21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Located around the ruins of Iga Ueno castle in Mie Prefecture, the Ninja Museum of Igaryu is the perfect place to experience what it’s like to be a ninja. The cleverly devised museum has a ninja residence, two exhibition halls and a stage which hosts ninja shows. Though it may look ordinary from the outside, the residence is filled with surprises at every turn, including revolving walls, trap doors and hidden compartments and passages. Visitors are guided around by a female ninja, who explains the various contraptions found in each part of the house. The exhibition halls display ninja tools, gadgets, costumes and weapons and outline ninja skills and their way of life. Exhibits offer explanations in Japanese and English.
Next, take in a ninja show. Performances feature authentic ninja skills and real weapons, such as swords and chain sickles. There is even a spectacular demonstration of how to use throwing stars. Shows are in Japanese only, but the highly entertaining action is pretty much self-explanatory. To finish the experience, visitors should pay a visit to the museum shop, which has exclusive ninja goods.
By public transportation
From Shin-Osaka Station, take the Iga Line to Ueno City Station for two hours. The museum is 5 minutes on foot from the station.
Hours: 09:00-17:00 (last admission is 16:30)
Admission: 756 yen for adults, 432 yen for children
Address: 117-13-1 Uenomarunouchi, Iga, Mie Prefecture
Airport: Kansai Airport
December 29 to January 1