Yesterday, I visited the forge of Pierre Nadeau, a French-Canadian who has been pursuing an apprenticeship under master sword makers in Japan. He aims to become only the second or third (there is some debate) gaijin to become a licensed sword maker in Japan. Pierre’s forge is in the mountains of Wakayama Prefecture. Pierre gave me a fascinating introduction to the world of Japanese sword making. You can visit Pierre’s site here.
Here is the outside of Pierre’s forge:
Pierre’s Forge in Wakayama © Chris Rowthorn
Here’s a picture of Pierre at work:
Pierre at Work © Chris Rowthorn
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- A prepaid Icoca card makes travelling around Kyoto easy - here's how.
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)