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Published on 04.27.2016
Whether you are an Anime-lover looking for Rurouni Kenshin’s reverse-blade sword, or a Ninja cosplayer looking for some authentic shuriken weapons, you will find exactly what you need at Sankaido. Located right in front of the Great Buddha in the temple city of Kamakura, Sankaido is a retro-style souvenir shop specialized in selling a vast range of sword replicas, weapons, as well as other traditional Japanese gift items. Though the store’s website and its outward appearance give rather “otaku” kind of impressions for first-timers, Sankaido welcomes anyone who wish to see and touch the beauty of Japanese craftsmanship.
Once stepping into the store, one will be overwhelmed by the countless number of displays of Japanese swords and weapons. In fact, Sankaido not only sells Japanese swords, but also western swords, and even ones used by anime characters. Despite being replicas, most of the swords sold at Sankaido follow the same production process as originals, and use similar or the same materials reproduce the craftsmanship, weights, lengths, and curves of the authentic swords.
The store has more than a hundred years of history. Originally, Sankaido was an antique shop, mainly selling crocks and sculptures at the store which was then located inside the temple grounds. Due to the Great Kanto earthquake that hit Tokyo and eastern Japan in 1923, the original store was ruined. Sankaido was then relocated to its current location, and eventually blossomed into a unique souvenir shop, which now attracts visitors from around the world. Though getting to the shop requires a bus ride from Kamakura station, a number of celebrities, including the U.S. President Barack Obama, have paid it visits to enjoy the beauty of Japanese artistry.
Besides swords and weapons, Sankaido offers other Japanese-style gift items, including Yosegi-zaiku, a traditional Japanese parquetry box, Japanese dolls, or hachimaki headband featuring different Chinese characters. Visitors can also look up Sankaido’s homepage to check the store’s stock list, or to see availability and price of desired items.
If you have extra time before or after shopping at Sankaido, do not miss visiting the 11 meter-tall Great Buddha statue, one of the two largest pre-modern bronze Buddha in Japan, sitting within the precincts of Kotoku-in Temple.
Address: 4-2-26 Hase Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa, 248-0016
Transportation: Take local bus from Kamakura station. Get off at “Daibutsu-mae” bus stop. The store is right in front of the bus stop.
Opening hours: 9:40 – 17:30 (approximate). Open 7 days a week.
For more info: http://kamakura-sankaido.jp (Sankaido official homepage. Available only in Japanese)
Read more from Tomoko Kamishima: http://japantravel.com/author/tomoko.kamishima/profile
Source: Japan Travel