Iga-ryu Ninja Museum & Seki Post Town
Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
48Trip End May 17, 2013
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What is a Ninja?
Take a quick look at the fact of ninjas
Anyway, I left home early in the morning to take a long distance bus to Iga Ueno. When I was waiting at the bench of the bus stand, a large group of seniors came and the bus arrived soon. I was waiting for the group to get on the bus ..... Then, before they got on the bus, the bus had left just in front of my eyes. I was confused, but I realized the group was waiting for another bus! What a bummer! Eventually, I wasted one hour and 20 minutes, waiting for the next bus. Then the bus came. As soon as the door opened, the driver got off the bus and told me that there would be a traffic congestion on our way. I was shocked, but it couldn't be helped.
I arrived at the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum at almost noon. The museum was full of visitors and some of them wore different ninja outfits which they rented at a rental costume shop of Iga. The museum included a ninja house and a ninja-show stage. The first thing you see in the museum is the relocated ninja house, where a female guide in a ninja costume introduces some contraptions of the house. To protect themselves from their enemies, ninjas installed a wall-like revolving door, hidden room, concealed space for weapons, dropping ladder, etc
The highlight of the museum was Ashura's ninja show. Ashura troupe is mainly made up of ninja offspring and they show their ninjutsu several times a day at the stage of the museum. The ticket costs JPY 200 and it's highly recommendable, although the duration is only 20 minutes. Actually, I liked not only their skills, but also their professionalism, or showmanship. Needless to say, there were a lot of children and foreign tourists in the audience, and I believe the show was very enjoyable to them, too. The Ashura members must have experienced plenty of hard training like experienced martial artists, but they also knew how to make the audience laugh like comedians. For example, at the beginning of the show, one actor mentioned some precautions during the show. He said, "Since we use real weapons, if you took a picture with a flare of flashlight, it might lead to an accident.... but we will stand the flare! So you can take as many pictures as you want." That broke the ice
Ninja in Action!!!
This is a "to kill or to be killed" fight.
Ninja Demonstration in Iga
They have some different stages.
Iga Ueno Final Demo
Childish? No way! It's a great show for everyone, right?
You can try throwing shuriken after the show
Just next the ninja museum, the Haiseiden Hall housing a Matsuo Basho's statue was located. The unique building is designated as a National Important Cultural Property, but it is not important to me or foreign tourists who don't know Matsuo Basho. The other tourist attraction of Ueno Park was Iga Ueno Castle. I didn't feel like entering the castle keep, but I was interested in its 30-meter-high ramparts. There were no fences on the top of them, which a bit excited me. The castle keep was destroyed by a typhoon before it was completed in 1612 and reconstructed in 1935. The keep is made of wood, which is unusual for a reconstructed concrete-made castle of Japan, but I knew the inside was like a museum, so I skipped it.
When I arrived at Ueno-shi Station, the closest station to the park, it was almost half past two and I just missed a train to Iga-Ueno Station. The next train was scheduled to come in one hour... Fortunately, there was a TIC in front of the station and a middle-aged female worker kindly told me to take a bus to Iga-Ueno Station. Unfortunately, however, the bus arrived two minutes after a train left the station. Eventually, I had to wait for one hour there, which forced me to change my plan to go to Koka, another hometown of ninjas
On my way back home, I stopped over at Yokkaichi. All I knew about the city was Yokkaichi asthma until not long ago. However, I happened to watch the TV news about night views of Yokkaichi and their popularity, which inspired me to try the night views. I heard that the observation deck of the Yokkaich Port Tower was a good viewing spot, but it was closed at five on the day. (It's open until nine only on Saturdays.) So I just wandered around the petrochemical complex area along the coast. The lit-up plants looked futuristic and I understood why they were popular, but I didn't see anyone around there and I felt uncomfortable in the bleak area.