November 1, 2020
If you are a big fan of traditional Japanese swords or samurai armors and have been to Tokyo, you may have already visited the Tokyo National Museum (Ueno) or the Japanese Sword Museum (Ryogoku, both in Tokyo).
But what should you do if you have an urge to get one for yourself and bring it back to your home country? Is it possible at all? Well,
the answer is yes!
There is an ideal place to purchase your OWN katana sword in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, called “
Token Sugita(刀剣杉田)”. The oldest swords they sell are from the 1200’s and each piece comes with a letter of authenticity. Let’s take a sneak peek inside Token Sugita, a shop loved by ultimate katana lovers around the world!
The shop is located a short walk from APA Hotel Ikebukuro-eki Kitaguchi
Around 70 kinds of swords are displayed
passed down through history for over 800 years!
The swords you see in museums as well as those sold at Token Sugita were not actually used for battles, but are ornamental items that have been passed down from generation to generation within families. They were specifically created for ornamental purpose and stored for hundreds of years.
Known as the “soul of the samurai”, katana swords are carefully handmade by craftsmen, and no two swords are exactly the same.
Some are nearly 1 meter (3 ft) long while short swords are less than 20 cm (8 in) long. Each having long history, the swords in the display case sit with unparalleled beauty and dignity, attracting and fascinating those who see them up close.
One of the best ways to enjoy a sword is to appreciate the beautiful temper pattern on the blade called “hamon” under the light.
Enjoying the one-of-a-kind temper pattern at home is a privilege given to sword collectors.
The price ranges from around 100,000 yen for swords with shorter blades to over 10 million yen or even 20 million yen for swords designated as Japan’s important art.
Swords with family crest designs are popular among international fans, and most of them are priced below 1 million yen.
Emitting silver light in all directions, as they lie quietly with dignity. See the swords with your own eyes, and you will surely get overwhelmed by their dynamic beauty and remarkable presence.
A short sword featuring family crests on the case, as well as fine textured patterns on the grip
Unfortunately, you may not take home your favorite sword on the day of purchase.
First, the owner on the “Firearms and Swords Registration Certificate” issued by the local board of education must be changed by the shop. Then finally the sword can be delivered to you by courier service. It usually takes a few days to ship out.
If you want to own a sword outside Japan, the above process will be followed by obtaining a certification from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, approving the export of antiques. In this case, it usually requires 2-3 weeks to ship out.
All fees must be paid in advance (Cash, credit cards, and bank transfers).
Delivery will be by EMS (international express airmail) or sea freight, depending on the destination. (EMS takes about 1-2 weeks and sea freight takes about 2-3 months.) There are certain places where the products can’t be delivered or cases that require additional certificates, so please consult with the shop staff at the time of your purchase.
If you visit Japan frequently, you can also come back when the sword is ready to be handed over and take it home with you by plane. In that case, you need to have the customs staff come to the airport check-in counter to have the sword checked in.
* Additionally, prior to purchase, you must confirm whether you are allowed to have a Japanese sword in your country and what kind of procedures you need to follow.
* As of 2019, possession of Japanese swords is prohibited by law in China and Russia.
We ask for your understanding and cooperation in order to protect the important cultural properties.
Feel free to stop by!
Yuji Sugita, the president and an enthusiastic katana collector, along with an expert supporter Masaki Kakuta welcome you all to Token Sugita.
“Let us introduce you to the world of katana swords. Feel free to stop by!”
Token Sugita (刀剣杉田)
|Address||2-49-5 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo|
（closed between 11:45 and 12:30）
|Shop Holidays||Wednesday, the third Tuesday of every month|
|Access||5-minute walk from the north exit (exit 20a) of Ikebukuro Station
(a short walk from APA Hotel Ikebukuro-eki Kitaguchi)
|Website||https://token-net.com/（Japanese language only）|