Written By: Coco Yancey
Edited By: Marrista K. Stubbs
I’m a pretty simple gal. Travel and Japanese culture bring pure joy into my life. On our fall trip to Japan last year, I got the chance to join these loves and have a once in a lifetime experience: To hold a traditional and historic Japanese sword.
It was completely unexpected and amazing.
The day started off with us taking a trip to Osaka Castle. We got there just in time for the last tour (they close a bit early, so keep that in mind!) and still had some time left before the grounds closed. While contemplating what to do next, Marrista remembered that there was a building next door. There were different signs for various stores, restaurants, and events inside. That was our next adventure.
Upon entering we noticed that a lot of things were closed down, due to hours and seasonal availability. One of the many reasons it’s always a good idea to check ahead for activities and events. I then noticed a cute little ninja shop down the corridor that was, surprisingly, still open. It had an inviting ninja statue at the front door that I had to take an obligatory tourist photo with. Of course, after that, we took a look around the shop.
The Shinobi-ya gift shop has a plethora of ninja and samurai memorabilia and souvenirs. Though most items were overpriced there were a few things that were reasonable. One of these was in the corner of the shop; a ninja star throwing game that was fun to try. We even got a prize for participating!
Making our way to the back we both saw an arrangement of different swords in elegant scabbards. Soon arrived an employee who asked me something that caught me off guard. “Do you want to hold one?” He said. I thought he must be kidding.
He wasn’t thankfully.
He asked which one I wanted to hold. The green one was my choice as it’s my favorite color and it just looked the coolest to me. Marrista filmed my reaction before picking one out to hold herself:
The employee also told us about more of the history of the swords with interesting facts and details. Most of the displays belonged to famous generals and one sword is even said to be able to cut through boulders (just like in Demon Slayer!). After we both geeked out, we thanked the employee and headed off. Despite being disappointed at how many things were closed, we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
If you’re ever in Osaka, be sure to check out the Shinobi-ya gift shop in the Miraiza building! If you want to know more about what Osaka Castle has to offer, you can click here!