What can you do if you want to have a sword in your hand and see it closely? Visit antique shops! Some of antique shops in Tokyo are dedicated to Japanese swords, armors, and other related parts. If you behave politely and ask the shop, they might let you take swords out from the show case. And most of antique shops also have scabbard and other related parts, which will be very interesting to see.
Pros of visiting antique shops is that it is easy and free. You can just go and drop in. Cons of antique shops are, however, that not all the swords in the shops are good quality. Today most of precious or important antique swords has owners. And if any of those important swords comes out in the market, they are usually sold privately or museums will buy them. Also, you will have to bring a translator if you want to communicate with the staffs and learn about Japanese swords.
And you have the third option. Visit sword smith’s workshop. You can see not only swords he made but also his works in action. Koi Travel offers sword smith visit and this is definitely once-in-a-life experience. Got interested? Please inquire us!