Iga – The Birthplace of Ninja from Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe or Nara

It’s about 90 minutes drive from Osaka/Kyoto

Ninja were a type of warrior during Japan’s feudal ages, specialized in gathering information about the enemy and conducting various acts of espionage and sabotage. The Iga School of ninjutsu (art of stealth), based in Iga Ueno, was one of Japan’s leading ninja schools, along with the Koka School in neighboring Shiga Prefecture.


Three historical castle towers of Iga Ueno Castle 1.) The first castle tower was built on this plateau in 1585 by Tsutsui Sadatsugu, a feudal lord appointed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi 2.) Todo Takatoria, a newly appointed feudal lord under Tokugawa Ieyasu, built the 2nd castle tower protected by a 30 m high stone wall. Its five-story castle tower collapsed in 1612, while it was still under construction, in a heavy storm. 3.) The current castle tower was built in 1935 with private funds by Kawasaki Katsu, a national politician from Iga-Ueno. Also known as Hakuho-Jyo (Hakuho is White Phoenix. a legendary and spirit bird of east Asia), it is a familiar Iga landmark among the citizens.


The small but well done Iga Ninja Museum (忍者博物館, Ninja Hakubutsukan) delivers a comprehensive ninja experience: it consists of a ninja residence, two exhibition halls and a stage which hosts ninja shows. The ninja residence looks ordinary from the outside, but within it is devised with revolving walls, trap doors and hidden compartments. Visitors are given a guided tour around the house with explanations on its various contraptions.

The exhibition halls display ninja tools, gadgets, costumes and weapons. They also inform about the ninja way of life and practical techniques used by the ninja. One example is to tell the time by observing a cat’s pupils. Exhibits come with explanatory signs in Japanese and English.


The ninja show features authentic ninja skills and real weapons, including a splendid demonstration of using throwing stars. Although the shows are held in Japanese only, they are still highly entertaining for non-Japanese speakers as most of the action speaks for itself.


Iga Mokumoku Agricultural Theme Park is an ecological farm with plenty of freshly picked and hand made delicious farm products. It’s about 30 minutes drive from Iga Ueno Castle.

Eat, buy and play……”Iga no Sato Mokumoku Tezukuri Farm” is like a “theme park of food”. You can spend the whole day having fun.

On its large property, you will find a beer restaurant with a buffet corner where fresh local vegetables are lined up; a bakery filled with the smell of breads just coming out of the oven; hand made hams and sausages made by a craftsman trained in Germany; local beer made from malt inside the farm with strong persistence and affection; and dairy products such as soft serve ice cream made from freshly squeezed milk from jersey cows. 
There are too many things you want to eat that there is not enough capacity in the stomach!

You can also experience harvesting of fruits and vegetables of the season such as strawberry picking, or experience dairy farming such as milking a cow or giving milk to animals.
The farm also has an outdoor hot spring full of rustic atmosphere and cottage style accommodations called “Okaeri Village”.


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Established since August 2018. A Japanese Company based in Osaka.

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