Taking the world less travelled

Hanging Out With Ninjas in Iga-Ueno

Posted by on Mar 26, 2009 in Travel | 17 comments


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:

Museum Opening Hours:
Daily 9:00 to 17:00, except from December 29 through January 1.

Show Times:
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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Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Jamaipanese

    oomg omg omg I love this post :D especially the video

    all ninja’s like me should make this pilgrimage when in Japan.

    I will do my best to visit when I make it to Japan.

  2. Chris

    Awesome! This is definitely on my list of things to see :D

  3. Muza-chan

    Interesting place to vizit.
    BTW, I love the smileys on your blog. :D

  4. Jim Morrison

    Sounds like a nice place. i will put it on my list of places to visit.
    I am hoping to go to japan next year for the first time.


  5. Joe Ellis

    Oh, I went to the same museum there last year as well! I thought it would be kind of cheesy, but I really enjoyed it. Did you try throwing the ninja stars? Much harder than it looks!

  6. mtfuji3776

    Wow, it’s really an interesting movie.
    I think we Japanese know two major parties of ninja are Iga and Koga.
    But I didn’t know even where Iga is.
    I’ll remember the place Iga-Ueno, and I wanna visit there when I’ll travel to Nara pref.

  7. codePhantom

    Lol, strange toilet sign.

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  9. The Envoy

    I’ll add this on my travel plans next year, maybe. :?:

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  1. Nihongo on The Net - March 26, 2009 - Nihongo Notes - [...] Carlie hangs out with some ninjas in Iga-Ueno [...]
  2. First Edition of the All-Japan Blog Carnival! | Big in Japan - [...] was lucky enough to visit the Ninja Museum near Nara in the Kansai region, and writes about it in…

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