Today we had the best experience we’ve had so far in Japan. The Ninja Dojo and Store in Kyoto offers 1 hour small-group interactive ninja classes.
Then you spend a few minutes learning to meditate, breath, and walk like a ninja. This is a nice introduction. The adults found the background information interesting, while the kids (one of whom was slightly nervous) used this time to settle down. After this, the real fun begins! First, we learned how to properly use a sword (wooden swords for the kids, metal swords for the grown ups). From drawing your sword, to slicing an opponent and flicking off the blood, to using the rope on the sheath to grab your opponent’s sword, by the end of this session I felt sure I could confidently get into (although probably still not win) a sword fight.