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Samurai Culture Experience at Meihodo

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Samurai Culture Experience at Meihodo


Learn the way of Japanese warriors at a secret complex surrounded by nature

Kumamoto DMC Co., Ltd.


Have you ever closed your eyes and fantasized about learning traditional Japanese martial arts in a secluded sanctuary in the thick of a forest, surrounded by mountains? Such a place exists in real life, and it is called Meihodo. Located inside the Aso Caldera, in Kumamoto Prefecture, Meihodo is a vast 56,000 square metre complex with dozens of buildings and gardens, modelled after the samurai warrior residences of the Edo period (1603-1858), and dedicated entirely to the traditional samurai arts. 

Experience samurai culture while basking in the grandeur of nature in this one-of-a-kind, authentic facility. Watch demonstrations of martial arts, including karate and iaido (the art of sword drawing), at the dojo (practice hall), then change into a dogi jacket and hakama trousers and start practicing yourself. You can even try swinging a real Japanese katana!



True to the spirit of “Bunburyodo,” the philosophy that martial arts practitioners should be accomplished in both the military and the fine arts, visitors to this sprawling complex can also experience tea ceremony, Japanese dance, meditation, traditional music, flower arrangement, and even bonseki, the art of creating a landscape scene by arranging white sand and stones on a black lacquer tray. 

Become a samurai for a day and gain authentic understanding of Bushido, the Spirit of the Warrior's Way. And don’t forget to take a photo in front of the world’s largest taiko drum! The complex also features shrines and meditation spaces, traditional gardens, Edo-period kitchens and baths, a kyudo archery range, and barracks for guests to stay for longer periods. For more information about unique experiences in this mystical setting, visit the link below.






How to get there


From JR Kumamoto Station, take the The Hohi Main Line to Ichinokawa Station (about 1.5 hours), then walk 30 minutes or take a taxi (5 minutes) to Meihodo.


1943-28 Nagakusa, Aso-shi, Kumamoto-ken



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