There are many reasons to visit Tokyo with kids, especially for young fans of anime and manga, but the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo takes role play to a new level with its Be a Samurai package, designed to help young visitors become immersed in the life of this mesmerizing city.
The package was created in partnership with renowned sword artist Tetsuro Shimaguchi’s Kengishu-Kamui sword troupe and offers young guests a hands-on experience they aren’t likely to forget.
For those not familiar with the troupe, Kengishu-Kamui Samurai Sword Artists blend traditional form with martial arts, presented in a theatrical performance. Tetsuro Shimaguchi appeared in films, such as Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 film Kill Bill: Vol. 1, and the troupe performs sword choreography frequently in special events.
In addition to watching Samurai sword performances, kids can learn actual techniques and the philosophy behind this ancient Japanese tradition.
“We emphasize authentic cultural experiences,” says Hiroshi Izumi, general manager, Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo. “With our magnificent Japanese botanical garden as the perfect backdrop, guests can now revel in the art of Japanese swordsmanship. We hope our international guests take full advantage of this truly unique experience.”
The following two plans are available on weekdays through Dec. 28th:
A 90-minute Samurai Workshop teaches guests sword techniques in conjunction with a talk —
in English upon request — on traditional Japanese notions of beauty in form and spirituality. The workshop costs about $835 for a group from two to five guests; additional guests can attend for abut $112 per person. The workshop is available from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
A Private Samurai Show offers a traditional Japanese multicourse dinner of Kaiseki cuisine, followed by a private Samurai sword performance. The experience is roughly 120 minutes in all — an hour-and-a-half for dinner and a 30-minute show — and is priced at about $650 for two. The cost for each additional guest is about $232; kids under 12 pay about $140 each.
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, Fujita Kanko’s iconic 5-star flagship property, is located in city center on a secluded and famous 12-acre Japanese garden. Comprising three buildings and the garden, the property has 267 guestrooms, nine restaurants, several shrines and one of Tokyo’s largest spas.
Some of the most historic sites within the famous garden the kids might enjoy are, especially, the ancient Three-Storied Pagoda, one of the oldest in Tokyo; the Sacred Tree, said to be 500 years old; the Shiratama Inari Shrine; and the Kokosei Well.
One tip for the end of your stay: Make sure your kids’ takeaways from the Samurai lessons don’t include a souvenir sword. No matter how historical, they won’t make it past airport security. We recommend photos instead.