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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

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Samurai Performance in Kyoto

Samurai Performance in Kyoto

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.

Customer Reviews

Sheldeen S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

One of the best experiences I have ever had. A must. Friendly staff, knowledgeable and funny too. A wonderful experience overall. I recommend it to two more people I met along the way and they also went and had a great time. So worth it!

Diana M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

It was great fun and informative. It was a great group of performers who performed with enthusiasm and humor. It was informative and we got to practice some of the moves. We were in several fun pictures with the performers at the end.

Charles V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

A fun evening. Very entertaining.

Batiste J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

My parents and I enjoyed a lot this experience!
We enjoyed the stories, variety of dancing styles and photo session at the end

Charles C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Excellent show explaining the history and culture of Samurai with some impressive performances.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Excellent show and the staff were very informative.

Thomas K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Very informative and charming. Not a fight show, but artistic performances mixed with brief explanations of samurai culture. The photo session at the end gives the opportunity to swing a sword under the supervision of one of the Masters, while the staff snaps action shots. Great fun!

Susan H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

Very good! Small dojo with four or five actors. There is no clashing of swords...just reenactment of the ritual dances and explanation of each. Worth the trip.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This was a brillant experience in Kyoto thoroughly enjoyed also by my two sons 17 and 20. Forget the touristy attraction this is the real deal. The group of performers and their company should be thoroughly supported. A wonderful performance to go to in Kyoto.

Donna S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This is a great show! Costumes, props, narration, this was quite authentic, and a lot of fun. Actors even posed audience members with actors after the show and took photos! It's a very small theater in a basement, but with a pretty good sized stage. Only 20 /- seats, so all are good.

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