Iga,The city where almost everything is inspired by ninja

Iga,The city where almost everything is inspired by ninja

Our family enjoyed a day trip to Iga City. We put on a ninja costume and visited various museums to learn about ninja and Iga culture. However, I heard that there are many shops related to ninja in the town of Iga, and you can walk around the town as well as museums. So we walked around the city while wearing a ninja costume.

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 left the Ninja Museum and headed  to the city. The good thing about that area is that many nice souvenir stores, great restaurants are close to the museum and the train station.

We went to the famous clothing store called “Iga-no-Kyomaruya” which sells many great products with great designs which are based on, of course, Ninja! And I also noticed that all the “sukajan”, or Japanese souvenir jacket, had the beautiful detail of kumihimo. Even my son was obsessed with this cool design.

“Iga-no-Kyomaruya” also sells products with a special character, the Mickey Mouse. If you are a Mickey Mouse fan, you must come to this store, this is the only place you will find Mickey Mouse dressed as a ninja! How cute is that?! You can buy a Mickey Mouse design on a t-shirt, mug, water bottle, and many other products.


mail: info@kyomaruya.com

On our way to another store, we found many mural, and of course, we stopped to take some pictures. There are many spots in the town of Iga where you can take pictures like this.  It was time to put our creativity to work to make some cool poses.

We continued to explore the city and we noticed that there were still many traditional houses. In fact, some of them caught my attention.  I noticed that the height of the 2nd floor was really low. I wondered why. According to Mr. Yasuda, it was forbidden to look down on the daimyo and samurai,so in the past the 2nd floor of each house was built to be lower than the daimyo’s carriage.   When he passed even people on the second floor could see him without looking down on him.

“Miyazakiya” is a big store that sells many products, especially a Japanese pickle called “Youkandzuke”. Honestly, I’m not a fan of pickles in general but I do like Japanese pickles, in fact, I’m the only one in my family who eats Japanese pickles on a daily basis . In Japan, there are many kinds of pickles, however, “Youkandzuke” can only be found here, in Iga City. It is a pickle made of white melon and using soy sauce.

We had the pleasure to meet Mr. Miyazaki who is also the owner of the store. Mr. Miyazaki was kind enough to spare his time to explain about the process to make this special pickle which is a long and fascinating process. Tourists buy it as a souvenir as well..He also showed us another product (the one in the picture) called “Kakeru Otsukemono”. 

He explained that young people nowadays don’t eat Japanese pickles, so the way they could introduce the “Youkandzuke” to the young people was through this product which is a seasoning that can be used to add flavor to many kinds of food, especially salads and meat. We decided to buy it and our only regret is that we bought just one bottle. The dressing is delicious, we all loved it, my children included! So, this idea they had was great! My husband and I are planning to go back again to buy not only the “Youkandzuke” but also another bottle of “KakeruOtsukemono”

And we were surprised by another product they sell, the ice cream. The difference about this ice cream was that the taste was not chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, it’s a soy sauce ice cream! We were shocked! I was expecting something salty or sour, anything but sweet, guess what? Even though it’s made from soy sauce it was delicious! The taste depends on each person. To me, it tasted like caramel. My son said it tasted like coffee with sugar, my husband, on the other hand, tasted both caramel and coffee. But what about the soy sauce?  I got a taste of soy sauce when I was finishing my ice cream. Sure enough, this is soy sauce ice cream!

 I really enjoyed coming to “Miyazakiya” and to have met Mr. Miyazaki. Mr. Miyazaki even taught us the proper way to hold the “katana”, the Japanese sword.


And we finally headed to the most delicious part of the day, lunch time. We were starving. “NIKAKU” is an izakaya restaurant and because it’s famous, it was crowded. When we finally got inside, we were amazed by the decorations, ninja stuff everywhere. 

 As we were going in, I got confused by the door. It had no handles. How was I supposed to open it? Seconds later, the owner of the restaurant,Mr. Nagasaki pushed the door and it opened, that’s when I noticed it’s a pivot door, you have to spin it to open it. Just like the ninja house, the restaurant had many tricks. There was a small hidden door at the threshold of the tatami room where ninjas go in and out, an inverted clock used in a mirror, and much more. We had a great time while waiting for our meals to be prepared.

Tourist attractions covered by this article