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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Attraction

The Japanese Sword Museum 刀剣博物館

A sharp slice of old Japan

The Japanese Sword Museum is exactly what you would expect—a museum dedicated to the art of Japanese swordmaking. Run by the Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords, visit this museum and receive a fascinating insight into Japanese weaponry.

Quick Facts

The collection contains many swords that have been awarded special status for their important cultural value

The Occupation Forces tried to confiscate and destroy all swords after World War II

How to Get There

The museum is a short walk from JR Ryogoku Station on the JR Sobu Line or the subway station of the same name on the Toei Oedo Line.

You can walk easily to the Japanese Sword Museum from JR Ryogoku Station in 5 minutes. The easiest way to find it is by walking alongside the Sumida River, passing by the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium. The museum is located inside of a small park, the Kyu-Yasuda Garden.

The local environment

Unless you are a major sword enthusiast, you shouldn't need more than an hour for the museum's displays. The size of the museum makes it a quick and easy option to combine with a visit to the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo stadium, Sumida Hokusai Museum or the Edo-Tokyo Museum.

The art of swords

Japanese swords were the weapons of samurai for nearly 800 years before firearms were introduced to Japan. They were wielded by aristocratic bushi with well-funded armies and fierce campaigns, peasant-farmers recruited to be warriors, and bureaucrats who were occasionally forced into battle—all are considered samurai.

These samurai all carried katana (the term for a Japanese sword), wore armor and fought hand-to-hand. But their swords differed greatly in design and functionality—something you will notice when observing the swords on display at the museum.

Preservation and education

The Japanese Sword Museum aims to preserve important swords and samurai artifacts, documenting the roughly 800 years of Japanese swords and their history. In addition to the swords themselves, the museum has a collection of historical documents and archives about swords and swordmaking.

Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords

The Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai (NBTHK-Society for the Preservation of Japanese Art Swords) was created in 1948 to save the Japanese sword, which was being threatened with extinction by the Occupation Forces, who tried to confiscate and destroy all swords after World War II.

Today, the NBTHK aims to preserve swords from a different demise. Few remaining artisans can forge, polish, and repair old katana, their parts, and other items in the samurai armory and many of these craftsmen are getting old. The society works to sustain these crafts and help people to continue to appreciate the art of Japanese swords.

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