Granted, the Hotel Tado Onsen, in the Mie Prefecture town of Kuwana, is a particularly nice hotel, enough so to earn three Michelin guide stars. But while there’s plenty of contemporary luxury to be enjoyed, on our visit we spent most of our time in the hotel’s banquet and meeting rooms, three of which house an amazing assortment of authentic samurai equipment.
To reiterate, these aren’t modern replicas. For example, sitting in one glass case is the armor of Honda Tadakatsu, a famed 16th-century warrior renowned as one of the Tokugawa Four Heavenly Kings, including his famous horned helmet that he’s seen wearing in his centuries-old portrait.
But what really captured our attention are the stunning racks of katana, tachi, and other beautiful blades.
While some people might be under the mistaken impression that if you’ve seen one Japanese sword you’ve seen them all, being able to compare so many masterpieces in the same place, and without museum crowds subtly pressuring you to move along, you can really start to appreciate the distinguishing characteristics for different swordsmiths and historical periods.
Learn more about Japanese swords and how to distinguish their different parts by visiting SoraNews24 below.