The Renovation of Japan's Oldest Wooden Courthouse...
Try On Samurai Armour And Ninja Clothes At Sasayama Castle Oshoin
Become a Respected Samurai For a Day!
Did you know that the symbol of Sasayama City, Sasayama Castle, was built in order to conquer the famous Osaka Castle? Sadly, the original castle disappeared in the flames of a great fire in 1944, but thanks to the passionate, loving, and protective citizens of Sasayama city, it came back to life as Oshoin in 2000.
At Sasayama Castle Oshoin, you can try on samurai armour hand-made to depict the armour that some of the greatest samurai warriors of the Sengoku Period (from the latter half of the 15th century until the beginning of the 17th century) wore themselves. You might have heard of some of them – Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Sanada Yukimura (Sanada Nobushige), Date Masamune, and others. However, if you are interested in the intriguing world of ninjas, the well-known spies who operated even before that period, you can choose to become one yourself by trying on some of their outfits (trying on both samurai armour and ninja outfit, is admission fee required).
The armour made from special, very thick paper, is the handcraft of an armour-artisan, Mr. Teruo Tokimoto. He gives his armour the glossy finish by applying some paint and furnishing on the thick paper, and uses plastic, fabric, and other materials, to make his work look like real armour as much as possible.
Which Path Will You Choose, Ninja’s or Samurai’s?
This armour won’t lose to any other real one from the past – it even has the leg (femur) 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. Feel free to choose the armour that appeals to your samurai heart the most, by looking at the special crest located on the front part of the helmet – that is the stag beetle (kuwagata in Japanese), an important symbol of that samurai’s power and authority.
On the other hand, the ninja’s outfit is an empowered version of the work uniform, modified to fit the ninja’s “job description” – that is collecting information and similar operations that have to be done in the stealth mode. Don’t you want to see what it’s like to do important work and activities dressed so that nobody could see you, or so that you could easily get away (if, by any chance, somebody did see you, and he or she shouldn’t have)?
And don’t forget to take your commemorative photo, just to make sure you have evidence that you actually were a ninja (or a samurai) for a day!
Place: 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 armour trying-on fee: adult wear 1000 yen; child wear 500 yen
Ninja outfit trying-on fee: 500 yen
*The fee for trying on armour or outfits varies during the events.
Event Held on: every Saturday and Sunday, and holidays; from 10:00 until 15:00
*Reservation (priority) system (possible reservation on the day of the event); the trying-on event lasts for about 30 minutes.
*Please mind that the events might not be held due to venue circumstances, so it is advised to double-check beforehand.