Tozando Shogoin Store is a store specializing in such traditional Japanese weapons as Japanese sword called Katana, Yoroi armor and gears for Aikido and Iaido. Since its opening in 2007 at Okazaki, Kyoto, we continue to welcome many martial arts practitioners within and outside of Japan, as well as numerous tourists that visit Kyoto.
The Shogoin Store is a designer shop built by American architect Geoffrey Moussas, who renovated an old town house that had stood for more than 100 years. It is a characteristic store that has been covered by many TV shows and magazines both domestic and overseas. The refined atmosphere partially retains the nostalgia of the old town house, creating a structure that resembles the Japanese saying – “onko-chision” (remembering the old and discovering the new). This space attracts many famous people as well.
On the first floor there are iaito, swords used in iaido practice, displayed tightly along the wall. The store not only keeps more than 50 swords in stock at all times, it also has models that are only held in the Shogoin store. The display area is decorated with armor and swords, the it shines even more beautifully at night. The store also has metal parts of swords such as the handguard, hilt, pommel, martial arts clothing such as the Aikido Hakama and the Iaido wear, Kyudo equipment, and books all lined up in a tight space.
If you climb the stairs that leads to the second floor, you will see wooden swords from all sorts of schools covering the wall. Stairs inside Kyoto town houses are known to be narrow and steep, but the stairs in this store utilizes the steps but has removed the riser, turning the stairs into a stepladder. It fits with how people are used to walking these days, but also gives a stylish touch to the place. It is the beauty of use, combining convenience with style.
Upstairs you will encounter a showcase of both antique and modern real Japanese swords. There is a couch where you can sit down and relax while talking business, so please take the real sword in hand and have a good look.
Along the street there is a big window that brings in plenty of sunlight. The several sets of Japanese armor are displayed toward the street, so you will only get to see the backside of some of the armor, but you are sure to realize how beautiful the armor is even from behind.
If you walk further in on the second floor, you will find a traditional Japanese-style room welcoming you with a sword emitting delicate light and a Japanese armor standing majestically. It is quite an extraordinary atmosphere, making you feel like you’ve just time-traveled.
The store is enlivened every day by both Japanese and foreign customers. If you manage to visit Kyoto, please be sure to stop by Tozando Shogoin Store.