Enter the Realm of Ninjas
The Togakushi Ninja Museum, located in Togakushi, northwest of Nagano City, is a fascinating destination dedicated to the ancient and secretive art of ninjutsu. It pays homage to the warriors who trained in the surrounding mountains and provides visitors with a unique insight into their world.
Don’t Miss: Exploring the Ninja House and Testing Your Shuriken Throwing Skills
One of the highlights of the Togakushi Ninja Museum is the opportunity to navigate through the special Ninja House. This house is filled with traps and secret passageways, creating a veritable labyrinth that is notoriously tough to escape from. It offers visitors a chance to experience the challenges that ninjas faced in their daily lives.
Additionally, visitors can test their shuriken throwing skills at the target range. Shuriken, blade-like metal throwing stars, were a commonly used weapon by ninjas. At the museum, they are displayed in various shapes and sizes, showcasing the incredible skill and precision required to master this art.
How to Get There: Convenient Bus Ride from Nagano Station
Getting to the Togakushi Ninja Museum is easy, thanks to the bus services available from Nagano Station. Bus numbers 70 and 71, bound for Togakushi, will take you directly to the Togakushi Okushairiguchi bus stop, which is just across from the museum. The journey provides scenic views of the surrounding countryside, adding to the overall experience.
Explore the Way of Ninjutsu: Unraveling the Ancient Art
The Togakushi Ninja Museum is dedicated to the local Togakushi school of ninjutsu, which originated in the 12th century. Ninjutsu practitioners, known as Togakushi, resided in the Togakushi mountains, which were once inaccessible and provided the perfect training ground for their stealthy skills.
The Togakushi school of ninjutsu was influenced by the philosophy of Buddhist-shaman ascetics called yamabushi, who had long inhabited the mountains. This unique blend of spiritual teachings and physical training formed the foundation of the Togakushi school, setting it apart from other ninja traditions.
Get Up Close with Weapons Only Seen on the Big Screen
The Togakushi Ninja Museum boasts a vast collection of exhibits and activities that allow visitors to delve into ninja history. One of the highlights is the display of traditional weaponry, including katana, the iconic Japanese swords. These swords were not only used for combat but also symbolized the honor and dedication of the ninja.
In addition to katana, the museum showcases an impressive array of shuriken. These throwing stars come in various shapes and sizes, reflecting the creativity and ingenuity of the ninjas. Seeing these weapons up close provides a deeper appreciation for the skills and craftsmanship required to wield them effectively.
Learn All About the Hidden History of the Ninja
While the weaponry grabs attention, the true essence of ninjutsu lies in espionage, infiltration, and remaining unseen. Contrary to popular belief, violence was not the primary focus of ninjas. Instead, they excelled in gathering information and executing covert operations without detection.
At the Togakushi Ninja Museum, visitors can explore information boards that illustrate the arts of espionage and infiltration. These displays shed light on the techniques used by ninjas to blend into their surroundings and gather valuable intelligence. Additionally, the museum houses a collection of ninja clothing and gear, reminding visitors of the human aspect behind these legendary warriors.
Visit the Ninja House: A Veritable Labyrinth
A visit to the Togakushi Ninja Museum would not be complete without experiencing the Ninja House. This adjacent building is a museum highlight, offering an immersive journey into the world of ninjas. Inside the house, visitors will encounter traps and secret passageways, testing their wit and agility as they navigate through the labyrinthine structure.
Once visitors successfully escape the Ninja House, they can head to the target range to try their hand at shuriken throwing. This activity allows visitors to emulate the skills of the ninjas, honing their aim and precision. It is a thrilling experience that provides a glimpse into the intense training and dexterity required to be a ninja.
Ninja Fun for the Little Ones: Kids Ninja Village
For families traveling with children, the Kids Ninja Village located 3.4 kilometers from the Togakushi Ninja Museum is a must-visit attraction. This ninja-themed park offers young ones the opportunity to don ninja outfits and immerse themselves in various attractions, including forested adventure playgrounds, climbing walls, and a blow dart range. They can even participate in game-style shuriken-throwing courses, fostering their interest in ninjutsu and igniting their imagination.
Recommended for You: Iga Ueno Castle and Chibikko Kids Ninja Village
If you’re interested in further exploring the world of ninjas, two other attractions worth considering are Iga Ueno Castle and Chibikko Kids Ninja Village.
Iga Ueno Castle, located in the city of Iga, is a historic castle with strong ties to the world of ninjas. It houses a museum dedicated to ninjutsu and showcases various artifacts and exhibits related to this ancient art. Visitors can learn about the techniques and strategies employed by ninjas while marveling at the architectural beauty of the castle.
Chibikko Kids Ninja Village, situated near the Togakushi Ninja Museum, is a ninja-themed village designed specifically for children. It offers a range of activities and attractions, allowing young ones to immerse themselves in the world of ninjas. From obstacle courses to climbing walls and shuriken-throwing, this village provides a fun and educational experience for kids.
In conclusion, a visit to the Togakushi Ninja Museum is a journey into the realm of ninjas, where history and legend intertwine. From exploring the Ninja House and trying out shuriken throwing to learning about the hidden history of ninjas, this museum offers a comprehensive and immersive experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a fan of martial arts, or simply curious about the secretive world of ninjas, the Togakushi Ninja Museum is a destination that should not be missed.
Address And Maps Location:
3688-12 Togakushi, Nagano-shi, Nagano-ken