Mie: Foreign tourists enjoy ninja museum

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Tourists from Malaysia dressed as ninja throw ninja throwing stars in Iga, Mie Prefecture.

IGA, Mie — A ninja package tour in Iga, Mie Prefecture, that allows tourists to enjoy tossing shuriken throwing stars and other ninja-related experiences restarted in October and immediately became popular among foreign tourists.

The tour was started mainly for foreign tourists nearly 10 years ago by the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum in Iga and local businesses. However, the tour was discontinued in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Inquiries have been pouring in now that the tour has restarted.

On Oct. 17, a group of 70 Malaysian tourists participated in the tour dressed in ninja costumes. At the ninja museum, they enjoyed seeing tricks at a ninja house, including donden gaeshi, a reversible board partitioning the rooms, and a hidden staircase, and ninja battle shows.

A 26-year-old participant said that she had long wished to visit Japan and was excited by the “cool ninja.”

With the ban on the entry of foreign tourists to Japan lifted, local officials hope the number of visitors will return to pre-pandemic levels.