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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs tagged Iga

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Iga, Japan - 2015

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 22/04/2015 11:02:25

I know - we're already three-weeks in and you are probably wondering why I haven't mentioned ninjas yet. Never fear, I scheduled a stop in Iga - home of one of the two most well-known clans of ninjitsu - the Iga (you may have already heard of Hattori Hanzo). Before we get into that - my daily planner insisted that we sample of the locally grown Iga beef, which we did at Kanaya.

Meat Store
With a butcher downstairs, you know the meat is going to be fresh

With almost no English being spoken, I'm positive we made a few faux pas during this meal. Doesn't matter - had beef

After a very satisfying meal we continued on to the Ninja Museum (which included a ninja demonstration - which I was just a tad excited about). Like most people (I would assume) the bulk of my ninja knowledge (and fascination) came from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (and game) of my youth. I'm still a firm believer that your favourite ninja turtle says a lot about who you are (I'm a devout fan of Donatello - of whom does machines) - moreso than your blood type anyway. But let's start with what I learnt about actual ninjas at the ninja museum.

Ninja Charms
If nothing else, I learnt that baby ninjas are deadly cute

Ninjitsu was not just stealth and assassination, it was more like a way of life. The skills of Ninjitsu included teachings around health, spirituality and meteorology - as well as study in combat and espionage. It is true that feuding lords would hire ninjas to spy on others - but the common trope of a shadowy figure clad in black is generally disputed - it was far more likely that a ninja would we wearing navy blue to impersonate a common farmer (allowing them to carry "farming tools" such as a scythe without suspicion) or even to appear as a travelling acrobat or performer.

Aryan Ninja
The blue (believe me) suit of the ninja, look at all those hidden pockets

The ninja museum also included an hourly combat demonstration and a ninja house with hidden doors and secret compartments. While the demonstration was kind of childish, the ninja house demonstration was worthwhile. The best part however was the museum displaying a heap of old-style weapons, tools and plenty of information of which I was completely ignorant (as is usually the case).

Combat I Guess
I was most excited for the demonstration - which turned out to be lame...

Box Art
... even though this guy's skills were quite impressive

The blurry photo is completely due to the speed of the ninja, and not my unsteady hands

Not a long time spent in Iga, but it was plenty of fun and kind of on our way to our next stop - Nagoya.

This is the 18th in the Super Fun Chronological Japan Travel Catalogue series
GET 1 - Nikko, Japan - 2015GET 2 - Ueno (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 3 - Akihabara (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 4 - Ginza (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 5 - Asakusa (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 6 - Shinjuku (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 7 - Harajuku (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 8 - Shibuya (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 9 - Odaiba (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 10 - Kawaguchiko (Five Lakes), Japan - 2015GET 11 - Yokohama, Japan - 2015GET 12 - Kamakura, Japan - 2015GET 13 - Osaka, Japan - 2015GET 14 - Kobe, Japan - 2015GET 15 - Hiroshima, Japan - 2015GET 16 - Himeji & Nara, Japan - 2015GET 17 - Kyoto, Japan - 2015GET 18 - Iga, Japan - 2015GET 19 - Nagoya, Japan - 2015GET 20 - Takayama & Gero, Japan - 2015GET 21 - Sakura & Bonus Wrap-up, Japan - 2015
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