Samurai Walk in the Footsteps of the Samurai Samurai is a general term for warriors — mainly military soldiers — who existed from the 10th century through until the 19th century. These warriors served under commanders known as busho, and the Central Japan region is famous for having produced many notable military commanders.

Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai®Nagoya Castle [Aichi Prefecture/Nagoya City]

©2009 Nagoya Omotenashi Busho-Tai Secretariat
  • ◆Place : Various locations around Nagoya Castle
    A 5-minute walk from Exit 7 of Shiyakusho Station on the Meijo Subway Line
  • ◆Performance times : Please see the official website
    Omotenashi Bushotai members also walk around the castle grounds outside performance times. Feel free to ask them to take a photo with you!

Military commanders that the Central Japan region gave birth to have been reborn in modern times! Their masterful combat displays using swords and spears are a must-see. These warriors have the mission of omotenashi (hospitality). Every day, they welcome visitors to Nagoya Castle.

Oda Nobunaga
Oda Nobunaga was a military commander of the Warring States Period (1467–1567) who was feared for his innovative ideas and mighty military strength. Just as he was in reach of unifying Japan, he was betrayed by his own retainers and committed seppuku (ritual suicide).
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Oda Nobunaga was a military commander of the Warring States Period (1467–1567) who was feared for his innovative ideas and mighty military strength. Just as he was in reach of unifying Japan, he was betrayed by his own retainers and committed seppuku (ritual suicide).
Tokugawa Ieyasu
okugawa Ieyasu led the victorious Eastern army in the Battle of Sekigahara (October 21, 1600), which divided Japan in two, and established the Tokugawa Shogunate. His descendants continued to rule Japan for some 260 years thereafter.

Powerful Combat Displays(held on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays)

Neighborhood guide

The latest gourmet spots near Nagoya CastleKinshachi Yokocho

Yoshinao Zone

Near the Main Gate of Nagoya Castle is an array of renowned traditional Nagoya Meshi (Nagoya cuisine) restaurants, as well as souvenir shops offering samurai goods and various other souvenirs.

Muneharu Zone

The streets near the castle’s East Gate are lined with exciting restaurants presenting new food culture. Here you can enjoy Western cuisine and sweets.

Swimming Crab Hamburger (“Saien”, Kinshachi Yokocho Muneharu Zone, next to Nagoya Castle, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture)

Located in the Muneharu Zone of the Kinshachi Yokocho shopping street, “Saien” is a café that is very particular about serving fresh seafood bought from the market each morning and organic vegetables. Available for either eat-in or take-out, the café’s amazing original Swimming Crab Hamburger contains one whole crab!

Kinshachi Yokocho’s omotenashi castTokugawa Yoshinao, Tokugawa Muneharu, and Ninja retainers

Lords of the Owari Domain, Tokugawa Yoshinao and Tokugawa Muneharu, have come to visit, accompanied by their Ninja retainers. Talk shows, dance performances, and omotenashi parades are held (irregular schedule).

Neighborhood guide

Tokugawa Art Museum and Tokugawa GardenView Samurai (samurai family) treasures

This art museum stores and displays numerous treasures passed down from the Owari-Tokugawa family. We also recommend taking a stroll in the adjacent feudal lord’s garden, the Tokugawa Garden.

Inuyama-Jokamachi Ikemen KacchyutaiInuyama Jokamachi-dori street [Aichi Prefecture/Inuyama City]

  • ◆Place: Inuyama Jokamachi dori Street
    An approx. 10-minute walk from the West Exit of Meitetsu Inuyama StationM
  • ◆Appearance times: irregular
    *Cast is mainly active in March through May and on Sundays in September through early December

See young warriors dressed in magnificent helmets and armor strutting around Inuyama Castle Town! In addition to presenting combat displays and other performances, they are also happy to pose for commemorative photographs. (*)

Neighborhood guide

Shiro to Machi Museum

Helmet and Armor Workshop (2F Showa-Yokocho, Inuyamajokamachi)

Here at this museum you can see an enormous, elaborate diorama recreating the area around Inuyama Castle during the Edo Period as well as precious artwork and handicrafts.

  • ◆Opening hours: 9:00–17:00 (entry closes at 16:30)

Neighborhood guide

Helmet and Armor Workshop (2F Showa-Yokocho, Inuyamajokamachi)Dress-up in Helmet and Armor!

  • ◆Adults 1,000 yen / Children 500 yen
  • ◆Operating hours: 10:30–16:00 (Saturdays and Sundays only)

Matsumoto Castle OmotenashitaiMatsumoto Castle, National Treasure of Japan [Nagano Prefecture/Matsumoto City]

  • ◆Place: Honmaru Gardens, Matsumoto Castle, National Treasure of Japan
    An approx. 20-minute walk from Matsumoto Station on the JR Shinonoi Line
  • ◆Appearance times: 8:30–16:00 daily
    *Times may change due to weather conditions.

Dressed in gorgeous period clothing, the Matsumoto Castle Hospitality Team welcomes visitors to Matsumoto Castle, which is designated as a National Treasure of Japan. This unique omotenashitai comprises military commanders, ninja, and princesses. Take photographs with the team!

Neighborhood guide

KenyuSamurai experience studio

Here at this studio you can dress-up as a Samurai and experience sword-fighting. You can also dress up in a helmet and armor or period clothing and take a stroll around town.

  • ◆Regular course (90 minutes) 5,000 yen *Other courses also available
  • ◆Opening hours: 10:30–17:00
     *Dress-up experience reception closes at 15:00.
  • ◆A 2-minute walk from Matsumoto Castle

Great Ieyasuko Aoi BushotaiOkazaki Castle[Aichi Prefecture/Okazaki City]

  • ◆Place: Okazaki Castle (Okazaki Park)
    An approx. 15-minute walk from Meitetsu Higashi-Okazaki Station
  • ◆Performance times: Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays
    Two performances daily at 11:00 and 14:00 (cancelled in the event of rain)
    Performances take place in the plaza in front of the Ieyasu and Mikawa Bushi Museum in Okazaki Park. On weekdays, the Aoi Bushotai can be found parading around the park.

Operating at Okazaki Castle, the place where Tokugawa Ieyasu was born, the Aoi Bushotai comprises the “Four Guardians of the Tokugawa” (Ii Naomasa, Honda Tadakatsu, Sakakibara Yasumasa, and Sakai Tadatsugu) who fought on behalf of Tokugawa Ieyasu and their retainers. Their “Great Combat Show”, in which members wave enormous flags and dance, is very popular.

Gifu Castle MoriagetaiGifu Castle[Gifu Prefecture/Gifu City]

  • ◆Place: Gifu Castle (top of Mt. Kinka)
    An approx. 15-minute bus ride from Meitetsu Gifu Station, then take the Mt. Kinka Ropeway to Gifu Castle
  • ◆Appearance times: Generally the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every (Performances are held at Mt. Kinka Ropeway Sanroku Station on the 3rd Sunday of every month. Please refer to the official website for details.)

This band of samurai warriors is led by military commander Saito Dosan, whose base was Gifu Castle. Members are glad to provide visitors with explanations of Gifu Castle or give directions for getting around Mt. Kinka.

Neighborhood guide

Seki Sword Tradition Museum

Swords are referred to as the soul of the Samurai. This museum displays various materials related to the sword production process and history.

  • ◆Opening hours: 9:00–16:30
    (Closed on Tuesdays and days immediately following a public holiday)
  • ◆Admission fees: Adults 300 yen / Elementary and Junior High School Students 100 yen
  • ◆Sword forging demonstration fees: Adults 300 yen / Elementary and Junior High School Students 100 yen
    *Sword forging demonstrations are held on the 1st Sunday of every month except January and October

Shinshu Ueda Omotenashi BushotaiUeda Castle[Nagano Prefecture/Ueda City]

  • ◆Place: Ueda Castle Park
    An approx. 12-minute walk from Hokuriku Shinkansen Ueda Station
  • ◆Appearance times: Daily
    very day: 10:00–, 15:00– [Omotenashi]
    Saturdays and Sundays 14:00– [Ueda Castle Outer Citadel Performance]
    Once a month 13:00–[Shinshu-Ueda Castle Impassioned Performance]

Known as the most skillful military leader of the Warring States Period, Sanada Yukimura was feared even by Tokugawa Ieyasu. Together with his faithful retainers known as the “Sanada Ten Braves”, he has been resurrected in the present day in the Shinshu Ueda Omotenashi Bushotai. Performed once a month, the full-cast show “Shinshu-Ueda Castle Impassioned Performance Chapter II: Friends Boldly Pushing Forward” is a true masterpiece!

Neighborhood guide

Ueda Hokkoku Kaido Yanagi-machi (Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture)

Approx. 8 minutes’ walk from Ueda Castle, this street is lined with houses dating from the days when it was part of the Old Hokkoku Kaido Highway. Today, the street is an Ueda Castle Town shopping district preserving the streetscape of the Edo Period, with the shops selling appealing Shinshu-Ueda specialty goods and brand products.