Samurai’s katanas, with their lethal beauty, have fascinated generations of foreigners. In the collective imagination, a Japanese sword is a synonym of sharpness, and the smiths who forge those blades are shrouded in mysticism and legends.
With the end of the samurai era, swords stopped being a part of Japanese life. However, the unsurpassed techniques with which their blades were forged keep living in modern blades such as kitchen knives and saws. It doesn't come as a surprise that Japanese knives are praised by top-level chefs all over the world for their performance.
Mass production may have almost taken over the world of blades, yet some stubborn blacksmiths who keep making their knives the old way still stand. In Chino, at the base of the Northern Yatsugatake mountains, you can meet one of them.
Join us at Sadamasa, a local smithy that has been in business for about 100 years, and under the smith's guide, forge your own Japanese knife.
In just six hours (distributed over the course of two days), the secret techniques of Japanese blacksmiths can be yours.
First, you will learn more about these acclaimed knives' features and what makes them so special. Then, it's time to step into the arcane world of blade-making and get to work. You will experience hammering the incandescent metal at the forge, cutting it into shape, tempering, and putting an edge to the blade.
An English-speaking guide will be present at all times so that you can ask the artisan any question you have in mind.
After undergoing heat treatment, your knife will need a few hours to rest. That is why, albeit reluctantly, you will have to temporarily leave the forge and resume your work the next day.
By the end of this activity, you will have a one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home.
Sadamasa is a small family-run smithy that has forged blades for about 100 years.
Instead of specializing in a single instrument, they have strived to offer the farmers living in this region a vast array of products. Here you can find kitchen knives, hatchets, sickles, and more.
The current smith, Yusuke -the owner’s youngest son-, is still in his 30s. He is quite young but not any less dedicated to his job. When asked how much experience you need to accumulate before you can be considered a good smith, without fail, he replies:
“Experience alone is not enough; you also need perseverance. It doesn’t matter how many knives I have made already; every time I sit at the forge, I think about how to make an even better one; what I can do to improve the sharpness, the hardness, and the balance. Every day is a new challenge.”
Founded in Taisho year 9 (1920), Sadamasa is a family-run smithy specialized in farming and house tools.
|Period||From April to November (Basically run only once a month, on weekdays) (Currently suspended for undecided period of time)|
|Due Date||7 days prior to the tour date|
|Duration||3h × 2 days|
|No. of participants||Min. 1 person Max. 3 persons *Children 13 years old and above can participate in this activity if accompanied by an adult.|
|Price||/ person||1 Person Making 1 Knife JPY 28,000 (tax excl.)/ person
2 Persons Making 1 Knife JPY 39,000 (tax excl.)/ group.
*From January 2022 prices will change as shown below:
JPY 28,000 (tax excl.) → 31,000 (tax excl.)
JPY 39,900 (tax excl.) → 42,000 (tax excl.)
|Included in the price||1 knife, Activity, English-speaking guide, Insurance|
|Payment method||Credit Card|
|Cancellation policy||from 7 days before the activity day: 30%
from 3 days before the activity day: 50%
1 day before the activity day: 70%
the activity day: 100%
|Access||15min on foot from JR Chino Station A guide will meet you at the station and take you directly to the blacksmith's workshop.|
The resevation of this year has ended.
If you are interested please contact us.
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