Kyoto, Japan

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clock-o60 minutes (Approx.)
ticket-oMobile ticket

Overview

Learn the arts of the samurai as you enjoy a 1-hour Kembu show, a traditional sword performance celebrating the culture of this ancient Japanese warrior class, in Kyoto. Head to Kyoto’s Samurai Kembu Theater to admire the intricate movements of traditional and new-style Kembu performances, celebrating the legendary stories of Japan’s feudal period. You’ll also hear a fascinating talk before the performance and have time for a photo session with samurai sword and the performers post-show.
  • 1-hour Samurai performance of Kembu in Kyoto
  • Watch demonstrations of the traditional art of Kembu and discover the practices of the samurai
  • Learn about the responsibility of carrying a samurai sword, traditionally given to young warriors during feudal times
  • See traditional tales played out on stage and hear informative narration
  • Take your own photo with a performer while holding a sword and fan
  • Choose from two showtimes to suit your schedule
Journey back in time more than 700 years, to Japan’s feudal period, as you enjoy Kembu, a sword performance associated with the country’s samurai warriors. This fascinating show combines the grace, beauty and power of samurai sword practice with a chance to learn about the culture of historic Japan.

Begin your performance at Kyoto’s Samurai Kembu Theater, your arrival coinciding with your selected show time. Before starting the show, take off your shoes (in traditional Japanese style) and find your seat. Your show begins with narration from a performer, who provides an informative introduction to the history and techniques of the traditional art of Kembu.

The show then continues with a series of Kembu demonstrations. Before each demo, you’ll hear a short history lesson about samurai culture, detailing the practices of this enigmatic warrior class that dominated ancient Japan between the 12th and 19th centuries. It’s said that Kembu evolved as a discipline to help samurai boost their courage and focus their minds for the rigors of battle.

During the performance you’ll have the chance to admire both traditional and new-style Kembu rituals, each of which involves a performer who will brandish their sword in a series of intricate movements while reciting samurai poems used before heading to the battlefield. You’ll also learn the art of the Japanese folding fan and discover the meaning behind the ceremony of seppuku (ritual suicide), which is also called hara-kiri.

Finish your immersion into samurai culture with a photo session, where you can hold a sword and take a few candid shots with the performers.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

5.0
52 reviews
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R
, May 2018

very good

M
, Apr 2018

The samurai performance in Kyoto was fantastic. It was at the same place as the samurai lesson. Since I had had an afternoon lesson, I asked if I could just switch my performance to the afternoon and they had no issues with that. The venue was small and intimate and the performers did a great job displaying their physicality. Before each section, an announcer would come out and explain in English what the performance you were about to experience was and its relevance to either Japan's history or to samurai culture. Overall, a great performance well worth the price of admission!

S
, Mar 2018

Worth seeing! The performers took great care to explain the performances to the audience. It would have been helpful to have a pamphlet to help us further.

M
, Jan 2018

We really enjoyed this experience. The place is a bit tricky to find though. We were treated to a wonderful show and we learned a bit about samurai history. The stories were played out and the actors were very graceful. Highlight was photo taking time when we handled the swords. We went away with little gifts at the end of the show. Very entertaining!

H
, Jan 2018

Our family had a great time at this unique performance. Our kids especially liked learning more about the samurai culture in Japan. The staff had minimal English, but enough for you to understand. Fun for the whole family!

g
, Oct 2017

I loved the experience and for the first time I had a samurai sword in my hands. They took me very kindly many photos. If you travel to Kyoto, I recommend it.

M
, Oct 2017

Very Good

T
, Oct 2017

Nice little show.

h
, Oct 2017

Interesting, moving and at times funny. A great show.

M
, Aug 2017

Recommended Samurai show if you're visiting Kyoto.
Specially if you want to see something different other than Kyoto temples.


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