The Official Okuizumo Travel Guide*



The source of the katana-fascination by Gregor Lanz

Gregor Lanz from Germany, who visited us last summer, wrote this informative article about Okuizumo.

The source of the katana-fascination by Gregor Lanz

What brings you to Japan? If only one of the reasons is the Samurai and their famous katana-swords then Okuizumo is the place to visit! I just luckily found out about this place, because you don´t find it in any travel book – big thanks to my Guest-house host in Matsue. 😊

Okuizmo is the only place in Japan, where a few craftsmen still produce tamahagane – the only metal real katanas are made of and therefore the source of all fascination!

So despite my really tight travel schedule I got on the (scenic) train and made my way to this hidden treasure. Unfortunately, I was only able to go on a Sunday so I had low expectations to get any information in English. I made my way to the Museum and was already doubting my decision to spend a whole day on this trip. The moment I enter the museum, the lady behind the desk in on the phone, so I just wanted to wait until she finished, when she just handed me the phone. And that´s when all the magic happened. It´s Sameera-san, who is running the local tourist information telling me that he´s going to be at the museum in 30 min. to show me around! On his only free day! Wow!

I´ve been spontaneously writing an e-mail to Sameera on Saturday and he immediately replied – but I would have never hoped that we would actually really meet. And it´s getting better and better. Not only was Sameera able to answer all of my questions regarding this myth and craftsmanship of making tamahagane, but he also showed me around by car – explaining how Okuizmo is very suitable for making tamahagane because there are rich iron sands and plenty of suitable trees for the whole process. The wonderful scenery was very impressive and having such a nice guide was just amazing! To make the day even more perfect we went to another family-run museum of one of the former samurai. The location is what everyone looks for in Japan – beautiful traditional building – a Japanese Garden. And on top of it all, a small café where I had my first real Matcha-tea – delicious! And then just around the corner is this beautiful nature where we took a short walk, but where you can actually really find nice hiking trails – I just fell in love with this place!

Dear Sameera – thank you so much for making this one of my best days in Japan and showing me what Japan is all about: kindness, tradition, and spirit!
Just one question left on my mind that no one was able to answer so far: Why does nobody know about this place and why are there no crowds of tourists!?


The Official Okuizumo Travel Guide

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