Although a majority of foreigners reportedly believe that ninja still exist in Japan, the unfortunate truth is that they haven’t been active since the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868). However, there remains a global fascination with these covert agents from feudal Japan, with everything from Naruto to ninja-themed restaurants becoming national sensations. Luckily for shinobi fanatics, Japan offers several opportunities to experience a day in the life of a ninja. Including museums, eateries and theme parks, here are some of the best outings for an immersive ninja experience.

Ninja japan

1. Ninja Tokyo Restaurant

If you’re looking for fine dining with plenty of ninja-related entertainment, Ninja Tokyo in Otemachi is a must-visit. The catch? The restaurant has been so popular among tourists, you won’t be able to get a reservation for a couple of months. With full courses starting from ¥13,200, Ninja Tokyo’s dishes are served by ninjas with plenty of tricks up their sleeves. 

2. Ninja Experience Cafe

If you can’t wait two months for a reservation at Ninja Tokyo, the Ninja Experience Cafe is your next best bet. There are locations in Asakusa, Harajuku, Kyoto and Osaka, and you can live the full ninja experience by getting into costume, learning how to wield shuriken, blowguns and a katana, all while enjoying some ninja-themed food and drinks.

3. Samurai Ninja Museum

Kyoto’s Samurai Ninja Museum ranked number one in a recent survey about museums popular among foreign tourists. While visiting, guests can learn about the history of ninja and samurai, try on samurai armor and throw ninja stars. It could be a great addition to a trip to Kyoto, or you can check out the Tokyo venue.

Ninja japan

4. Edo Wonderland

Edo Wonderland, also known as Nikko Edomura, is a cultural park that recreates the streets of Edo, and has plenty of shows and attractions to completely immerse yourself in the Edo lifestyle. The park has an entire “Ninja Village,” with ninja training classes aimed at children, a “Shikake Mechanical Maze” and “Karakuri Mansion,” to see if you have what it takes to be a successful ninja. The park also rents out ninja costumes for children, as well as samurai and villager costumes for adults.

Ninja japan hattori hanzo

5. The Grave of Hattori Hanzo

If you’re interested in ninja from a historical perspective, you probably know Hattori Hanzo, the legendary ninja credited with saving the life of Japan’s third “Great Unifier,” Tokugawa Ieyasu. You can visit Hanzo’s grave at Sainenji Temple. It also houses his battle helmet and spear.

6. Bukeyashiki Ninja Experience

Hinode Bukeyashiki is a historical building built 140 years ago that has been repurposed for film and photo shoots, lodging and cultural experiences (which include, of course, an immersive ninja experience). They have English tours where guests get into costume and learn how to use ninja weapons. There are also opportunities to take plenty of photos with a stunning historical building serving as the backdrop. 

Ninja japan

7. Kakegawa Castle

Kakegawa Castle is one of Japan’s few remaining castle palaces, located in Shizuoka Prefecture. A couple of hours away from central Tokyo by bullet train, the castle is a stunning cultural site as well as a great destination for ninja fans. A father-son ninja duo sometimes ambush the castle entrance and offer guided tours of the castle. There’s also an armor shop in front of the castle called Yoroiya, where guests can rent ninja costumes and purchase various ninja goods and souvenirs.

8. Ninja Training Village of the Akame 48 Falls

On the border of Mie Prefecture, this village is said to be the birthplace of ninja, and where the agents would train. Along with being a stunning destination to experience Japanese nature and hot springs, the park also offers ninja training. From slacklining to obstacle courses on water, guests can really put their skills to the test, all while getting in the spirit by being in full ninja getup.

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