The Iga-ryu Ninja Museum (Tel:0595 23 0311) in Iga-Ueno is a fantastic museum for fans of Japanese history in general and the mysterious, secretive ninja in particular.
Just a short walk from Iga-shi Station on the Kintetsu Iga Line is an original, thatched ninja farm house inside Ueno Park.
A female ninja dressed all in pink walks and talks visitors through the ninja residence's hidden swords, revolving walls, secret passageways and concealed trapdoors.
Visitors are encouraged to have a go at disappearing into thin air and the tour is great fun.
The ninja, it seems, were one of the first groups in Japan to discover the secrets of gunpowder manufacture and firearms and developed all the necessary concealment devices to guard this military secret from their enemies.
The museum also has two further exhibition halls: the House of the Ninja's Art and the House of Ninja Tradition. The first building has audio-visual displays of the Ninja's infiltration techniques and over 400 ninja tools including rope ladders, armor, shuriken (throwing stars), knives and listening devices. The second exhibition building introduces the ninja's way of life as farmer/warriors and their techniques of disguise, concealment and secret communication.
Don't miss the hourly Ninja Demonstration Zone where 3 present-day male ninja show off their combat skills with swords, sickles and shuriken.
Iga-ryu Ninja Museum
Admission: 700 yen (200 yen extra for the ninja demonstration)
The nearest station to Ueno Park and the Ninja Museum is Kintetsu Ueno-shi Station.
From Nagoya Station journey time is over two hours.
JR Kansai Line via Kameyama to Iga-Ueno Station and then Kintetsu Iga Line to Ueno-shi Station.
From Nagoya Station take the Kintetsu Nagoya Line to Ise Nakagawa, change to the Osaka Line to Iga Kanbe, then transfer to the Kintetsu Iga Line and on to Ueno-shi Station.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
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