Release Your Inner Ninja
For more than 800 years, Togakushi has had a strong association with Japan’s fabled ninjas. Established in the 12th century, the Togakure school of ninja was founded in the mountains of Togakushi and was from that time onward, known for its connection to those most mysterious of warriors. Though practicing ninja maybe few and far between these days – believe it or not there are still some – the mountains and forests of Togakushi now play host to a ninja museum and kids village, making it a must-do activity for any aspiring ninja amongst us!
Located directly across from the avenue leading to the Okusha (Upper Shrine), the Togakure Ninpo Museum showcases the local Togakure school of ninja including exhibits of tools and weapons used. Founded by a local warrior who travelled to Iga – the traditional home of ninja – in the 12th century, Togakushi and its museum tell the story of the local school, of which, there continue to be practitioners; while the Museum of Togakushi Folklore exhibits traditional tools, clothing, furniture and other artefacts unique to the area.
Visitors can try their hand at essential ninja skills such as throwing ‘shuriken’ (ninja stars) while the highlight of the museum lies in wait at the Ninja House. Rigged with secret doors, passages and traps to confuse those who enter, the aim is simple – get yourself back out of the house! The house is a true maze, equally fun for adults as it is children. The museum is open 09:00-17:00 from late-April to late-November. Admission is JPY600.
The ‘Chibiko Ninja Mura’ (Kids Ninja Village) is located within 15 minutes walk of the Chuusha (Middle Shrine) and designed for children with obstacle courses and everything they need for ninja training. Activities including blow darts and shuriken are available at an extra charge. Children can also dress-up in ninja outfits for the duration of their visit. Two ninja mansions include trapdoors and contraptions, to confuse and delightful the kids as they attempt to escape.
The kids village is open 09:00-17:00 from late-April to late-November. Admission is JPY500 with JPY300 charged per paid attraction. A more inclusive ticket covering admission and 6 paid attraction costs JPY1850 while rental ninja costumes (just for the kids) are available for JPY800.
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