Iga JapanSnowtripTips-Ninja-Museum-Igaryu-Iga-Mie-Japan-kansai-culture

Published on October 1st, 2013 | by Japan Snowtrip Tips

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Ninja Museum of Igaryu, Iga, Mie, Japan – Ninjas are way better skiers and boarders than you…

Ninja Museum of Igaryu, Iga, Mie, Japan – Ninjas are way better skiers and boarders than you… Japan Snowtrip Tips

Ninja Museum, Iga, Japan

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Summary: Everyone wishes they could ride their skis or snowboard with the agility of a ninja. Maybe a visit to the Ninja Museum of Igaryu in the Kansai region of central Honshu, Japan, will give you the inspiration to shred like a shadow warrior.

3.8

Off the beaten snowtripper trail


If you think it`s cliché to be infatuated with Ninjas, you might be right. But legends of stealthy, black-clad assassins flipping from roof-top to roof-top are one of the most iconic cultural exports from Japan into mainstream Western imaginations.

With a background defined by espionage and secrecy, much of Ninja history is a bit hazy for scholars. But practitioners of Ninjitsu during Japan`s feudal era up until the turn of the 20th-century undoubtedly contributed to shaping the socio-political history of Asia.

Two locations around 2-hours East of OsakaKoka, Shiga prefecture & Iga, Mie prefecture — are considered the most significant areas in Japan with traceable roots to Ninja ancestry.

Atop a hillside over-looking the old castle town of Iga-Ueno in the shadow of beautifully reconstructed Ueno Castle (16th century), is where you`ll find one of the tributes to ninja fact & folklore, the Ninja Museum of Igaryu.

Ninja Museum Igaryu Info, Cost & Hours

JapanSnowtripTips-Ninja-Museum-Igaryu-Iga-Mie-Japan

The Igaryu ninja museum isn`t a blockbuster Disneyland-style destination, nor is it actually very close to Japow destinations in Nagano or Niigata. However, if you`re utilizing Osaka or Nara as a short-stay base for your international flight to/from Kansai International Airport (KIX) before or after your snowtrip adventures, a half-day excursion off the tourist track to Iga is a unique, slow-paced cultural journey worth making.

You`ll probably see  a few cheesy re-enactor mascots wandering the site in multi-colored ninja gear, but these rainbow (non)warriors actually add a bit of fun to the environment. After paying the low entry fee (¥700) you can follow along on a short guided tour of a reconstructed ninja house with trap-doors and secret passages. A bit of Japanese would be helpful as an English tour wasn`t offered, but we love that “smile, nod and make new friends” kind of Japanese stuff. If your timing is right (and for small added fees), you`ll also be able to watch weapons exhibitions and maybe even participate in a hands-on weapons technique tutorial with the chance to fling a few throwing stars.

Otherwise, your self-guided walk through the small museum harboring artifacts, photos, diagrams and written descriptions of ninja history (with English translations) will let you trace the footsteps of Japan`s mythical ninja clans who clandestinely trained near-by for centuries.

Ninja Museum Igaryu Entry fees: ¥700 (adult), ¥400 (child)

Ninja Museum Igaryu Hours: 9AM-5PM (last entry 4:30PM)

Ninja Museum Igaryu Access

JapanSnowtripTips-Ninja-Museum-Igaryu-Iga-Mie-Japan

You can easily reach the Ninja Museum of Igaryu (Ueno Park) utilizing your JR Pass from major Kansai cities, Osaka, Kyoto or Nara. After arrival at Iga-Ueno Station (not Ueno Station in Tokyo) either walk for 35 min. to Ueno Park or take the Iga Railway line for approximately 7 minutes to Ueno-shi Station at the foot of the castle closer to the museum entrance (additional cost for Iga rail line approx. ¥250).

Listed below are the multi-stage rail transport options with travel times and changes required for accessing the Ninja Museum of Igaryu from Kansai`s main urban hubs.

From Osaka or Nara:

JR Yamatoji Rapid train to Kamo Station-Kyoto (1 hour). – change – JR Kansai Line to Iga-Ueno Station (35 min.) – change – Iga Railway to Ueno-shi Station (7 min.) – walk to Ueno Park (5 min.)

From Kyoto (*recommended route):

JR Special Rapid train to Kusatsu (20 min.) – change – JR Kusatsu to Tsuge (45 min.) – change – JR Kansai line to Iga-Ueno (35 min.)

Ninja Museum of Igaryu Snowtrip Tips

Snowtrip Tip 1: Be quick like a Ninja…find a seat on the train.

The train ride originating in Kamo that winds its way into the once secluded mountain valleys of Iga is a special one. The train is a silver-&-purple-colored single-car that evokes a sense of nostalgia (and curiosity), but only provides limited seating for passengers. Without being pushy or rude — especially to elderly passengers in need of seats — we recommend attempting to secure seats as soon as possible. The little single cabin train makes a few stops along the way from Kamo to Iga-Ueno so if you don`t have a seat immediately upon departure, there`s a chance you`ll be able to find one later in the journey. However, the train ride is long enough that standing the entire time would be uncomfortable.

Snowtrip Tip 2: Be patient like a Ninja…allow enough time to casually enjoy the cultural excursion.

The museum itself will not take up much of your time (1 to 1.5 hrs), but as you`ll probably be staying in one of the main Kansai cities nearly 2 hours away by train you`ll need approximately 6-hours total to complete the round-trip. Within those six hours you`ll experience one of the most unique train rides of your life, wander the streets of what was one of the great castle-towns of feudal Japan, tour the grounds of wonderfully re-constructed Ueno Castle for free (interior tours for a fee), visit the Ninja Museum, browse the gift shop and probably grab a little something to snack-on before heading back to your base in lively Osaka, intriguing Kyoto or peaceful Nara.

Snowtrip Tip 3: Be humble like a Ninja…appreciate the experience solely for the experience.

In reality, the Ninja Museum of Igaryu is actually a side-note to the excursion. We highly recommend making the journey to Iga, but don`t get your hopes up for a life-changing museum experience. The real memories we built came from the quirky single-car train ride, unhurried (and uncrowded) stroll around the beautifully maintained castle grounds and broader understanding that we were visitors in a place that played an interesting & significant historic role in Japanese culture.

Snowtrip Tip 4: Be agile like a Ninja warrior…but strong like a sumo wrestler.

A sidetrip to the Ninja Museum Igaryu is a great, off-the-beaten path excursion in the Kansai region. But if you`re skiing or snowboarding adventure in Japan has you sliding through Osaka before or after submerging in Japow during March, you`ll definitely want to secure tickets for one of the country`s top sporting events, the Grand Sumo Tournament. To help get you moving toward your seats to one of Japan`s top sportive & cultural exhibitions, check out our helpful Osaka Grand Sumo Tournament info.

 

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is an Alpine Objectives Snow Media, Mktg. & Edu. site designed to help snowtrippers mix cultural excursions with epic powder submersions in Japan.



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