Become a Noble Samurai for a Day at Sasayama Castle
Did you know that Sasayama Castle, the symbol of Tamba-Sasayama, was built in order to conquer Osaka Castle? The original castle was destroyed by fires in 1944, but the Oshoin building of the castle was rebuilt in 2000 due to active local efforts.
At Sasayama Castle Oshoin, you can try on a samurai armor made to resemble closely the armor worn by some of the greatest samurai warriors of the Sengoku Period (latter half of the 15th century - beginning of the 17th century). You might have heard of some of them: Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Sanada Yukimura (Sanada Nobushige), and Date Masamune.
However, if you are interested in the intriguing world of ninjas, the spies who operated before samurai were around, you can choose to become one yourself by trying on some of their outfits. If you wish to try on both the samurai armor and a ninja outfit, please note that an additional fee is required.
The armor, made from special thick paper, is the handcraft of an armor-artisan, Mr. Teruo Tokimoto. He gives the armor a glossy finish, and takes care to use plastic, fabric, and other materials to make his work look like real armor as much as possible.
Which Path Will You Choose? Become a Ninja or Samurai!
This armor at Sasayama Castle is very authentic. It even has a leg shield ("haidate" in Japanese), as well the shielding part that goes over the lower leg (shin; sunedate in Japanese), to both protect the brave warrior and make him or her feel like a proper samurai ready for battle.
Choose the armor that appeals to your samurai heart the most. Look at the special crest found on the front part of the helmet: this is the stag beetle (kuwagata in Japanese), an important symbol of the samurai’s rank and authority.
The ninja outfit is like an upgraded version of a typical work uniform, modified to fit the ninja’s jobs, which must be done stealthily. Put it on to feel what it’s like to do everything like a quiet, clever ninja.
Don’t forget to take a commemorative photo to remember your day of fun as a samurai or ninja.
Sasayama Castle Oshoin
Address: Hyogo, Sasayama, Kitashinmachi 2-3 Sasayama Castle Oshoin
Phone number: 079-552-4500
Website: http://www.withsasayama.jp/REKIBUN/osyoin_top.htm (Japanese)
Access: get off at Sasayama-guchi Station of JR Fukuchiyama Line, then ride the Shinki Green Bus bound for Sasayama, get off at Nikaimachi bus stop, and walk for about 5 minutes.
Price: adults 400 yen; high school students and university students 200 yen; elementary school students and junior high school students 100 yen.
Samurai armor fee: adult wear 1,000 yen; child wear 500 yen.
Ninja outfit fee: 500 yen.
*The fee for trying on armor or outfits varies during the events.
Event dates: every Saturday, Sunday, and national holidays from 10:00 until 15:00.
*Reservation system (*booking is possible on the day of the event): the experience of wearing armor or outfit lasts for about 30 minutes.
*Please note that the events might not be held when the venue is used for other events, so it is advised to double-check beforehand.