If you’ve got it flaunt it…well you can stop now. No, please…
I travel to Iga a lot and I always enjoy visiting- mostly for work though. But there is one think that new visitors always take note of upon arrival- the city is very Ninja heavy. There are ninja dolls dotted around, souvenirs (a really good one located next to the train station- turn right as you exit and you’re there), and even signs saying that you can explore the historic city while dressed as a ninja.
Iga is traditionally thought of the birthplace of Ninjas and as the train station would tell you- it’s the Ninja station (or Ueno as everyone else knows it). But don’t worry, to highlight this face, there is the Ninja train or the Iga-tetsudo. Even if the paint work is to be ignored, there are ninja dolls at several stations along the way. Don’t forget city hall with its “welcome to Ninja city” sign. So I may be a bit jaded having been annoyed by tourists this summer…
But the amazing thing is that the Ninja city is also not quite true. While Ninjas do come from Iga, all initial training was done in Akameguchi, just outside Nabari (very beautiful area). This was during the foundation of the ninja- it did move later.
So while you ‘got it’ just be aware of the small print- originally it was more Nabari rather than Iga, even though Iga became the true centre of the ninja- if we overlook Koga.
There will be more on ninja in the future including everything that you didn’t know you wanted to know, and a ninja travel guide for Iga city.
Thank you for reading and happy exploring.