Spending a day as a Japanese Samurai
On his latest visit to Japan, Gary Allen learned some of the secrets of the Samurai.
By Gary Allen
Bushido, a word that translates to ‘the way of the warrior’, is the Japanese term used to describe the samurai way of life. The mysterious Japanese Samurais, with their meticulously crafted long swords, have an undeniable power to capture the imagination and interest of people all over the world. I have always admired the beauty and balance of the Samurai sword and have yearned to hold one in my hands for a long time.
I had that opportunity on a recent visit to Tokyo where I experienced a Samurai lesson taught by a true master, dressed in authentic Samurai style clothes. The Samurai master taught me not only the traditional technique for using a Samurai sword, but also coached me so that I was able to slice through a Tatami mat, a true exemplar of the weapon’s power.
It was an unforgettable experience - not many people can say that they learned about the Samurai’s ancient and proud tradition from a real master. On my next trip to Japan I plan to organise a sumo experience and try wrestling with a professional sumo.
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Weather to go
From March to May and September to November, Japan experiences little rainfall, clear weather and mild temperatures. These spring and autumn periods are also known for their blooming cherry blossoms and autumn leaves respectively. Summer is to be avoided in big cities, especially Tokyo, as the weather is hot and humid. Winter provides Japan’s famous powder skiing, at its peak between December and February.
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