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Friday 7 April 2023

Where to unleash your inner ninja warrior

One Japanese city is hoping to boost tourism by promoting the region's links with Ninja warriors.

A ninja was a covert agent, mercenary, or guerrilla warfare expert in feudal Japan. 

These black-cloaked figures were believed to possess superhuman powers and were masters of a style of Japanese martial arts known as ninjitsu.
Some legends say they were capable of invisibility, teleportation and shapeshifting. 

Now the tourism association of Iga, a city in Mie prefecture known for its historical ties with ninja, has launched a program to give tourists the feeling of being a ninja themselves.

The plan will see replicas of items from the local Iga-ryu Ninja Museum (above) displayed in in hotel rooms, along with artworks depicting ninja, the Washington Post reports.

The Iga-Ueno Tourist Association, which runs the museum, has named the program Ninpak, a play on the words ninja and minpaku, the latter of which refers to a private lodging.

Under the program, shuriken throwing stars and other ninja tools will be exhibited in hotels.

The first hotel to join the program is the Iga Ueno City Hotel, which has prepared three guest rooms that meet the program’s standards.

The program is being jointly operated by the association and Fujiya Co., a Kyoto-based company specializing in planning and producing display projects that was in charge of refurbishing the museum.

So if ninja weapons such as shuriken stars and makibishi caltrops (sharp, spiked weapons) are your thing then you might be interested. Just don't get drunk and start throwing them around.

“Tourists from Europe love our ninja rooms," says Iga Ueno City Hotel manager Kazuhiro Matsumoto. "Now that the rooms have become more attractive with ninja tool exhibits, I think the rooms will be very popular.”

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