I can bez Ninja?! (March 25)

Today we got to go on yet another excursion, which I am finding that I am greatly enjoying, as it is letting us get out and see things that we might not have otherwise done! This time, we got to head to a Ninja village, as well as getting to create our own bracelet or keychain out of silk cord. Our first stop? Kami no Sato!

Here is the place that we would get to learn on how to create things with silken cord. Luckily, they had everything set up already… but once it was explained, it didn’t seem too difficult. It had to do with moving the cords around the top in a certain way, only moving two at a time, and only so far… over… and over…. and over. To create a cord just a little longer than my palm took roughly 20 minutes, give or take… So I can only imagine how long it would take to create some of the other things they make! I took a few pictures of some of the other things the place actually makes, to give an idea of just the types of things that they are still creating with silken cord. Some of them are pretty awesome, albeit a little pricey.

After this, we were back on our way towards the real adventure of the Ninja village! But we made a small pit stop on the way at a little rest area that had food stores and convenience stores. You could tell it was close to the Ninja village, as they were very easy going with their ninja decorations. I got a souvenir or two here. But what I most remember is the steamed buns that I got… they were AMAZING! I almost wish I could make the trip back to that place, just for these… they were soft, and had pork and onion on the inside… they were so good!

We only had about 20 or so minutes at this place, before we were once again back on the bus and heading back towards the Iga Ninja Village! But eventually, we reached the base of the hill and reached our destination! We still had to climb upwards a bit, before we were at the ‘official’ village itself, which consisted of a few large buildings, as well as a museum of ninja artifacts. We got a tour of the main house, as well as given examples of ingenuity of ninja in those days, including trap doors, hidden floorboards, and all other kinds of sneaky tricks! It was pretty cool.

After our tour of the house, we were allowed a bit of free time to explore the nearby museum, which held all kinds of older ninja items, including less known weapons, garb, tools, as well as the traditional things, such as throwing stars, swords and such things! Some of them looked cool, though I can only imagine how difficult it would be to be properly trained as a ninja.

Eventually, we made our way through the museum and towards a venue hall.  We were going to get an actual demonstration of many ninja weapons, as well as techniques used for fighting. The show itself was primarily in Japanese, though it was still rather interesting. What was truly fun is, at the end, we got tickets and got to go down and try to throw some ninja stars for prizes… only one person out of the 60 some people that went got a prize. And no, sadly, it was not I. But it was still fun, proving just how difficult it was for them to be accurate with the throwing stars, like they had been in the show itself. After that, we actually got to take some pictures with the ninjas from the show… And yes, I know when you look at the picture with me in it, you won’t be able to tell which is the real ninja and which is me…. I’m just that elite! 😛

At this point, the trip was more or less done. We were afforded a little more exploration time before we had to begin heading back towards the bus. On the way out, we actually came across a dog… which was a pretty dog, mind you. But apparently it is famous in Japan… at least according to our teachers. Of course everyone wanted to pet the cute dog, others wanting to pet him just cause he was famous… and a couple people actually got interviewed because of the dog… was kind of interesting, albeit a lil weird.

After the excitement of famous dog, we headed back to our bus and headed back home.  All in all, it was a pretty fun and interesting day, getting to learn a lot about ninjas that I did not know.

End of Ninja Day!

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