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“Great spot to take kids!!”

Iga-ryu Ninja Museum
Reviewed 4 October 2017 via mobile

If you have kids or if you are a martial arts lover this place is for you. Both my boys named this as their number 1 most enjoyed activity during a 2 week trip through Japan. Very interesting, interactive and a very impressive live show. Their English is also good so we didn't miss a thing!!! Check it out.

Thank Dunsta123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"day trip"
in 10 reviews
"ninja museum"
in 25 reviews
"local train"
in 4 reviews
"guided tour"
in 4 reviews
"martial arts"
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"half an hour"
in 2 reviews
"ueno castle"
in 8 reviews
"train station"
in 4 reviews
"small town"
in 3 reviews
"english signs"
in 2 reviews
"doesn t"
in 2 reviews
"minute walk"
in 2 reviews
"gift shop"
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"fun experience"
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Reviewed 24 September 2017

We visited the Ninja Museum as part of our "Ninja" day, where we saw both the Iga and Koka Ninja areas. Iga is located midway between Nagoya and Osaka, We had actually done a day trip from Tokyo and completed the day in Osaka.The entire trip was 14 hours, starting from 6am and ending at 8pm. It was a long trip, but worth it. The views and experience of riding the local trains was great, and very different to taking the bullet trains where all the sights are a blur. We took the bullet train from Tokyo to Nagoya, and then changed local trains twice to Reach Tsuge. Another local train took us two more stops to Koka. After a few hours in Koka, we went back to Tsuge by local train, and then onto Iga Ueno by local train. Note that if you have a Japan Rail Pass, all these trains will be covered by the pass.Finally, we took the Iga Railways "Ninja Train" two stops to Uenoshi. The Iga Railway train is a private railway and not covered by the Rail Pass.We arrived at the Ninja Museum, just in time to catch the 3pm show in the demonstration zone.

There are two routes to the Ninja Museum and Demonstration Zone if walking. Turn left and take the underground tunnel immediately on exiting the Uenoshi Train Station. Walk down, then up the stairs and exit the tunnel. If you turn left, and then take a right, the main gate of Ueno Park, in the shape of a castle gate will be in view. Walk to the right of the bollards, and then take another right at the "T" junction (the left path leads to the castle). A further 10 minute walk leads to the Gift Shop, Bathrooms and Ninja Demonstration Zone.The more adventurous path, is to take a right after exiting the tunnel, then a left at the main road. The path is adjacent to the road, and leads to the rear entrance of the park. A sharp left at the wooden directional sign, a short climb up a steep path, and you will be at the Gift Shop and Demonstration Zone Area. We found this route the more scenic, and as we were a little early for the Ninja show, did not mind taking this longer route.

Be sure to plan your trip in line with the Demonstration Zone show times. On the day we visited, the show times were 2pm and 3pm. The cost of entry is 400 yen, and the show lasts for half an hour. The show was well choreographed, and is a must for adults and children. No photos are allowed in the zone. The actors perform with narration mostly in Japanese, with a few english words for tourists. You will see demonstration of different ninja techniques, with the audience being included in many of the skits.After the show, you have an opportunity to practice throwng shuriken outside, or take photos (for a fee) with the performers.

After the Demonstration Zone, a further fee is required to visit the Ninja Preserved Residence, House of Ninja Art and lastly the Ninja Museum. The Ninja House was once lived in by a Ninja named Taroujirou. It was moved from a nearby Iga location in 1964.The guide was really great and involved the audience in the use of the different trick compartments in the house. Children will really appreciate the Zone and the Ninja House. The guide changed disguises quite a few times during the 15 minute tour, which the audience really appreciated. Shoes have to be removed and carried in a bag provided for the duration of the house tour.

After the house tour, a walk down a fairly steep staircase, will take you to the underground section of the tour - the House of Ninja Art. This is a small museum area, with quite a few displays. Most of the displays have english captions.There are quite a few displays on the clothing and weapons that the ninja used. Many other displays offer little known facts on how ninja lived and trained. It took 20 minutes to view this museum. Photography is allowed.A walk upstairs and to your right, will lead to the final museum.

The last area is the main museum - House of the Ninja Tradition. This museum has more extensive displays, and again provides additional information on Ninja techniques e,g, sending code by using coloured rice grains, elimination of body odour, methods of walking on water, climbing walls and a shuriken display. I think that the admission fee to these 3 areas (excluding the demonstration zone) was 700 yen.

On exiting from the Museum, the path leads back to the Gift Shop, where there were a few souvenirs on sale, but mostly geared to kids. Bathrooms are next to the gift shop. Do not miss the shrine, through the multiple red torii gates to the left of the ninja house. It does not seem to be regularly visited, and is not a part of the Ninja Museum tour. The Ueno Castle may be visited also, and is a 10 minute walk on the path leading to the left away from the Ninja Museum.

It was a long day, but if you want a real Japanese experience of travelling local trains and learning about Ninjas, this trip is a must, particularly if you have children between the ages of 5 - 13. The Koka Ninja Village has an authentic feel, located in a forest, and you actually get to try all the different Ninja techniques...if you can manage.The Koka Gift shop was excellent, and has great souvenir items including real swords and shuriken reasonably priced. In addition to this, you will get a Ninja Certificate for completing all aspects of the Ninja techniques.The village is mostly dedicated to children activities. The Iga Demonstration Zone, Ninja House and Museums are well presented, but the gift shop was not very impressive.

To get the most out of the day, please try both ninja areas. We took a long trip from Tokyo, so if you have children, I would encourage you to stay overnight in Nagoya, travel to Koka Village early in the morning e.g. 7am, then plan to reach Iga by latest 2pm. Remember to check the days and times of the demonstration zone, which is usually hourly shows between 11am and 3pm. There may be a long line at the Demonstration Zone, so plan to get here at least half an hour early. You could then return to Nagoya or go onto Osaka. The children can sleep on the trains, but remember that all local train connections in this area are quite close 5-10 minutes,and it is important not to miss any trains, as the next train may be 1/2 an hour to 1 hour wait. It will be a long day, but the memories from this day were probably the best on our Japan vacation.

7  Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2017 via mobile

This is an amazing place especially if you are a fan of ninjas. I took a walk from Iga Ueno station to save money. Not really recommended as it was quite a long walk.

I was totally amazed by all the trapdoors and hidden traps installed. Also, the museum is very comprehensive and educational.

This is not really a tourist hot spot which I liked it a lot. Only the Japanese will really come to this place. Really good experience overall.

Thank Sasori Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2017 via mobile

If you've never visited a ninja museum or show before, this would be the place to go for first timers. You can buy tickets for only the museum or the museum & show. Be sure to check the times for the show first before getting tickets. They give you a tour of the house & then you can go downstairs to see the museum. At the exit there is a little shop where you can buy some souvenirs like plastic shurikens. It's worth going to if you have some time from Osaka or time have some time travelling between Tokyo & Osaka.

Thank Melinda G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 July 2017 via mobile

A quick search for the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum would bring up wonderful images of an idylic Ninja House and some amazing people in costume. What it doesn't is the travel time of more than 2 hours to and from this place.

You would likely spend around 30-1 hour to tour this place especially if you'll avail of the Ninja Show. It's an awesome place to visit. The museum is very informative and honestly amazing. Do take note that there are timeslots for the Ninja House tour, as well as the Ninja Show. Make sure that you check their website beforehand. Your best bet would be to go in the morning, this way you are assured that there will be a show and when you go back to the city there would still be time to go elsewhere.

Personally, I did mind the commute but only before actually seeing what the place was. The experience was not just composed of the tour nor the show but the whole journey. Alighting from the conventional railway and being welcomed by Ninjas along the steps ;) To riding a train that is composed of just one car! And to riding the ninja train. The town worked hard in building up the attraction and it lived up to the expectatation.

I gave it 4 stars simply because of the travel time.

Protip: If its your first time in Osaka and have limited time to spare, I would suggest skipping this place. Maybe reserve it for your second visit as there are more Osaka-ish places worth visiting.

1  Thank jbaniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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