Another day, another adventure… this time with a little more action!
Our first stop of the day was the ‘Ninja Museum’ (http://iganinja.jp/en/) …
If you ever visit Japan, this is one place you simply must visit.. history, culture, action and fun.. all in one 🙂
There are 3 main areas to visit at this site:
– A ‘performance’/show demonstrating the use of real ninja weapons (in a humorous play/skit)
– A ‘Ninja-house’ demonstrating secret passages/hiding places actually used by Ninjas in order to conceal themselves, escape when in danger, or hide valuables
– A Ninja Museum where you can learn more about the weapons/artefacts and history/culture of the period
The performance is amazing, short but thoroughly enjoyable. Queues were long and there were many excited mini-ninjas all dressed up and excited for the show!
The performance is hilarious and we were allowed to take pictures, although capturing videos was not allowed. It features one amazingly powerful ninja-girl who overwhelms her opponents through martial arts, ninja weapons and wraps up her performance with a casual and ‘kawaii’ ‘V’ sign for the cameras… 🙂 Smoke effects and sound effects were perfect, keeping kids energized and most of us laughing along.. and the humor was punctuated with explanations of what was being used and more serious demonstrations with swords and shurikien.
Interesting note: As Ninjas were essentially undercover, they had to be able to do their cover-roles perfectly, whether as performers/entertainers or as farmers.. so it wasn’t just about being a good assassin, it was about stealth and maintaining your cover.
After the performance, we also had the opportunity to throw shurikien at a target.
Background: “A shuriken (Japanese 手裏剣; literally: “sword hidden in user’s hand”) is a traditional Japanese concealed weapon that was generally used for throwing, and sometimes stabbing or slashing. Ninja stars, or Shuriken, were invented in the Three Year War (1083-1087 AD) by Tadamasa.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuriken)
I wasn’t great… but I was, surprisingly, not all that bad either.. 🙂
We then moved on to the Ninja House! Hidden revolving panels/doors, secret staircases, observation passages near the ceiling. Hidden swords, valuables and escape passages… impressive! I couldn’t capture many photographs, and videos were not permitted… 😦
The last stop was the museum and souvenir store. Perhaps the most interesting piece of gear in the museum was the pair of wooden slippers used by ninjas to walk over water!
A few hours well spent, our adventure of stealth, intrigue and shurikien target practice complete, we were all set for lunch and a trip to Nagoya castle.. which I’ll cover in the next post. 🙂