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Samurai Performance and Casual Experience: Kyoto Ticket

Kyoto, Japan
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From $21.23

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 1 hour (approx.)
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


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.
  • 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
  • Take your own photo with a performer while holding a sword and fan
  • Choose from two showtimes to suit your schedule

What's Included

  • After a show of the first half, let's enjoy the casual experiences such as a sword, the folding fan.
  • The first half will be a show part and the second half will be a casual experience.
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

Meeting And Pickup

Departure Point

  • Samurai Kenbu Theater, 35-7 Sanchome, Higashiyama-Ku GOZAN Hotel B1F, Kyoto 605-0005 Kyoto Prefecture

What To Expect

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.

Samurai Kenbu Theater

Make your way to Samurai Kenbu Theater, conveniently located in downtown Kyoto. After removing your shoes and taking your seat, you’re introduced to the Japanese traditional art of Kembu through informative narration on stage. Before each demonstration, you’ll learn about the culture of the samurai, a warrior class that ruled Japan from the 12th to 19th century. In feudal times, samurai were said to perform Kembu to give themselves courage or to achieve mental concentration. During traditional and new-style Kenbu short performances, watch trained masters wield swords and recite short Japanese poems written by samurai before going to battle. Discover the art of folding a fan as a show of respect in Japanese culture. You can also take a simple Japanese sword experience.

Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Please arrive at the theater at least 5 minutes before
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • It will be a show part in the first half and a casual experience in the second half
  • There is currently no one-hour show
  • Most travelers can participate

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

about cancellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

Q:What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Samurai Performance and Casual Experience: Kyoto Ticket?

A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:
  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival

Q:What is the policy on sanitization during Samurai Performance and Casual Experience: Kyoto Ticket?

A:The policies on sanitization are:
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use

Q:What is the social distancing policy during Samurai Performance and Casual Experience: Kyoto Ticket?

A:The policies on social distancing are:
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons

Q:What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Samurai Performance and Casual Experience: Kyoto Ticket?

A:The policies on staff health & safety are:
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms

Traveler Photos

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85 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 85 reviews
Great experience
Nomad268704, Oct 2019
We really enjoyed this performance and learning about the history of the samurai. They were very impressive and we had a great photo opportunity afterwards.
The samurai performance in Kyoto was...
Michael S, 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!
Our family had a great time at this...
Henning N, 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!
Nice show
Valentina_B, Aug 2019
The show is nice and with lots of information about samurai and other things. Unfortunately is difficult to understand their English since we are not English and their pronunciation make it hard to follow. Overall I d advise it
Nice performance for kids
Michaela_M, Apr 2019
I was expecting something more serious and going deeper into samurai fighting methods and training. There was a lot of talking and less action. Plus some "funny" dialogues. I can recommend it for families with kinds. At the end of show is a photo shoot with the actors.
Worth seeing! The performers took...
Sumudu A, Apr 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.
Interesting, moving and at times funny...
Hunor_C, Oct 2017
Interesting, moving and at times funny. A great show.
Great Experience
Saravanan P, Nov 2019
It was raining heavily outside. Luckily, I booked this tour and enjoyed it very much. It is a trip that I recommend.
This was very entertaining and they...
Joel M, Jul 2017
This was very entertaining and they gave us a pair of Samurai socks at the end. A performance I will never forget.
I loved the experience and for the...
gigi, 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.
Fascinating and entertaining
Rowan_G, Jan 2019
A wonderful glimps into the bushido way of the Samurai through art, dance and glimmering of swords. Thank you Samurai Kembo.
My brothers and I enjoyed this...
Marie-Anne L, Jul 2017
My brothers and I enjoyed this activity! It was even better than what we thought it would be. The were great explanations, the samurai actors were good and the costumes were very pretty. If you like samurai/japanese history or arts, I highly recommend this activity!
Recommended Samurai show if you're...
Moe Adi, Aug 2017
Recommended Samurai show if you're visiting Kyoto. Specially if you want to see something different other than Kyoto temples.
The performance was ok.They tried to...
PinelopiVasili_B, Apr 2017
The performance was ok.They tried to show us some samurai techniques and also to explain stuff about their lives.This part was the weakest,because although it was in english,the girl that did most of the narration had a very japanese accent,so it was quite impossible to understand what she was saying and connect it with the things played in stage!Overall it was nothing to write home about and I think they could do better!
The location was within walking...
Morag H, Mar 2017
The location was within walking distance of our hotel which was great as we were able to drop into the old shops nearby. You can miss the doorway. The performance was held in a small intimate theatre with front row seats with backs at floor level, but also 2 rows of higher seats for those not so flexible, like us Seniors. It was a very professional and extremely interesting performance. The MC did her best to translate the Samurai history, culture and performance stories into English. We were invited onto the stage and instructed on how to use the sword and dance moves which was fun. Only concern would be on entry through the single doorway off the pavement, there are narrow concrete type stairs going down to the level below, so be careful not to slip if it has been raining.
The performance was great would highly...
Cesar R, Jul 2017
The performance was great would highly recommend it.
I very much enjoyed the show and I...
MarieMadeleine_V, May 2017
I very much enjoyed the show and I would recommend it highly. It was very interesting and beautifully presented, with splendid costumes. I was only sorry that it was difficult for me to understand the explanations given in English but with a very strong Japanese prononciation !. As I am not a native english speaker, it was all the more difficult.
This was one of the coolest things I...
David H, May 2017
This was one of the coolest things I saw while in Japan. The show was really entertaining with a bit of comedy and stories to tell Japanese history. The swordsmanship and acting was so good I got chills while watching it. Big thumbs up :
You can tell the time and dedication...
Kristina_D, May 2017
You can tell the time and dedication put into their kembo training. The performers shared so much interesting information with us. They were excellent.
The performance was very...
Francine_A, Mar 2017
The performance was very entertaining and kept our rapt attention for the whole hour. It is lovely to have had the opportunity to learn about the Samurai. This is not a kitschy tourist attraction and the accompanying narration makes it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The only reason I deducted a star is because, given there was so much information to absorb and some of the speakers were a little difficult to understand, a little handout to take away would have been good. I would happily have paid a little more to have a souvenir booklet to keep. Understandably no photos were allowed during the performance but all audience members had the chance to be photographed with the performers using their own camera so no extra cost was involved. We were glad we went and felt it was well worth the money.


Product code: 6911KYOSHOW