Ninja Hometown - Ninja Museum of IGARYU

December 22, 2018

Hello everyone! Today I would like to share with you one of the most exciting places that I have been to in Japan this year, which is the real hometown of Ninja! For those of you who grew up in Indonesia and was born around my age, would remember about Ninja Hattori Anime that was aired on Sunday morning. In the anime, Ninja Hattori is from Iga and in fact, he is based from a real ninja named HANZO HATTORI who lived in Sengoku Period. And in fact, Iga really exists and it is the hometown of Ninja back then

Though ninja is no longer exist in modern Japan, but if you would like to learn the history and visit the real village, you can do it at Ninja Museum of Igaryu that's located in Mie Prefecture

Mie is in between of Nagoya and Osaka, so you could easily visit the museum if you're staying in the area. I stayed in Osaka during this trip and I boarded to a limited express train from Tsuruhashi to Iga Kanbe. Wherever you're from, make sure to make your destination to Iga Kanbe Station first because that's the main station before we can board to the ninja village. The journey from Tsuruhasi to Iga Kanbe took me almost 1 hour

It's under Kintetsu Railway and you can use your Kintetsu Railway Pass (recommended to save some money!) to reach this place. I was on the trip with Genki (Japanese who lives in Indonesia), Arisa (Malaysian who lives in Kyoto), and yes that's me, Indonesian who lives in Japan. What a global world we're living at the moment lol

One of the main attraction before reaching Uenoshi, the final station, is their ninja train! We got a pink ninja train and we had tons of time to take pictures before the train departed. I also saw a blue ninja train, so I guess they had a few ninja trains available. Luckily, the weather was perfect and sunny through the day so the pictures turned out really beautiful. Inside the train, they also put some ninja dolls here and there at unexpected places and the staff that checked your ticket also dressed up semi-ninja-like

The journey from Iga Kanbe to Uenoshi is another 40 minutes, and to reach the museum it's 10 mins walk from the station. We came specifically on the weekend because the Ninja Show is only available during the weekend.  Which I strongly suggest you checking it out because they have 30 mins performance that shows how ninjas fought, the skills and weapons they had, and so on. Even if you don't understand Japanese, I think it' still very easy to understand because it's mostly about visual attraction

Usually filming is not allowed but I was given permission for media-related purpose. They truly fought well and I was amazed by the performers! 

After that, we went to the Ninja House where we learned about the hidden rooms or passageways. The full explanation was done in Japanese but they put down roll with English translation for foreigners to enjoy the experience as well!

For an example is this hidden staircase where ninja can spy people from the top of the house. And it's made in certain way to the point you wont know it's in fact a hidden staircase

The whole experience is really fun and entertaining, and pictures won't do any justice because it's something that you have to come, see, and learn by yourself! The guide also gave us interaction game such as allowing us to touch and guess where are the hidden passages

After the experience, we were shown to the underground passage that also served as a real museum purpose. You can see real weapons of ninja, learn about the history, and it's all available in English
Upon spending hours in this museum, I learned so much about ninja such as that they're in fact farmers and being ninja only as a freelance job once in a while when the lord needs them

And they're in fact spies, and while traveling around the country to collect information, they have to disguise themselves and sometimes as street performers. Imaginining how they lived back then amazes me, and I had to open wikipedia and asked so many questions to the guide because it's so interesting

For those of you who want to know about ninja further, pleaseeee, come to this museum. I know it's a little bit far from other places and in fact it's pretty small and you might only need around 3-4 hours to fully experience the whole thing, but there's only one real ninja village and it's in here

For more information about Iga Ninja Museum, check out IGA NINJA MUSEUM Website!

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