From movies to books, comics to video games, ninjas have become one of the most iconic images in Japanese culture. But have you ever wondered what the life of a ninja was actually like in Japan? Were they like their silver screen counterparts, stealthily moving in the shadows? Or was there something more that’s been lost in translation?
Luckily you can experience and learn more about what ninjas were actually like in theExplore Japanese Castle and Ninja Experience streamed directly from Odawara Castle in Odawara city, Kanagawa. This hour-long Zoom journey takes you through the centuries old castle and unveils the true life of a ninja.
The experience begins with a brief tour through Odawara Castle, detailing its construction, defenses, and some of its collections. You’ll feel as if you've been transported there in person as the host walks you through the different areas of the castle.
You then get to participate in the main interactive attraction of the experience: learning about the castle’s ninjas and meeting a master of ninja techniques and knowledge. This master specializes in the Fuma clan, the clan particular to the Hojo family who called Odawara castle home. He shows you how to use various ninja weapons, like the katana (sword) and shuriken (throwing blades) - be sure to bring your own props to participate! - as well as techniques using hand gestures called kuji. All the while the master gives insight into the history and philosophy of the ninja, emphasizing the need for respect and reverence with your practice.
Having participated in the experience, I can say that I learned quite a bit about ninjas and was surprised by how little I actually knew about them. Most of all, the experience was an incredible window into elements of Japanese history and philosophy, which were exemplified through the unique demonstrations and explanations.
In a time when travel to Japan isn’t possible, this experience transports you to Odawara castle and allows you to participate in the world of the ninja.
To learn more and to book your experience visit:https://www.discoverjapan.guide/explore-japanese-castle-and-ninja-culture/
Price: ~$17.50/person (¥2000/person)
Group rate: ~$13/person (¥1500/person) for groups of 5+