Meet Ninja at a Ninja Village
Ninja collectively refers to fighters whose primary responsibility was to carry out intelligence-gathering and sabotage operations. In the Central Japan region, there are three major schools of secret ninja arts: Iga-ryu, Koka-ryu, and Togakure-ryu. There are various facilities scattered throughout each area where visitors can become a ninja through “Ninja Experiences” such as shuriken (throwing star) and archery training, as well as see live demonstrations of secret ninja arts close-up.
Ninja Museum of Igaryu［Mie Prefecture/Iga City]
ASHURA is a ninja corps that has clocked up more than 1,200 live action performances at the Ninja Museum of Iga-ryu. Featuring shuriken, sword-fighting, and kusarigama (sickle-and-chain), the tremendous excitement of their stage shows have you on their edge of your seat!
Iga-ryu is one of the most famous schools of secret Ninja arts. Unlike Koka-ryu Ninja, its practitioners do not serve one specific master but rather prefer to take a similar role to that of mercenaries, operating under contract.
At Iga-ryu Ninja House, Ninja and Kunoichi (female Ninja) guide visitors around the house, showing and demonstrating various hidden traps and tricks.
Here a variety of items are on display, including tools and weapons ingeniously crafted by Ninja and Ninjutsu texts crystalizing Ninja knowledge and know-how.
Operated by a Japanese tea store, this café features Japanese sweets. Make with top-quality matcha green tea and green tea ice cream, the “Ninja Parfait” is hugely popular! Perhaps good fortune will come your way when you meet Cha-Cha the Ninja cat?!!?
Cute Ninja mascot Nin-nyan is here to welcome you! The souvenir shops also sell a wide selection of Ninja goods that you could only find in the hometown of Iga-ryu Ninjas.
This casual restaurant serves a rich variety of Ninja-themed set meals.
This noodle shop features a Ninja-themed menu and lots of Ninja tricks!
This shop sells authentic Ninja goods.
Try your hand at making Iga Kumi-himo (braided cord), a traditional craft that is also used in Ninjutsu.
［Shiga Prefecture/Koka City]
Like its neighbor Iga City, Koka City in Shiga Prefecture is known as a “Ninja homeland”. The city is dotted with facilities and leisure spots with connections to Koka-ryu Ninja.
Koka-ryu Ninja became famous for their role in the Magari-no-Jin campaign during the Onin War (1467–1477)—which forced the Shogunate army to withdraw—in the service of the Rokkaku Clan, which had constabulary authority over mainly the southern region of Omi Province. During the Edo Period (1603-1868), some Koka-ryu Ninja scattered throughout Japan.
Located in Koka Ninja Village, this museum displays representative Ninja weapons such as shuriken (throwing blades). Koka Ninja Village also provides a range of other attractions including a Ninja training hall and shuriken training hall.
The former resident of an actual Ninja, this authentic Ninja house is full of ingenious hidden traps and tricks that have been preserved to this day. Here you can experience and touch devices that were actually used in the past as well as solve riddles. Try your hand at shuriken (throwing blades) or dress-up in Ninja costumes!
［Nagano Prefecture/Nagano City]
Discover numerous hidden tricks and escape from the mansion! On the mansion’s grounds are also the Togakure-ryu Ninja Museum, Shuriken Dojo (throwing blade training hall), and various other facilities.
Alongside Iga-ryu and Koka-ryu, Togakure-ryu is one of the three major schools of secret Ninja arts. This school is characterized by its focus on defense rather than attack. The ultimate skill of Togakure-ryu Ninja is said to have been their ability to neutralize their enemies’ fighting capabilities without actively attacking.
Ninja shows: Every 3rd Sunday (irregular schedule)
A Ninja-themed adventure course
The owner of this restaurant is a modern-day Togakure-ryu Ninja-in-training! Utilizing the characteristics of fresh home-ground buckwheat flour, these soba noodles taste superb.
Ninja Soba Noodles: ¥1,800
Kids’ Ninja Village Zenko-ji Daimon Shop “Ninja Daimon” is a Ninja-themed amusement shop. Here you can play, eat, and shop with a Ninja theme!
［Mie Prefecture/Ise City]
A large-scale Ninja theme park!
Here at this theme park you can not only change into Ninja costumes and try hands-on activities such as tree-climbing, shuriken-throwing, and blowpipes, but also enjoy exciting Ninja shows.
Exciting stage performance!
Ninja! Samurai! Heroes race around the confined theater in this exciting Ninja show. Enjoy real entertainment bursting with laughter and tears.
Active enjoyment: hands-on
Here you can try your hand at shuriken-throwing, blowpipes, and archery training! The park also provides a one-kilometer-long tree-climbing course and many other attractions for you to enjoy.
Ise Natural Hot Springs
Experience the physical and mental relaxation of soaking away the day’s fatigue in soothing natural hot springs. Azuchi Castle can be viewed from the Ladies’ outdoor hot spring bath (bathing fees are included in the admission fee).
Nagoya Castle［Aichi Prefecture/Nagoya City］
Meet this Ninja corps led by Hattori Hanzo, a charismatic real-life historical figure, at present-day Nagoya Castle! Incorporating acrobatic action, their Ninja performances are a must-see.
Recreation of a dangerous mountain crossing with their master, Tokugawa Ieyasu. Can the Ninja band escape the approaching enemy?!?
The highlight of this dance is a realistic sword fight using Ninja swords. Pay close attention to the magnificent swordsmanship.
Even small children can become Ninja?! “Ninja Calisthenics” incorporating six ninjutsu (Ninja combat skills) are performed before each Ninja show on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
This adorable ice cream cone can be purchased in Kinshachi Yokocho (¥550). Too cute to eat?!
Kinshachi Yokocho’s Muneharu Zone “POP OVER”