Tour Seki, Gifu's "city of blades," with a guide! Seki earned its nickname for its centuries-old history of manufacturing blades: from swords to cutlery. Visit a sword museum, sharpen a knife under a bladesmith's guidance, then shop for cutlery.
Seki City in Gifu Prefecture is known as the "city of blades" for its centuries-old tradition of manufacturing sharp, high-quality swords and knives. From the samurai swords now preserved in its Katana Museum, to today's high-grade Seki City knives for culinary professionals, the blades of Seki have been renowned since ancient times. Seki has long been known for manufacturing blades that not only cut well, but also do not bend or break easily. During the Warring States Period (1467–1615), Seki was at its peak as one of Japan's main hubs for sword production, with over 300 swordsmiths in the area. It became known for a unique sword-making style and technique, 'Mino-den,' which is still considered one of Japan's top five swordsmithing schools. Find out how Seki continues to keep this tradition alive! On this tour, which is available all year round, you will visit a katana museum, try sharpening Seki City knives, then shop for some cutlery. This tour has four available start times: 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, and 14:00. It lasts for about 1½ hours. Below is a sample itinerary for a start time of 11:00: 11:00 — Meet at Gifu Seki Cutlery Hall (Gifu Seki Hamono Kaikan). Then, move to Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum to learn about Japanese sword culture and cutlery-making 11:45 — Return to Gifu Seki Cutlery Hall, where you'll sharpen a knife under the guidance of a professional bladesmith, and learn to check if the knife's sharpness is up to par 12:15 — At Gifu Seki Cutlery Hall's market, shop for cutlery and other blades such as scissors and clippers 12:30 — Tour ends at Gifu Seki Cutlery Hall