Japanese blades are the epitome of swordmaking excellence. Colored by legendary tales of courage, bravery, dedication, and loyalty, Japanese swords continue to capture the fascination of everyone outside Japan’s borders. And locals remain steadfast in their belief of Japanese blades’ unparalleled beauty and performance.
Unsurprisingly, many outsiders believe only a duly-recognized and authorized Japanese sword shop in Japan can sell them authentic blades. And they’re right. But which shop should you buy a katana, wakizashi, or other Japanese sword from?
Check out our nine best sword shops in Japan, offering authentic Japanese blades and other Samurai-related items.
9 Best Japanese Sword Shops in Japan
1. Samurai Museum Shop
Buying a katana or any authentic Japanese sword in Japan is more meaningful in this shop. Why? It’s a museum smacked in the middle of bustling Shinjuku. You get to try the neighborhood’s stunning offerings before heading to this establishment and bring home an authentic blade.
You could try authentic samurai armor and helmets and immerse in samurai legends.
Of course, you can check out the shop’s collection of antique blades, including the NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon-certified Sueyuki katana and Japanese swords made by popular swordsmiths (i.e., Tachibana Yasuhiro, Hizen Koku Yoshikane, and Tachibana Yasuhiro). It has fittings and other sword elements, too.
- Address: Nakamura Building 4F, 5-10-14 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0022 Japan
- Business Hours: 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM
- Contact: (+81) 3-6457-6411
- URL: https://www.samuraimuseum.jp
2. Aoi Art
Aoi Art nestles in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, popular for its trendy fashion, glitzy shopping, gastronomic restaurants, and world-class entertainment. This shop houses some of the most exciting collection of antique authentic Japanese swords.
Although the shop has an online presence, visitors often complain of the limited swords on display. Never fret because Aoi Art has a storage full of high-quality swords. And it would like you to visit them at their shop instead of shopping online.
Note that visiting Aoi Art requires a reservation of at least a day for single items and a week for up to three swords.
- Address: 1-54-6 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-0053 Japan
- Contact: (+81) 3-3375-5553; email@example.com
- Business hours: Daily except Monday, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- URL: https://www.aoijapan.com
This Japanese sword shop in Japan has two stores in Kyoto: Nishijin and Shogoin. Although Tozando specializes in Iaito swords (for Iaido), it also offers authentic katana swords.
Takahiko Kimura established Tozando in 1989 to create first-class equipment for the world’s best Budo warriors. You can shop at their Kyoto stores or online for optimum convenience.
Its antique katana collection is impressive. For example, the Gendai Era Uesugi Narinori katana looks so simple yet elegant, while the Shinto Era Sukesada katana is reminiscent of classic Bizen tradition.
- Address 1 (Nishijin): 451-1 Shinhakusuimaru-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-8205 Japan
- Address 2 (Shogoin): 24 Entomi-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8323 Japan
- Contact: (+81) 75-432-1600 (Nishijin), (+81) 75-762-1341 (Shogoin)
- Business Hours: Daily except New Year and summer holidays, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Nishijin), 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Shogoin)
- URL: https://tozando.com/
4. Ginza Seiyudo
Ask any non-Japanese sword collector, and they will tell you about Ginza Seiyudo. This shop is one of Japan’s largest Japanese sword specialty stores. They also ship worldwide, allowing foreigners to own an authentic Japanese sword without stepping foot in Japan.
You’ll be amazed at Ginza Seiyudo’s authentic sword collection. Most have an NBTHK Hozon (i.e., Mito-ju Katsumura Norikatsu katana) and Tokubetsu Hozon (i.e., Bansyu Tegarayama-fumoto Fujiwara katana) certification. Some even have a 2nd-best Juyo Token classification (i.e., Hizenkoku-jinin Tadayoshi wakizashi).
Unsurprisingly, Ginza Seiyudo is a haven for Japanese sword collectors, offering over 200 unique blades.
- Address: Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan 2-10-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-0006 Japan
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Business Hours: Daily all-year-round, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, 2:00 to 7:00 PM
- URL: http://world.seiyudo.com/
5. Ginza Seikodo
Established in 1905, Ginza Seikodo is a Japanese institution for authentic Japanese swords and fittings. Its reputation is not only well-known throughout Japan but also overseas. International travelers looking for the best genuine Japanese art never fail to include Ginza Seikodo in their itinerary.
And why not? It’s rare to see an NBTHK Tokubetsu Juyo Token-certified sword in Japanese stores. This shop once offered a Kanemitsu-attributed katana. Most of its offerings have NBTHK Tokubetsu Hozon certification, suggesting that Ginza Seikodo only deals with high-value Japanese art.
- Address: Seikod Bldg. 8-11-14 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0061 Japan
- Contact: (+81) 3-3569-2251
- Business Hours: Monday to Friday 10L00 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturdays 11L00 AM to 5:00 PM
- URL: https://ginzaseikodo.com
Although Sokendo specializes in carbon steel swords, it never forgets Japan’s historic and legendary blades. Hence, you can expect its antique Japanese blade collection to be nothing short of impressive.
Sokendo promises to deliver only authentic Japanese blades from the Heian Era. It gives sword enthusiasts the chance to own a genuine family heirloom. These swords are a colorful reminder of Japan’s rich culture and history.
Nestled in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, Sokendo has another store at the Imperial Hotel. Most sword buyers prefer the Imperial because it’s open daily, including national holidays.
- Address 1: 6-28-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
- Address 2: Imperial Hotel B1F 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011
- Contact: (+81) 3-3499-8080 (Sokendo), (+81) 3-6268-8899 (Imperial)
- Business Days: Sokendo (Daily except Thursday), Imperial (Daily), 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, except Sundays and national holidays (up to 6:00 PM only)
- URL: https://www.sokendo.jp
7. Japan Sword
Japan Sword is one of Minato District’s prized Japanese sword shops, established in the early 20th century. It has an admirable collection of authentic Japanese blades, both antique and new.
You can check out Japan Sword’s gallery and marvel at Samurai art, including helmets, sword fittings, and armor. And if you have a rusty Japanese blade, you can bring it to the store, and they’ll restore it to its original state.
Surprisingly, Japan Sword’s prices are more reasonable than other shops in Tokyo. You’ll get good value for your money. And that’s great news for aspiring Japanese sword enthusiasts with budget concerns.
- Address: 3-8-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-0001 Japan
- Contact: (+81) 3-3434-4321
- Business Hours: Mondays to Fridays 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturdays 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
- URL: http://www.japansword.co.jp
8. Samurai Store
Fans of the legendary Samurai should include this Japanese sword shop in Japan in their itinerary. Samurai Store has a stunning collection of 100% handcrafted Samurai armor and accessories.
And what’s a Samurai without their legendary sword? Samurai Store offers authentic katana and wakizashi swords, some of which are NBTHK-certified (i.e., 17th-century Jumyo katana and 14th-century Shikkake katana).
Founded in 2002, Samurai Store has three shops in Tokyo and one in Yokohama. The latter is renowned for its impressive antique katana collection. Hence, you might want to skip Tokyo if you’re in the hunt for Japan’s most famous blade.
- Address 1: 6-10-4 Jingumae, 2nd Floor, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001 Japan
- Address 2: 2 Yamaschitacho Bldg. 2F, Naka-ku, Yokohama, 231-0023 Japan
- URL: https://samuraistore.com/
9. Tokyo Nihonto
Tokyo Nihonto is proving its mettle among seasoned Japanese sword collectors and aspiring blade enthusiasts with its incredible collection of authentic, high-quality swords.
This Shibuya -based shop collaborates with some of Japan’s duly-licensed swordsmiths to forge authentic katana, tanto, and wakizashi swords.
Of course, Tokyo Nihonto also offers antique pieces, such as an early-16th-century Bishu Osafune Sukesada Saku late-Muromachi period katana and an NBTHK-certified Muromachi period Bingo Masayuki katana.
And if Japan isn’t on your travel plans yet, Tokyo Nihonto’s online shop is equally worth visiting.
Why Shop at Duly-authorized Japanese Sword Shops?
Buying Japanese swords is easy because these blades are popular. Unfortunately, it’s also the swords’ Achilles heel, opening them to unscrupulous entities exploiting these blades’ popularity.
Reputable and duly-authorized Japanese sword shops guarantee you only get authentic blades. And by “authentic,” we mean swords forged by licensed local swordsmiths, who undergo five to seven years of apprenticeship before the government recognizes them as katana-kaji. Some even have NBTHK-certified blades and sword accessories.
These swords also have the proper documentation, including a Toroku-shinsa-kaijo Torokushu from a local Kyokai-inkai (Prefectural Education Board). Japanese swords must also adhere to the Jutoho or Japan’s Swords and Firearms Possession Control Law, underscoring the blades as “art objects” not “weapons.”
Lastly, you’ll never have to worry about exporting Japanese swords because authorized shops are well-versed with the legal requirements (i.e., export permits and dispatch forms).
So, why shop at authorized Japanese sword shops? That’s for your protection and convenience. After all, owning an authentic Japanese blade should be free from legal entanglements.
Buying an authentic blade from a reputable Japanese sword shop in Japan is your most effective countermeasure against counterfeits. After all, you don’t want to part with your hard-earned money on an item with little historical value (not to mention the legal implications should you be caught with a fake Japanese sword).
If you’re planning to go to Japan to buy a Japanese sword, ensure to visit any of the shops we listed. You won’t regret your trip and the chance to own an authentic Nihongo blade.