One place I loved on my trip to Japan in November 2008 was Iga-Ueno, specifically the Ninja Museum. Iga Ueno is near Nara in the Mei Prefecture. It is a little bit tricky to get to, but only in that you have to swap trains a couple of times. The way we got there was:
- From Osaka we took the JR Yamatoji Line from Namba to Kamo – in the mornings direct trains to Kamo depart from Namba, but otherwise from Osaka station. All trains aparently depart from Tenoji Station as well.
- Kamo station is three stops after Nara, about 15 mins from Nara. From Kamo station swap trains. The next train is a little one or two car train on the JR Kansai Line. Take this train for five stations, 35mins to the Iga Ueno station.
- From here you take a cute ninja decorated train to Ueno-shi, 3rd station along and about five minutes to get there.
- Hint: don’t get all the “iga”s and “ueno”s confused!
I think overall the trip cost around 1530yen one way.
A short walk from the station is the Ninja Museum. It cost 700yen to get in. First up is a cool demonstation area where a female takes you through some of the tricks ninjas have in their house. They changed all the signs to English and the girl spoke in English to us, she was pretty good. We got to swing around in hidden doors and look out peep holes.
After that we went down stairs into a museum area. Here there was a movie playing as well as lots of info in English as well as Japanese about ninjas.
From there you can pay 200yen to watch a ninja show! It is well worth it. Here is a video with some highlights:
As you can see the show was in Japanese. One guy did say to us that he could do it in English but his English wasn’t very good – we said it was “大丈夫” – daijoubu! It’s OK. The show was really enjoyable, I do recommend it! :peace:
Every hour from 11:00 to 15:00.
March-November: Daily except most Tuesdays and some irregular holidays.
Official Website (in English)
Check out my Iga Ueno gallery for more pictures!
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TagsIga Ueno, ninja, ninja museum, toilet, Video