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Sword Shops in Japan: Our Top 15 Picks for 2024

Written By: David Mickov
Published On: January 16, 2024
Edited by: Juliana Cummings

NO AI USED This Article has been written and edited by our team with no help of the AI

Sword shops in Japan are establishments that offer authentic Japanese swords. For those eager to embark on a samurai journey with a genuine traditional blade, these establishments provide a deep, tangible connection to feudal Japan.

During my stay in Tokyo, I realized my childhood dream of holding an authentic samurai katana once wielded by Japanese warriors. This led me on a journey of gathering extensive information on the art of authentic Japanese swords through some of the finest museums and sword shops.

Join us as we unveil the top 15 sword shops in Japan!

**This list will be regularly updated as we continue to discover new places and expand our research through purchasing and assessing new swords.**

Antique sword shops in Japan are required to have a second hand goods dealer’s license known as kobutsusho.
Specialty sword establishments are recommended over antique stores as they tend to be more knowledgeable.
Authentic Japanese swords come with a certificate of authenticity from NBTHK (Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai).

Legitimate Antique Sword Shops

Licence for Selling Japanese Swords
A second hand dealer’s sign often visible upon entering the store – Credits: Touken World

In Japan, the market for used goods is very popular, ranging from clothes, home appliances, cars, and more. However, these businesses are required to obtain a “second hand goods dealer’s license”. Known as kobutsusho, this license covers the retail of items that were owned or used. 

This license also applies to antique sword dealers in Japan, giving them the authority to sell antique Japanese swords. For this reason, this sign is often displayed where it is easily visible in the store and even on websites. 

When visiting a shop with antique Japanese swords, be sure to look out for this sign or ask about their license as it protects the seller, buyer, and helps resolve any potential issues of stolen items.  

Specialty Sword Shops

Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai Sword Authenticity
Paperwork confirming the authenticity of a nihonto – Credits: Nihonto

It is best to first visit specialty Japanese sword shops before antique stores as they might be much more knowledgeable regarding swords. Here, you will often find useful advice and unique historical facts or information from expert staff.

For specialty shops with sword appraisers, these individuals are required to meet specific criteria before they are allowed to join the National Sword Dealer Cooperative Association. 

Regardless of when they were produced, Japanese swords are only considered authentic if forged using traditional methods and come with NBTHK (Nihon Bijutsu Token Hozon Kyokai) paperwork, confirming their quality and authenticity. 

Note that there is no ranking system in the following list of specialty sword shops. All establishments are distinguished based on their extent of blade collection, service, knowledge, reviews, and our personal experiences during our visit.  

1. Sokendo (霜剣堂 原宿店)

Sokendo Shop Location
Japanese sword shop Sokendo’s Storefront – Credits: shin s

Sokendo is one of Tokyo’s most popular sword shops, often featured in Japanese katana documentaries as well as armor presentations. Specializing in historical high-carbon tamahagane steel swords, you can obtain your very own family nihonto that can be passed down through generations.

They have a fairly large collection of blades ranging from the Heian (794 – 1185) to Edo Period (1603 -1868). Here, you can get a close look at sword koshirae (fittings) as well as unique armor pieces.

  • Location: 6-28-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
  • Contact: 03-3499-8080
  • Business Hours: 10:00-19:00
  • Official Site: http://www.sokendo.jp/ 

Sokendo Imperial Store (霜剣堂 帝国ホテル店)

Sokendo Imperial Hotel Shop Location
Sokendo inside the Imperial Hotel – Credits: katana_case_shi_shop

The other Sokendo branch is located in a more strategic location inside the Imperial Hotel. It offers a wide selection of swords, such as small tanto, highly curved tachi, traditional uchi-gatana, and a variety of intricate fittings like elaborate tsuba (guards) and more.

Due to the store’s location and size, the layout is more compact. However, it is the more popular branch due to its opening hours which includes even some main holidays.

  • Location: 1-1-1 Uchisaiwaicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0011 Imperial Hotel Main Building B1F
  • Contact: 03-6268-8899
  • Business Hours: 10:00-19:00
  • Official Site: http://www.sokendo.jp/ 

2. Ginza Seikodo (銀座 盛光堂)

Ginza Seikodo Shop Location
Ginza Seikodo entrance – Credits: Y-uchi

Ginza Seikodo is a very popular samurai sword shop worldwide established in 1905. Their pieces are often seen as works of art with exceptional detail and come with NBTHK certification. 

With their extensive range, you’ll see a plethora of wakizashi, tanto, katana, and daisho sets. Their offerings include Sengoku-Jidai (1467-1615) war armor with authentic Japanese swords where you can get a feel of the cutting edge that the samurai used to cause damage. 

  • Location: Seikodo Building, 8-11-14 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
  • Contact: Tel :03-3569-2251; Fax: 03-3573-1665
  • Business Hours: Monday-Friday 10-18:00; Saturday 11-17:00
  • Official Site: http://www.ginzaseikodo.com/ 

3. Yamashiroya (古美術・刀剣 山城屋)

Yamashiroya Shop Location
Yamashiroya Storefront – Credits: Yamashiroya

Yamashiroya Sword Shop offers different types of samurai armor and weapons from each era. Besides popular Japanese swords, larger yari spears, naginata polearms, and many types of rifles used in warfare, they also have an extensive selection of koshirae (fittings) that are carefully displayed with great attention to detail. Additionally, they are a great option for those looking for Japanese swords that can be used for training in kenjutsu.

  • Location: 1-21-8 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0002
  • Contact: Tel: 03-3942-2701; Fax: 03-6657-4221
  • Business Hours: Weekdays 11-18:00; Saturdays 11-17:00
  • Official Site: https://www.yamasiroya.com/ 

4. Seiyudo (銀座 誠友堂)

Japanese Sword and Armor Seiyudo Shop Location
The new location of Japanese Sword and Armor – Seiyudo – Credits: Seiyudo

Ginza Seiyudo is one of the best places to visit a museum-like shop with an extensive collection of real swords, at times with more than 200 high quality blades available. Here, you can also expect to see Japanese armor dating all the way back to the Muromachi Period (1336-1573).

Inside, there are many tables and chairs where staff present each sword while explaining features such as the hamon (temper line), saya (scabbards), and the style of craftsmanship clearly. Most of their swords come with NBTHK and Tokubetsu Hozon papers.

  • Location: 2nd floor, Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan, 2-10-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 109-0006
  • Contact: 03-3558-8001
  • Business Hours: 10-13:00; 14-19:00
  • Official Site: https://www.seiyudo.com/ 

5. Iida Koendo (飯田高遠堂)

Iida Koendo Shop Location
Iida Koendo entrance in Japan – Credits: Iida Koendo

Iida Koendo is a historical dealer with more than 120 years of experience. They offer high-quality samurai swords including the katana, wakizashi, tanto, tachi, as well as many different types of armor.

They also purchase rare Japanese swords and perform sword appraisals. Other services include traditional sharpening services, hazuya polishing methods, and producing high-quality shirasaya upon request.

  • Location: 3-17-33 Shimoai, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 161-0033
  • Contact: Tel: 03-3951-3312; Fax: 03-3951-3615
  • Business Hours: 10-17:30
  • Official Site: http://iidakoendo.com/ 

6. Katana-Hattori (服部美術店)

Katana Hattori Shop Location
Katana Hattori entrance – Credits: Touken World

Katana Hattori has been a sword shop and distributor since the early Meiji Era (1868-1912). They offer a wide selection ranging from uchi-gatana, katana, wakizashi, tanto, tachi, and naginata. Sword fittings such as the tsuba (guard), menuki (handle accessories), tsuka-ito (silk cord), and habaki (blade collar) are displayed separately.

For enthusiasts who want to learn more about Japanese swords, Katana Hattori is a great choice as they offer a wide selection of books that include topics like the ninja, Japanese swordsmiths and their carbon steel crafting processes, and many more.

  • Location: Deco Tokyo 2F, 3-5-12 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0027
  • Contact: Tel: 03-3274-5170; Fax: 03-3274-5170
  • Business Hours: 11-18:30
  • Official Site: http://www.katana-hattori.com/ 

7. Ginza Maruhide (銀座 丸英)

Ginza Maruhide Shop Location
Ginza Maruhide entrance – Credits: Ginza Maruhide

Ginza Maruhide is a sword dealer that specializes in buying and selling different types of Japanese swords from all over Japan. Their display shelves usually showcase more than 50 swords and the different types of armor.

Each sword is certified and for those interested, they offer a close inspection of some of their blades. They also offer appraisal services as well as sales consultation of swords and other antiques.

  • Location: 1F Tomono Building, 7-13-22 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
  • Contact: Tel: 03-6264-0739; Fax: 03-6278-7089
  • Business Hours: Monday-Friday 10-18:00; Saturday 11-17:00
  • Official Site: https://ginzamaruhide.com/ 

8. Maruhide Touken (丸英刀剣)

Maruhide Touken Shop Location
Maruhide Touken entrance in Oyama – Credits: Maruhide Touken

Marahide Touken has been around since the 1950s and specializes in various Japanese swords, armor, accessories, and traditional artwork. Due to their exceptional knowledge and service, they have received many consultations for appraisal or inquiries on the prices of their swords.

They carry many certified swords and other traditional weapons such as samurai bows. They are especially renowned for their collaboration with countries outside Japan such as the UK, USA, China, Russia, Italy, and more.

  • Location: 3-7-30 Otome, Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture 329-0214
  • Contact: Tel: 0285-45-0158; Fax: 0285-45-8596
  • Business Hours: 10:00-18:00
  • Official Site: https://maruhidetouken.com/ 
Samurai Gallery Shop Location
Entrance to the Samurai Gallery – Credits:  Home Research

True to its name, the Samurai Gallery offers many different types of armor, weaponry, as well as daily accessories used by the samurai. Their sword collection includes short swords like wakizashi to larger blades like o-katana. Great for those seeking blades with unique zukuri (blade profile) or ancient straight swords, their swords tell stories from all over Japan.

Some of their daisho sets come with an armor set as well as a rifle, making it perfect for traditional and authentic cosplay. 

  • Location: 3-7-30 Otome, Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture 329-0214
  • Contact: 03-3252-7844
  • Business Hours: 10:00-18:00
  • Official Site: http://samuraigallery.com/ 

10. Japan Sword Co (日本刀剣)

Japanese Sword Co Shop Location
The entrance to the Japan Sword Co – Credits: La Ruta Del Samurai

The Japan Sword Co was founded during the Meiji Era around the year 1900. One of the most popular Japanese sword markets in and outside Japan, they have a vast selection of blades ranging from the smaller tanto to the iconic katana. Besides certified blades, unsharpened replicas such as iaito for Iaido training are also available.

They also have a considerable armor selection that ranges from samurai protective gear to even their undergarments. A good source for either information or legends such as those of Musashi Miyamoto, Japan Sword Co is ideal for anyone wanting to learn more about the samurai.

  • Location: 3-8-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-0001 Japan
  • Contact: 03-3434-4321
  • Business Hours: 09:30-18:00
  • Official Site: http://www.japansword.co.jp/ 

11. Tozando (武)

Tozando Shop Location
The entrance to Tozando in Kyoto – Credits: Tozando

Tozando is another famous establishment in Kyoto, the previous capital of Japan. Known for the biggest selection of different Japanese swords, they also feature authentic antiques like wooden tools used in Japanese sword martial arts.

Its selection of real swords includes daisho sets with a tanto, wakizashi and katana, to lesser known blades such as warabiteto or wanto, as well as straight-bladed tachi. For those interested, explanations of sword history, care and maintenance, and directions on sword use are also available.

  • Location: 451-1 Shinhakusuimaru-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-8205 Japan / 24 Entomi-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8323 Japan
  • Contact: 81-7-5384-1768
  • Business Hours: Monday-Friday 09:00-18:00 
  • Official Site: https://tozandoshop.com/pages/japanese-swords 

12. Samurai Museum (について)

Samurai Museum Shop Location
The entrance to the Samurai Museum – Credits: Uncover Japan

If you ever want to visit a museum where you can learn about the history of the samurai and their weaponry while being able to obtain some of the items, the Samurai Museum comes highly recommended. 

They offer thorough information about the samurai with the option of purchasing different swords, samurai accessories, koshirae, as well as art. Besides their real tamahagane blades that come with a certificate of authenticity, you can also find authentic samurai armor, affordable replicas, and iaito swords for training.

  • Location: Eiwa 6 building 1F 2-25-6 Kabukicho Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0021,Japan
  • Contact: 3-6457-6411
  • Business Hours: 10:30 – 21:00
  • Official Site: https://www.samuraimuseum.jp/shop/ 

13. Aoi Art (日本刀販売の葵美術)

AoI Sword Shop Location
The entrance to the Aoi Art Sword Shop in Tokyo, Japan – Credits: Google Maps

The Aoi Art shop is home to many antique Japanese swords from multiple historical periods. While their online selection might not be the greatest at the moment, their shop is filled with a much wider selection of swords that often come with a certificate of authenticity.

Note that a visit to the Aoi Art shop may require a prior reservation. This can be done by visiting their website and selecting the items that you would want to examine. However, this is limited to only three items a day. 

  • Location: 1-54-6 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-0053 Japan
  • Contact: 3-3375-5553
  • Business Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
  • Official Site: https://www.aoijapan.com/ 

14. Samurai Store (サムライストア)

Samurai Store Shop Location
The entrance to the Samurai Store in Tokyo, Japan – Credits: Google Maps

One of Tokyo’s renowned sword shops, the Samurai Store offers handcrafted products and items, various types of samurai armor, small statues and collectibles, and tamahagane swords such as the tanto, wakizashi, and katana that come with a certificate of authenticity. 

While the Samurai Store is located in Tokyo, they also have other stores and partners in other locations including the Yokohama Katana Store and Armory gallery Tokyo. To visit, an appointment must be made in advance. 

  • Location: 6-10-4 Jingumae, Bldgs 2F, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001; 2 Yamaschitacho Bldg. 2F, Naka-ku, Yokohama, 231-0023 Japan
  • Contact: 81-45-662-1606
  • Business Hours: 11:00-19:00
  • Official Site: https://samuraistore.com/collections/katana 

15. Tokyo Nihonto

Tokyo Nihonto Online Shop Location
The online katana market known as “Tokyo Nihonto” – Credits: Tokyo Nihonto

Tokyo Nihonto is a Japanese market that mostly offers its swords and services online. Here, you can find tanto, wakizashi, and katana forged from tamahagane with a certificate of authenticity.  

Besides offering swords that are already available, they also accept custom orders for shinsakuto (newly made swords) and koshirae (fittings). They can also help you look for a specific sword in Japan and restore antique blades.

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