All About Japan

Unleash Your Inner Ninja in Nara!

Ninja Weapons Nara

The life of a ninja has to be pretty sweet. You get to sneak around on rooftops in the night, go on top-secret missions and throw shuriken at bad guys. And if you want to be trained in the ways of the ninja, all you have to do is go to the Ninja Academy in Nara Prefecture.

Here you can learn what actual Japanese ninja were like, and try out their weapons and training for yourself. It’s open every weekend, and you can choose between a five-hour-long, one-day course or the more intense two-day course.

Most of the training consists of learning how to use five different ninja weapons: sword, shuriken, blow dart, bow and arrow, and gun. According to the academy leader, his ancestors taught how to use firearms until the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Ninja had no scruples when it came to what weapons to use, and if a gun was the right tool for the job, then they’d use it without hesitation.

First came sword training, where you use an actual sword to try to cut through thick tatami mats.

Next up, shuriken practice. There are targets to practice with, including a picture of Naruto for you to vent your ninja-frustrations on.

Then came blow-dart training, for when you need to assassinate silently.

Next was archery…

...and then finally, firearms practice.

Lunch is included in the ¥3,500 (about US$30) price, which consists of a "Ninja Udon" and rice balls. At a price like that, it’s practically a steal!

Related Stories:
Add a bit of adventure to your tour of Asakusa with a ninja experience!
February 22 is Ninja Day, as these cosplaying civil servants at Koka City Hall just reminded us
Entry-level ninja needed to teach kids in Japan

Read full story: