Learn about the history of the Japanese sword in Okayama

Bizen Osafune Sword Village

setocuhi city, okayama prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photographer | Takuma Kimura


An educational facility which promotes the ancient art of sword making and the history around it, visitors can watch master craftspeople at work in this fully functional community. The word village” is very appropriate in the case of this facility as the there are resident artisans, each with their own workspace, which lends a lived in feeling to the whole environment. Chatting with them and asking questions is half the fun. You are free to enter this area and have a look at the projects that they are working on.

The museum holds regular events where food and drink are on offer. During these occasions there is a real festival atmosphere. There are tables set up and people from all over just seem to enjoy being there.

There are workshops that can be attended with advanced reservation. One example is a sword cleaning and maintenance seminar, where participants are given an introduction to this crucial art. The thinking behind it is that the sword is a vital part of Japanese living culture and the knowledge of how to preserve them must be passed on to the next generation.

Exhibitions are changed with regularity. The museum has done a great job showing the connection that the sword has to the contemporary world. In the entertainment industry, swords and metal fighting instruments of all shapes and sizes bring excitement to television and the big screen. This extends beyond the Japanese sword into the most exotic blades imaginable. In fact, the museum’s swordsmiths have actually crafted such weapons.

The true stars of the Bizen Osafune Sword Museum and Village are the ancient swords that have brought their beauty and legacy to the present for a new generation to enjoy.

Access: Take the JR Ako Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Osafune Station. It is about a 5-10 minute taxi ride from JR Osafune Station.



Setouchi City is comprised of the former towns of Oku, Osafune and Ushimado. In 2004 they merged to form a marvelous city with a Mediterranean flair that sits on the Seto Inland Sea.

Oku is a rural district where agriculture is alive and well. Mushroom and oyster farming are two important industries. The Taisho era painter Yumeji Takehisa’s birthplace is in the Oku region of Setouchi City. The artist’s home has been perfectly preserved for visitors to inspect the intricacies of his fascinating life.

The landscape of the area is comprised of rolling hills and meandering streams, and is representative of the traditional Japanese countryside. Osafune also has the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum and learning center which allows visitors to experience the sword making process first hand.

The Ushimado region of Setouchi City is famous for its yacht harbor and beaches. The Olive Garden is a nice spot to take in the view of the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, including Maejima and Shodoshima. There is no shortage of places to stay in Ushimado, from the luxurious Hotel Limani to the numerous “Bed and Breakfasts”.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee