Monday, March 12, 2007

The Last Samurai

Want to be the Last Samurai? Here is how ...
Ever wonder what does it take to be the last samurai in Japan?
Let me tell you how to be one ... :)

First, you need to fly in Kansai International Airport (KIX). At KIX, get yourself a 3-day Kansai Passport for 5000Yen and board yourself on a train to Nara. Before equipped yourself with a samurai sword, why not enjoy a really good Katsu at 玩固 restaurant near Kintetsu Nara Station.

1st: Get a Katana near Nandaimon Gate
Next, casually walk towards Nara park and look for Nandaimon Gate, the entrance to the famous Todaiji Temple. In front of the gate, there is a row of souvenir shops and usally there is a lot of deers waiting for you to feed their with special deer biscuit. :) This is where you can get really good bargain for an awesome katana (Samurai Sword). The Katana can range from 2000-7000Yen. It is a good deal because for a similar sword, you will need to pay at least 2x in Tokyo or Osaka. Below are photos of my Katana that I got for 2950Yen. Wonder how I manage to get it in? I have a very funny story to tell ... but cannot post it here. Write me an email and I will tell you.. ;)

Why not check out my Nara posting to see more photos of Todaiji Temple and of course the Nara deers? Go to

What is next after getting a Katana? Of course it is getting yourself the Samurai Costume. My recommendation is in the famous Kiyomizuzaka, Kyoto. Board a train to Kyoto from Nara where you should probably spend a night after a tiring trip in Nara.

2nd: Get Samurai Costume at Kiyomizuzaka, Kyoto
The next morning, let's stroll along Kiyomizu-zaka, the old Higashiyama street filled mesmerizing view of packed Japanese shops, that leads you to the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple. While you are busy picking for a nice Japanese costume, why not get yourself to munch on famous Kyoto mua-chi (glutinous rice ball) too. Besides Japanese costume, among other souvenirs offered here are Japanese fan, paintings, postcards, key-chains and most importantly an exquisite choice of Japanese pottery.

From Kiyomizu-dera Temple, why not make a pleasant walking tour towards Nanzenji Temple. If you have not gained sufficient Zen wisdom, why not walk The Path of Philosophy (Tetsugaku-n0-michi) along the old Kyoto Canal with occasion visits to famous temples like Nyakuoji Shrine, Anrakuji Temple, Ginkakuji Temple.

To check out places of interest in Kyoto, why not check out my previous entry:

3rd: Receive Samurai Training at Mt Shosha Temples, Himeji
Now that you are ready for Samurai training, you have to enroll yourself to the place where Tom Cruise received his training at Mt Shosha Temple, Himeji. From Kyoto, board on a train to Osaka Umeda station and then Sanyo line to Himeji. From Himeji city, take a local bus to the foothill of Mt Shosha.

To show your sincerity to the samurai master, you should probably consider hiking up the 800m Mt Shosha.

Luckily in modern day, we have ropeway to Mt Shosha at 900Yen for both ways.

Finally, the real Samurai
After you have gained your swordmanship from the best of the best samurai, why not challenge the Himeji Shogun . The prize awaiting you is the beautiful Himeji Castle with magnifient view of Himeji city. To see the beautiful Himeji Castle, why not visit

Come together with your reign on Himeji is an unsung legend that would not complete if there is no manga character for it. And guess what....

My talented fellow blogger friend, Velverse, has specially designed a manga character for you!!! May I present the Last Samurai (Manga version) ....

By the way, Velverse maintains very good blog site ( which is full of fantastic movie reviews, beautiful artworks and excellent food guide around KL.

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