Family Having a Blast Being Ninjas for the Day at Iga City

Family Having a Blast Being Ninjas for the Day at Iga City

Today’s destination was Iga City, also known as the city of Ninjas.
When I was asked if we would be willing to wear a ninja costume in this daytrip to Iga, I did not hesitate, or consult my husband and son, I said “Yes, of course!” right away. But then, I couldn’t help but wonder, “How does it feel to walk around the city dressed as ninja?”.

My name is Isis Akemi Muto, from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I’ve been living in Mie Prefecture, Japan, for the past 22 years. Recently, my family and I started doing some day-trips around Mie.

We met our guide for the day, Mr. Yasuda, at Ueno City Station and he was wearing ninja clothes. Later he told us that this is his daily working clothes. How cool is that to work every day dressed as a ninja?!

The one and only Ninja City Station. The station is actually called Ueno City Station (Uenoshi-eki) but I noticed it’s also written on top of it, Ninja City Station, which in my opinion, it fits perfectly. 

After our introduction, we took a walk around the station. At the entrance, we saw ninja related many sculptures. One of them was this giant Kunai that my son is trying to lift.

In Iga city, within walking distance of the station, you can visit several museums where you can experience the culture of ninja, kumi-himo(braids), and festivals. And they are located very close to the majestic Japanese castle, Iga-Ueno Castle.
To begin, let us introduce our family to some of the wonderful experiences at these museums.

At the first, ,we took a short walk from the station to Iga Kumihimo  “Kumi no sato”. This is another experience that changed the way I see something that I thought of as random, making braids and cords. 

I honestly had no idea that braided cords could be used to make so many types of crafts and accessories, and today we were going to experience making our own accessories. First, we were going to learn a little about kumihimo’s history. 

On the 2nd floor of the building, there were pictures explaining the history of kumihimo. Kumihimo was used for many things but the most important historical use of this Japanese traditional art can be seen on the samurai’s armor, it’s all covered with this fine art. 

My son and my husband checking the”takadai”, one of the many machines that require months of experience to maneuver, and impress visitors.
However,in our experience today,we were going to use one that seems to be easy to handle, the “marudai”, literally the “circle stand”for our experience. There was another machine that resembles spiders and looks so difficult to handle. 

Here, they were checking the “marudai” and already wondering if they would be able to handle that many cords. 

After learning about kumihimo history, we went back downstairs to a smaller but comfy Japanese style room with tatami floors. 

Among all machines, the “marudai” looks simple, however, according to the staff, the more cords that are included to the “marudai” the more difficult it becomes. Well, we were happy with just 2 colors of cords plus the golden thread that gives a special charm.

They gave us a couple of options of accessories to choose from, so my son chose a keychain, and my husband and I decided to have our own kumihimo bracelets. Then we chose the colors we wanted from a huge variety of options. As soon as we made our choices, we had a short and important explanation. Things can seem difficult until you try it, and that’s exactly how I felt. The first thing that came to my mind was “Will we be able to do that?” And the answer was, yes! 

The hand movements involved in making the braid are the same movements over and over again, they seem confusing at first but like anything else in life, it takes practice, and the more we did, the easier it became. 

20 minutes later, there it was, my son proudly showing his kumihimo which is about to turn into a keychain!

An interesting fact during the process is the pressure we used while making the movements. The staff told us that my son and I made more gentle movements while my husband put a little more pressure and that reflected on the shape of the accessories. 

The difference is visible. My husband's bracelet length (= ring size) looked tighter than mine.

I never had this kind of experience in Brazil before, and I loved it. In the future, I will definitely be bringing friends. 

Iga Kumihimo  “Kumi no sato”



After finishing the amazing kumihimo experience, we walked a little and headed to next museum,”Danjiri Museum.” 
The time we were all waiting for had finally come, to wear the Ninja costume. At the museum, it is possible to rent the Ninja costume for a day tour around the city, especially around the castle and the Ninja Museum.There were 4 different colors we could choose from, black, blue, red and pink. Each of us chose a different color.

Staff members helped us to get dress kindly since it was a little bit confusing if we dressed by ourselves because there were many parts.

We took some pictures at the many photo spots right in front of the Danjiri Museum. 
My husband was already incorporating the ninja spirit with his suspicious eyes looking sideways. 

We made some cool ninja poses without worrying about people passing by on the street.

Danjiri (festival float) Museum


Tourist attractions covered by this article