At Omuta, Fukuoka, watch master swordsmith Genrokuro Matsunaga cut a rolled bamboo mat, then feast on exquisite Japanese cuisine at a 'ryotei' (traditional Japanese restaurant) — or enjoy matcha tea and sweets.
Samurai warriors may be a thing of the past, but their spirit lives on in Genrokuro Matsunaga, an award-winning master swordsmith who has forged over 1,000 swords in his illustrious, decades-long career. Mr. Matsunaga is also an accomplished martial artist; he recently established a dojo called Zanshi Dojo Genshinkan in Omuta City, Fukuoka Prefecture. His dojo specializes in a type of swordsmanship called ‘zanshi,’ which entails swinging a sword to cut a target. Take this exciting chance to see a legend like Mr. Matsunaga in action! You’ll visit his dojo, where he'll demonstrate how to use a ‘shinken’ — a katana (Japanese sword) with a forged, fully functional blade. Watch him use a sword to strike and cut through a rolled bamboo mat in a test-cutting activity called ‘tameshigiri.’ Feel free to ask Mr. Matsunaga all there is to know about sword-forging, swordsmanship, and the samurai way. Then, head for a meal at Ryotei Shin Minato, a traditional Japanese restaurant that’s over 60 years old. Hanging on a wall in the ryotei is an ink painting by the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi — a must-see for samurai and swordsmanship aficionados! You’ll feast on a multi-course traditional Japanese meal made with the finest, freshest ingredients. Alternatively, you can opt for matcha tea and Japanese sweets, to be served before the swordsmanship experience. Visit Omuta City for the chance to meet and learn from a living legend! For Plan 1, below is a sample menu. Please note that the courses served may vary. - Kobachi – starters or side dishes in small bowls - Appetizers - Sashimi — thinly sliced raw seafood - Suimono — a clear soup - Nabemono — a dish served in a hot pot - Futamono — a dish, usually soup, served in a lidded bowl - Agemono — deep-fried dishes - Chawanmushi — a savory egg custard - Rice - Dessert