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Model Course

Explore History and Traditional Culture in the Woodland Kyoto Area

Nearby areas
【★WMG21 venues】
★Kameoka City
Sports held nearby 
Sport Climbing

Kameoka is the city that borders Kyoto City on the northwestern side. Since ancient times this area has prospered as the center of government and industry in the Tamba region. In the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1568-1600), Akechi Mitsuhide lead the construction of Tamba Kameoka Castle, and a separate cultural area formed in the surrounding castle town.
On this course, participants will experience making their own small sword under the instruction of a swordsmith, visit a museum exhibiting natural whetstones, tour the ruins of Tamba Kameyama Castle and more. Through these experiences participants will become acquainted with the history and culture that lives and breathes in this region. The final part of the itinerary is a cruise down the Hozugawa River. Long ago, the river was used as a waterway for transporting goods from Tamba to the capital. Experience its dynamic currents for yourself.

Itinerary details

Kameoka Station (JR Sagano Line) – Masahiro Tantoujou Sword Forge
– Chiyokawa Station (JR Sagano Line) – Natural Whetstone Museum – ”Ouchi Yakuzen Wasurena” Medicinal Cooking Restaurant
– Kameoka Station (JR Sagano Line) – Tamba Kameyama Castle Ruins – Hozugawa River Boat Ride
  1. “ Must-see! ”

    The only authentic swordmaking activity in Kyoto.
    The sword that you forge with great care can be taken home
    as a memento of your trip.

  2. “ Must-see! ”

    Forest Station Kameoka.

    Experience a traditional whetstone making activity,
    and enjoy a healthy lunch of medicinal cooking.

  3. “ Must-see! ”

    The stronghold from which Akechi Mitsuhide ruled the Tamba area.
    Take a trip back in time in a place known for its ties to this famed general.

  4. “ Must-see! ”

    Natural beauty and thrills in Hozugawa River Valley.
    Fully experience the raw power of nature on a 2-hour boat ride.

# The only authentic swordmaking activity in Kyoto

Masahiro Tantoujou Sword Forge

The sword forge is located near the lush mountain foothills about 12 km west of JR Kameoka Station. Here, participants will experience making a small sword with a blade of about 15 cm in length, using ‘tamahagane’ Japanese steel—the same used for real Japanese swords. (JPY 38,000. Price includes the activity fee, material fee, the created work in its own paulownia wood box, and tax) Tamahagane is pure, high-grade steel, and is a precious material as it is produced in small amounts from iron sand. Pound and stretch the steel on your own, fold it, and then pound again...this repetitive process is akin to imparting a spirit into the sword. You can even create the ‘hamon’ (blade pattern) on your own. Look forward to seeing the hamon appear during the heating and cooling process. You can include your name on the sword that you create, and take it home with you.

Spot name Masahiro Tantoujou Sword Forge
Contact 0771-22-9800
Note: Please contact Woodland Kyoto DMO (Kyoto Regional Promotion Company Woodland Kyoto) about forge tours and activities.
Closed Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and other unscheduled days
Access About 20 min by taxi from Kameoka Station (JR Sagano Line)
Address 32-1 Ishishiki, Nishikaya, Honmecho, Kameoka-shi
URL Woodland Kyoto website

# Forest Station Kameoka

Natural Whetstone Museum

This red brick building flanked by attractive greenery is easy to spot. This exhibit and activity facility offers specialty goods of Kameoka and more. The Natural Whetstone Museum on the first floor is the first hands-on museum of its kind in the world. Here visitors can tour the museum’s artifacts which include natural whetstones produced in Kameoka, precious whetstones from elsewhere in Japan and other countries, documents and more. Experience Japan’s culture of sharpening with activities such as kitchen knife sharpening and cutting katsuobushi shavings.
“Self Sharpening Activity” (JPY 500/adult, JPY 300/child of middle school age or younger), “Kitchen Knife Sharpening Challenge Course” (JPY 2,000), DIY Whetstone making (from JPY 1,500) All prices are tax inclusive. Visitors can sign up for the “Self Sharpening Activity” on the day of their visit. For all other activities we recommend making a prior booking via the website.

Spot name Natural Whetstone Museum
Contact 050-3700-1014
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and New Year holidays
Access From Chiyokawa Station (JR Sagano Line), take the Keihan Kyoto Kotsu Bus about 7 min and alight at Kameoka-shi Koryukaikan-mae bus stop. The facility is about 5 min on foot from the bus stop.
Address 15 Nagano, Miyazakicho Kozaki, Kameoka-shi, Kyoto Prefecture
”Ouchi Yakuzen Wasurena” Medicinal Cooking Restaurant

For lunch, head to Ouchi Yakuzen Wasurena, a restaurant serving medicinal dishes on the 2nd floor of Forest Station Kameoka. This restaurant operated by NPO Chorogimura serves delicious ‘yakuzen’ meals made with the knowledge of Chinese medicine, based on the concept of using local ingredients to promote the health and wellbeing of local people. The dishes served are prepared with ingredients from Chinese medicine such as chorogi (a root vegetable in the mint family), kintoki ginger, and dong dang gui, as well as fresh vegetables, rice and other seasonal ingredients based on the concept of “locally produced for local consumption”. Visitors can also tour the herb garden on the premises, where various herbs and flowers are grown. The most popular meal is the “Seasonal Yakuzen Meal” priced at JPY 1,500. The curry made with a base of chili pepper, cinnamon, and kintoki ginger, and stewed with vegetables, is also popular and is priced at JPY 800. (All prices are tax inclusive).

Spot name ”Ouchi Yakuzen Wasurena” Medicinal Cooking Restaurant
Contact 0771-56-8807
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (also closed on national holidays)
Access From Chiyokawa Station (JR Sagano Line), take the Keihan Kyoto Kotsu Bus about 7 min and alight at Kameoka-shi Koryukaikan-mae bus stop. The facility is about 5 min on foot from the bus stop.
Address 15 Nagano, Miyazakicho Kozaki, Kameoka-shi, Kyoto Prefecture

# The stronghold from which Akechi Mitsuhide ruled the Tamba area

Tamba Kameyama Castle Ruins

This castle, constructed at the end of the 16th century by Akechi Mitsuhide for his conquest of the Tamba area, is a monument to Kameoka’s history as a castle town. It was built under a construction order by the Tokugawa Shogunate and boasted a five-story castle keep, which was the latest in castle architecture at the time. The castle was demolished under the ordinance for abolishing castles in the Meiji Period (1868-1912), but the stone walls and other sections were repaired when it was purchased by Oomoto, a religious organization. Today visitors can look nostalgically on the castle’s former glory. Visitors may tour Gallery Oomoto by purchasing an admission ticket (JPY 300, tax included. Free for children of middle school age or younger).

Spot name Tamba Kameyama Castle Ruins
Contact 0771-22-5561
Closed No closed days
Access A 10-min walk from Kameoka Station (JR Sagano Line)
Address 1 Uchimaru, Aratsukacho, Kameoka-shi
(For tours go to the reception area of Oomoto Miroku Kaikan)
URL ▼Kameoka City Tourism Association Website:
▼Oomoto Website:

# Natural beauty and thrills in Hozugawa River Valley

Hozugawa River Boat Ride

Take a boat ride that lasts for about 2 hours and covers the approximately 16 km from Kameoka to Arashiyama. Enjoy seasonal views of the beautiful valley along the way. One of the main attractions is watching the boatmen’s skilled poling techniques and listening to their entertaining storytelling about Hozugawa River Valley, all the while watching huge boulders and rock formations pass by as you ride through rapid currents and over deep pools of water. Hozugawa River was historically used as a waterway to transport goods, especially logs from Tamba for the construction of Nagaoka-kyo, Osaka Castle, and Fushimi Castle. Additionally, in 1606, wealthy Kyoto merchant Suminokura Ryoi undertook work to clear the river and made it navigable for the mass transportation of rice, firewood, charcoal, and other goods by boat.

Spot name Hozugawa River Boat Ride
Contact 0771-22-5846
Closed Closed on February 1st and September 1st for maintenance. Inquire for open days.
Access A 7-min walk from Kameoka Station (JR Sagano Line)
Address 2 Shimonakajima, Hozucho, Kameoka-shi

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