Setouchi City has been witness to a thousand years of Japanese sword-making history and is the birthplace of half of the swords designated as Japanese National Treasures. For centuries this region was, and still continues to be, home to some of the greatest master swordsmiths of Japan.

The Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum was established in 1983 with the aim of honouring, preserving and conveying this important historical and cultural legacy. At this unique museum, it is possible to not only admire many beautiful swords but also to watch all the various artisans working hard in their respective studios to create the numerous special components of this singular art-form, from the swordsmith to the handle-maker. 

Events

Traditional forging demonstration held by local swordsmiths every second Sunday of the month in the forge of the museum at 11 am and 2 pm. No extra fee.

In early January, the museum holds its annual  ‘Uchizome’ (打ちぞめ – literally ‘first hit of the hammer’) celebration.

Activities

‘Kogatana’ (small katana) making course held by a local swordsmith:

  • First and third Saturday of the month
  • 2 to 4 sessions are necessary to complete the course
  • Each session starts from 10 am to 4 pm
  • Groups of 10 people maximum
  • Price per session and per person: 2000 yen
  • Price for material cost per person:10,000 yen
  • Please keep in mind that the cost of the material can suddenly increase
  • The swordsmith will have already forged the ‘kogatana’ in advance
  • The participant will polish, sharpen, engrave his/her name in the blade, create the hamon (blade pattern), and quench the blade.
  • Please bring your own lunch
  • As you might get dirty, please do not wear fancy clothes

Sword Care lesson given by a professional blade polisher:

  • No fee, but you need to buy the entrance ticket to the museum
  • Held twice a month from 11 am to noon.
  • Around 15 people maximum

Paper-knife workshop given by a local swordsmith:

  • Time determined when you book
  • Anytime is fine except on the first and third Saturday of the month
  • Limited to groups of 5 to 15 people
  • If ever the booking is for under 5 people and if there is another group doing the workshop that same day, they can join the other group
  • Price: 1500 yen / per person
  • Duration: 1h30
  • Please book at least two weeks in advance
  • The participants polish, sharpen a paper-knife (previously made by the swordsmith) and decorate the handle

Booking necessary for all activities

/ Price & Opening Hours

Individual: 500 yen
High school student: 300 yen
Junior high school students and younger children: Free

Group (more than 20 people): 400 yen/person
High school students: 250 yen/per person
Junior high school students and younger children: Free
Those who are 65 years of age or older have discounts. (Please present an ID).
Free for people with disabilities (including one caregiver).

9 am - 5 pm (admission until 4:30 pm)
Closed every Monday (However, if Monday is a holiday, the following day will be closed as well), the day following a holiday, new year’s eve and new year, during exhibition changes

Location

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum

Bizen Osafune Sword Museum, 1005 Osafunecho Osafune, Setouchi, Okayama Prefecture, Japan

Access

Okayama station to Osafune station: 30 min

Osafune Station to Museum:

  • Taxi: 10 min
  • By foot: 35min (2.8km) – alternatively 20min (1.7km) from Kagato station (next stop after Osafune).
  • By bike (Osafune station rental shop): 20 min

By car from Okayama station: around 50 min

Free parking available.

Booking contact:

Phone number: (+81)869-66-7767
Contact form here