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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.
What you need to bring
Long sleeves, long pants made of cotton material.
- English (Intermediate)
- 日本語 (Fluent)
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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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!
Experience of a lifetime!
My friend Shawn and I spent the day forging our knives, and it was educational and entertaining! I would highly recommend this to anyone looking to experience a hands-on craft. Also, I can't say enough about the host and his wife - they were extremely accommodating and friendly.
My dream come true
I have been travelling in Japan almost once a year for 15 years and meeting a sword-smith has always been my dream.
Today thanks to Taro my dream came true and it was even more than I expected since I was able to forge my own knife.
Taro is a very skilled teacher, each step of the process is first explained very clearly and in a good English, then demonstrated and final he provides very close supervision while you work on your own.
Apart being a professional Taro, and his wife, are very gentle and pleasant host.
I will definitely recommand this class !! the Cherry on top of my trip in Japan.
Awesome! Must do!
Authentic, traditional and respectful, Taro is the real deal. Excellent at teaching the fundamentals of Smithing. Each stage was explained and then he guided me through the process with a helping hand always there if needed.
I couldn't be happier with the end result.
A totally unique experience that I will never forget.
Great experience + great host = amazing excursion
Definately worth a day on our way from Tokyo to kyoto.
While experience was hands on and educational.
Good English + expert in field made for uniquely amazing adventure.
Should be top of things to do in Japan on any persons list who cares about blacksmithing or swords.
1h from Kyoto or 2h from most of Tokyo
Up to 1 Week Prior