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Touring Famous Ninja Villages

Togakure-ryu Ninja

Ninja-Mura A ninja action show (Togakushi Ninja Village for Children)

In Togakushi, Nagano Prefecture, there's the Togakushi Chibikko Ninja-Mura (site is Japanese only) (Togakushi Ninja Village for Children). It has a whole range of facilities that have exciting names, like Shinobi Karakuri Fushigi Yashiki (Ninja Gimmickry Wonder House), Ninjutsu Yashiki (Ninjutsu House), Karakuri Meiro (Trick Maze), Ninja Suraromu (Ninja Slalom), and Shuriken Datsu (Shuriken Darts). Visitors can even borrow ninja costumes if they like. Nearby, there is also the Togakure-ryu Ninpo Shiryokan (Togakure-ryu Ninpo Museum; ninpo means the same thing as ninjutsu) for people who want to learn more about ninja.

The facilities are about an hour away from JR Nagano Station by bus. One thing to note, however, is that both only operate from late April to early November, as the area experiences heavy snow in the winter.

Although here we have introduced just three of the more famous places, there are other areas known for ninja in Japan, and at places like Edo Wonderland Nikko (site is Japanese only) in Nikko and Kyoto Studio Park (site is Japanese only) in Kyoto you can see action shows by actors dressed as ninja.

About Togakushi
Togakushi is a highland area stretching out in the Togakushi mountain range. In the summer it's perfect for hiking and camping, and in the winter it's suitable for downhill and cross-country skiing. The Togakushi Shrine located in the village has enshrined the mountain deities of Togakushi for many centuries. The shrine boasts a pathway lined on both sides with about 300 four-century-old cedar trees extending 500 meters, and the precincts are filled with a mystic beauty. Togakushi is also famous for its soba, or buckwheat noodles, and lucky visitors may be able to actually see a soba-making demonstration. The Togakushi soba is not to be missed.