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The best 360º samurai and ninja experience with TokudAw Inc.

The best 360º samurai and ninja experience with TokudAw Inc.

Have you always had a burning desire to learn and experience the mysterious culture of the samurai (侍) and ninja (忍者) of Japan? Want to have all the fun of travelling, while in the comforts of your own home? Well, we have the perfect solution! Bring your time at home to the next level with TokudAw Inc.’s original 360º-virtual tour showcasing Japan’s samurai and ninja culture. Here are some of the highlights while preparing for this exciting tour!


Exciting swordplay performance by KAMUI. Our 360º virtual tour is produced in a way that you can see different heart-thumping swordplay by different dancers from various angles! Image credit: TokudAw Inc.


As the executive producer of this virtual tour, I was very lucky to be able to take part in the activities of the tour first-hand. Firstly, we enjoyed a heart-pounding samurai performance by famous samurai artist KAMUI (剱伎衆かむゐ Kengishu Kamui) at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo (ホテル椿山荘東京) a 5-star luxury hotel that has a rich and colourful history spanning over 700 years. KAMUI is led by Shimaguchi Tetsuro (島口哲朗) who actually choreographed the sword-fighting scenes of Quentin Tarantino’s iconic movie “Kill Bill: Vol. 1”, and performed as Miki from Crazy 88. KAMUI’s performances are a breathtaking harmony of beauty of form, acting, and martial arts. In Japan, KAMUI also have their own stage and theatrical performances, and also appear in movies and show events. They also offer lessons on movie and stage sword fighting scenes choreography. 


“Kill Bill” sword-fighting choreographer Shimaguchi Tetsuro teaching us the basics of kengido. (Image credit: TokudAw Inc.)


Next up, we had our first lesson in kengido (剱伎道), to learn the way of the samurai, and to learn basic movie sword fighting to star in our own martial art movie. Kengido is an original method developed by KAMUI to teach the beautiful form of basic sword-fighting that focuses on communication and having fun as well.


From top to bottom: Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康), Naoe Kanetsugu (直江兼続), Sanada Yukimura (真田 信繁), and Honda Tadakatsu (本多忠勝). (Image credit: TokudAw Inc.)


In the afternoon session, we were treated to a display of full-scale armour of popular samurai legends. These armours are often used in movies and Japanese historical dramas. KAMUI put up another magnificent performance with the exhibited armour and it looked splendid to see them do sword fights around samurai legends. We were very lucky to see the armour of Sanada Yukimura (真田 信繁), Naoe Kanetsugu (直江兼続), Honda Tadakatsu (本多忠勝) and Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川家康)!


Left: It took 2 staff to dress me up in the KAMUI original armour. Right: Looking fierce after putting on the armour. (Image credit: TokudAw Inc.)


I had the special opportunity to put on KAMUI’s original armour. It weighs about 10kg and took the help of two to put it on, and the process took about 15 minutes! I wonder how samurai in the past put on their armour before going to battle. In my samurai armour, I took a walk around the hotel’s Japanese garden with a historic Entsukaku Three-storey Pagoda and seasonal kawazusakura (河津さくら) in full bloom.


The filming location was kindly provided with support in part by Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo (ホテル椿山荘東京). Samurai armour was rented with the support from Sengoku Photo Studio. 


Hotel Chinsanzo Tokyo (ホテル椿山荘東京)
Address: 2 10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8680
Nearest station: Edogawabashi Station (江戸川橋駅)
Access: 10-minute by foot from Exit 1A
Tel: +81-3-3943-1111
To book a kengido experience, please send an email to wanping@tokudaw.com


Fancy appetiser (top),  Main dish with charcoal lookalike baguette. 3. Desserts are drawn like ukiyo-e and also chocolate shaped like Mount Fuji. (Image credit: TokudAw Inc.)


After all that action, it was time to treat ourselves to some good food. We had real entertai-nin-ment with the ninja at Ninja Tokyo (忍者東京)! After whispering our secret password, we entered the dark cave, navigated our way through the dark path, overcame a surprise booby trap and were finally led to our tables. There were so many shuriken (手裏剣) ornaments and motifs throughout the restaurant. The cuisine served was luxury Japanese-fusion and our assigned ninja server surprised and entertained us with all his tricks. The appetiser was really memorable as we had to draw a sword and smoke would emerge and encase the food. The main course with beef and foie gras also came with bread that looked like charcoal. How intriguing! I was also really impressed with the dessert as they had a mousse cake that was drawn like a ukiyo-e (浮世絵) and a chocolate-shaped like Mount Fuji!


Ninja Tokyo (忍者東京)
Address: 2-14-3 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0014
Nearest station: Akasaka-Mitsuke (赤坂見附駅)
Access: 3-minute by foot
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 17:00-22:00; Saturday/Sunday: 11:30-14:30/ 17:00-22:00
Tel: +81-3-50-5457-7607


There are so many “wow” elements that cannot be aptly described in words here. In the past, samurai and ninja were courageous warriors used to protect the people and maintain peace in the community in their own way.In the times that we are living in right now, it is all the more important that we live courageously to protect our loved ones just like the Japanese warriors. 


To experience these all for yourself, simply head down to TokudAw Inc.’s website and purchase this virtual tour. As this is a 360º experience, this tour is pre-recorded and accompanied with narration and subtitles. We do hope that after watching the tour you would have enjoyed learning about samurai and ninja culture. Swords and shuriken should not be drawn to create fear, but used instead as a form of communication and culture exchange, as demonstrated in kengido and in the ninja restaurant, to promote communication, leading to happiness and a better tomorrow for everyone. 


Click here to purchase the tour or to find out more about our partners! The first 50 participants of this virtual tour will receive a 100% Japanese silk mask made with Samurai Silk, registered as a Japan Heritage. To take part, please email wanping@tokudaw.com or visit our website for more information.


I’m also happy to share that we will have a booth showcasing more information about this tour at JAPAN RAIL CAFE in Singapore on 18–24 March! The first 10 customers to snap a photo with my booth will receive a cute stationery gift from Japan, handpicked by yours truly. Hope to see you soon, virtually!

TokudAw Inc.’s Instagram | Facebook


Header image credit: TokudAw Inc.


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