Visiting a Katana Swordsmith

Visiting a Katana Swordsmith

Today, I had the opportunity to partake in some rare experiences.

There is a katana swordsmith deep in the mountains of Kumano, who offers tours of his workplace and shares his knowledge about the katana making process. This tour is said to be quite rare and we weren’t sure if we could participate until the day before.

Furthermore, I also got to stay in a 60 year old traditional Japanese countryside home, fully renovated into a huge accommodation. Staying here was also a rare, unique experience and somewhere that I normally wouldn’t be able to experience.

Today is a day full of rare opportunities to learn and experience Japanese tradition and I was more than ready to start the day.

As I mentioned earlier, this tour was quite rare and we weren’t sure if we would be able to participate or not, but I’m glad that things worked out in the end. Interestingly enough, this tour has gained popularity among middle schools due to the trending Kimetsu no Yaiba (Demon Slayer) phase.

<Swordssmith>【Kenichiro Sumiya】
・After graduating from high school.Trained in a swordsmith workshop 
in Nara prefecture fou three and a half years
・2010 Moved to Yunotani,Isato Town,Kumano City,thehome of my grandmother
・Build your own training ground
・Studied under a blacksmith in Shingu City,Wakayama Prefecture for two years while
 Building a smithy
・Received approval for sword production from the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2012
・It will be the first swordsmith in 14years in Mie prefecture.

The Demon’s Castle

The Demon’s Castle
Speaking of Kimetsu no Yaiba, on the way back from Kumano, we stopped by a place called Onigajo aka the Demon’s Castle.

Onigajo is right off the coast of Kumano and it’s this strange rock formation, shaped by nothing but natural geological weathering. The designs are interesting yet creepy and it really does look as if a demon would live here.

Onigajo stretches along the coastline for 1.2 km and there is a pathway that stretches out on the outer coast which you can take from one end to the other.

Due to it’s unusual and rare shape, Onigajo is part of the UNESCO World Heritage sacred sites and it’s definitely an interesting experience!

Staying the night at Kihoku

Staying the night at Kihoku
For the past 2 nights I stayed at a traditional Japanese home called the Yugakutei. This is a unique accommodation at a 60 year old traditional countryside home that’s been newly renovated.

There’s over 20 rooms, 5 bathrooms, and way more kitchen sinks than necessary. There’s also an onsen bathtub and an outdoor bath as well. Supposedly this home was built by a famous architect and each piece of wood was selected by the type of tree in order to fit its purpose and aesthetic.

Some rooms are used as bedrooms while otherrooms are used as living rooms. Upstairs, there were also exhibitional roomswhich had wall paintings and delicate decorations displayed. The level ofdetail in this home was incredible and it felt like both a blessing and weirdto stay at this home made for 20 people, by myself.


Nevertheless, I felt nothing but gratitude tohave an experience like this.



We drove deep in the mountains of Kumano to learn about how the sharpest sword in the world, the katana, is actually made and its progression over time. In addition to that, I got to stay at a 60 year old traditional home with one of the most intricate designs I’ve ever seen in an accommodation.

Today, I got to fully experience two different aspects of Japanese tradition and culture. Tomorrow is the final day of my time in Mie and I’ll be taking on a completely different experience as I explore the beautiful, untouched coast of Kihoku!


Kumano City Tourist Information Corporation




【ONIGAJO Center】



Kihoku Town Tourism Association

Tourist attractions covered by this article