Home of the Iga ninja clan staging annual celebration of its shinobi heritage.

Usually, ninja are all about discretion. When an entire town holds an event because of how cool you are, though, how could any shinobi stay hidden?

And so it is that this week the city of Iga, Mie Prefecture, will hold the Iga Ueno Ninja Festa this week. The annual event celebrates the history and ninja heritage of the region, which was the base of operations during the 15th and 16th centuries for the Iga ninja clans.

With a castle and ninja museum, Iga already attracts Japanese history buffs, but that gets kicked up a notch during the Ninja Festa, during which visitors are encouraged to dress in ninja garb. Those decked out in shinobi chic can enjoy a number of special services in the neighborhood near Iga Ueno Castle, including free rides on the Iga Railway Iga Line between Nishi Ote and Kayamachi Stations (the section in which the Ninja Festa is taking place) and discounts on souvenirs and snacks such as local soft drink Ninja Ale.

If you don’t already have your own set of ninja attire, a special rental/changing area will be set up in the Haitopia Iga building next to Uenoshi Station, where 200 outfits, in sizes for kids and adults, will be available each day for 1,500 yen (US$9.60), and several local souvenir shops offer ninja-themed apparel as well.

▼ A map of the festival area, with venues spreading south from the castle park

Also set up around town will be a series of ninja training activity stations, to test the mind, body, and skills of would-be shadow warriors. For those who complete them all, a special document of ninja certification is bestowed. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to watch others demonstrate their skills (or maybe just want to keep the full extent of your shinobi powers hidden), a number of ninja stage shows will be held as well.

The Iga Ueno Ninja Festa starts May 3, and continues until the 5th, with festivities from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day.

Source: PR Times, Iga Guide
Images: PR Times
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!