I heard a rumor that in Kyoto real samurai exist even in the modern era. Samurai and Ninja have become endangered in modern times, but rumor has it that real samurai and ninjas work for the government as activists and undercover agents.
As soon as I heard the rumor, I hastened to get on the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto to verify whether the rumor was true or not.
This is the true story. I went to the place where they exist, Toei Kyoto Studio Park in Kyoto.
Here you can observe some films and period dramas and walk freely around the Toei Kyoto film set of the Edo period. This is the entrance:
When you enter the set, you can savor the atmosphere of an old Japanese village.
Samurai don't seem to be around here...
Oops, they were not samurai. They were samurai panels.
I was beginning to doubt the rumor that real samurai exist in contemporary Japan. All the time the rumor must have been a lie...
Just when I was about to give up, all of a sudden a samurai appeared in front of me.
OH MY GOSH!!
I thought, "this is it" like Micheal Jackson!
Oh, another two samurai also emerged!
They started shouting at one another and fighting with sharp swords!
I was so excited!
The fight finished. Who is the winner???
I asked them after the fight whether they are real samurai or not.
"Yes... We get a monthly salary for this show."
I don't know whether they were real samurai, but I realized that even samurai find it hard to survive financially in this contemporary period.
There was also a female Ninja.
All the workers were so friendly and kind... but I felt that the studio park was a bit expensive.
If you have finished visiting the shrines and temples in Kyoto and have extra time and money on your hands, you might consider it. Otherwise, I recommend giving this a miss and hunting down samurai and ninja in the pages of the nearest manga comic.
I loved these guys' smiles though: