Each blade is made by a craftsman from Seki using centuries-old traditional swordsmithing techniques.

There are plenty of burger shops vying for the attention of hungry diners in Japan, especially in the country’s capital city of Tokyo, which is home to blueberry cheeseburgers, vegan sakura burgers, and even burgers praised by the U.S. President.

For many, though, Shogun Burger in Shinjuku is where it’s at, with its unique name and carefully selected 100-percent wagyu beef patties making it particularly popular with international tourists. Now it’s set to become even more popular, following the news that they’ll be serving samurai swords to their customers for a limited time.

The unusual offering is part of a tie-up collaboration with Nikken Cutlery from Gifu’s Seki City, an area famous for its long and esteemed history of blade production.

▼ Two varieties of sword are available: the Oda Nobunaga model (top) and the Tokugawa Ieyasu model (bottom).

Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582) and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) were allies and two of the country’s most famous samurai, with Tokugawa going on to become the first shogun of a dynasty that would span the years from 1600-1868.

▼ Their individual crests can be seen on the sheath of each sword.

The swords served at Shogun Burger are noticeably smaller than usual samurai swords, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less impressive, as each one has been made using traditional swordsmithing techniques.

The swords are created by a master craftsman, with time and care given to producing each one. Looking closely, you can see the tempered steel on the blade, which looks just like the tempered steel on a traditional samurai sword.

While Shogun Burger presents them as a rather unusual hamburger pick, the miniature swords can also be used to slice as well.

They make excellent paper-cutting knives, and slicing them through paper shows just how sharp they really are.

While samurai sword letter openers aren’t uncommon in Japan, these Shogun Burger collaboration swords are said to be complete originals different from other commercially made products. One thing that sets it apart from other mini swords is the fact that the habaki — the metal collar mounted between the blade and the hand guard — has received a metal upgrade so it’s strong enough to be used as a food pick.

While the swords are impressive, the burgers are too. The burger that comes with the sword-set meal is called the Honnoji no Hen Burger, named after Honnoji no Hen, or “The Honnoji Incident“, which was the forced suicide of daimyo Oda Nobunaga by his samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide in 1582. 

Specifically designed for this collaboration, the burger comes with a mound of nori seaweed strips and a sprinkling of gold leaf. Combined with the thick wagyu beef patty and a slathering of soy and wasabi, the seaweed helps to create a burger that embodies the taste of Japan, making it taste more like a serving of the finest grilled meat garnished with wasabi soy sauce rather than a hamburger.

According to the restaurant manager, the distinct Japanese flavour profile is due to the wagyu beef patties being slathered in their special wasabi and soy sauce glaze.

There’s also a hit of freshness in the form of lettuce, and some creaminess thanks to a handful of cream cheese, which complements the other ingredients perfectly, making it refreshing, juicy and moreish at the same time.

▼ The burger and mini sword pick go hand-in-hand for a limited time until 3 February.

However, only 350 swords have been made for the collaboration, so the burger-and-sword deal will only be available while stocks last.

The set, which costs 4,300 yen (US$39.11) and includes a Honnoji Incident burger or cheeseburger, a drink and fries, and the miniature sword, can only be acquired via reservation on Japanese crowdfunding site Makuake.

The sword food pick on its own is valued at 2,728 yen, which makes it a good deal for a wagyu beef burger set.

While applications for the special set close on 3 February, those who’ve secured one of the 350 sets by then can take up the offer by 28 August.

With locations in Toyama Prefecture and in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, Shogun Burger suggests picking up the set during the summer holidays during a trip to Tokyo or Toyama, which is beautiful at any time of the year.

Restaurant information
Shogun Burger
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-15-12 Piatto Building 1F
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-15-12 ピアットビル1階
Open 12 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday (last order 2:00 a.m.); 12 p.m.-11 p.m. Sundays, holidays (last order 10:30 p.m.)

Shogun Burger
Address: Toyama-ken, Toyama-shi, Sogawa 3-3-21
Open 11 a.m.-9:00 p.m. (last order 8:30 p.m.)

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