this before making any arrangements for flight and hotel lol.
I appreciate being greeted and picked up at the station by Taro san, who was very considerate and even got me coffee before we started the work at the forge (which uses multiple pieces of antique equipment!). I was not disappointed when I walked into the workshop and Taro san was super patient with explaining everything to me, as well as answering the numerous questions I had.
For any potential visitors, please understand that Taro is a professional Swordsmith, an artisan of an ancient art and technology. The work is highly physical and the risk of injury is there.
Needless to say, this is not a "tourist thing" but a very special experience that lets you learn about Japan's history, craftsmanship and old way of life in a very personal and physical way.
I loved it and, given the chance, would visit Taro san again!
A fantastic day with a Japanese blacksmith!
First, I would like to say to anybody who is considering taking this course; do it, it is definitely worth it. Both my host Taro and his wife Rika are very pleasant persons that made me comfortable from the point they picked me up until they dropped me off at the Shinkansen station. Taro had a strategy for this course that worked well for me; he went through the different stages of the knife making process and explained why and how. He then demonstrated the forging process by using a cheaper piece of steel; that made me feel confident about how to do it. Taro speaks very well English and explains everything thoroughly. I had a fantastic day at his forge.
Rolf Nilsen, Norway.
Probably the coolest thing I have ever done in my life. Taro and his wife are great people, welcoming you into their home/workspace as if you had been friends for years. I had been planning to do this experience since I started planning my trip to Japan, about 6 months out, and I was not disappointed. Taro truly is a master at his craft, what took him mere seconds to do, took us about 10 minutes of hard work. This is definitely something you don't want to miss when you come to Japan! Thanks again Taro!
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