Mie: Studio in ‘ninja town’ offers samurai costume experience

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Suits of armor are seen at studio Notorious in Iga, Mie Prefecture.

IGA, Mie — A studio where you can dress like a samurai and photograph the experience has opened in Iga, Mie Prefecture, a town known for ninjas. The studio, named Notorious, was founded by filmmaker Hiroshi Nakamura, an avid collector of armor who has also made his own.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Hiroshi Nakamura

He built up his collection over about 10 years while working in a job servicing heavy machinery. He opened the studio to give tourists and locals a chance to enjoy the samurai experience.

The studio has a range of armor to rent, and is equipped with a green screen that allows various backgrounds to be combined with other video. Helmets can be combined with a favorite ornament from among a selection.

Shooting costs ¥1,500, including armor rental. There is also a course where you can walk around Iga-Ueno Castle and the castle town with a samurai troop formed by Nakamura and others. The studio is open irregularly and reservations are required.