Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Raise your hand if at any point in your life you’ve wanted to be a ninja. *raises both hands* Yep, that’s me alright. I’ve always wanted to be a ninja. If only to be able to do one thing: throw a shuriken. How I fell in love with those ninja stars the first time I saw them. Such small and efficient weapons! So without skipping a beat, I jumped at the chance to visit the Saga Ninja Village Hizen Yume Kaidou.

Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Training started with the challenge of finding the ninja village. Without any pocket WiFi, we somehow located our training camp after an hour of train ride, half an hour bus ride and a quarter of an hour walking in the rain. We were relentless in our quest. Since it was raining that day, we found the historical theme park quite a bit deserted. The gloom and the mud accentuated the Edo era feel that the ninja camp was trying to sell. Then we saw our first ninja who sold us our tickets and tried to convince us to wear the ninja costumes. My companion would have none of it while I was only hesitant because I was sure there would be no size for me. So we moved on and explored the place.

Phase 2 at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Phase 2 of ninja training was climbing up these many steep steps.

Welcome to Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Welcome to Saga Ninja Village!

Spot the ninja at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Historically, ninjas were mostly spies who spent their time gathering intel by hanging around the houses of important people.

To-In Ninja Pose at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Ninja: To-In Ninja Pose imitating the shape of a ninja sword
Me: Japan-Japan pose because I was untrained

Playground at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Most of the facilities at ninja camp were rundown. For me, that only emphasized the very rustic feel. I wonder how ninja camp would feel after a twenty-first century revamp.

Ninja Show at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Fist stop was the ninja show where we saw a couple of ninjas run around onstage. It was entertaining but I needed subtitles.

Karakuri Ninja House at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

The Karakuri or Ninja House features a maze inside. Took us some time to complete it because some rooms were so dark and we were afraid that something would jump at us.

Shuriken Dojo at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Finally it was shuriken throwing time! There I realized that it would probably take me years before I can master the art of the ninja stars. The only time I hit the target was with the flat side of the star.

Fukiya Dojo at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

But not all hope for being a ninja was lost because I discovered that I have a talent for the blow dart. Check out that head shot!

Genzo Tsurugi at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Genzo Tsurugi, one-time Guinness world record-holder for most apples cut in the air by sword in one minute.

Checking an item off the bucket list at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Me, fulfilling a life-long dream of wanting to hold a samurai sword.

Samurai Sword at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Me, wanting to pose like a fierce warrior with my heavy badass samurai sword.

Ninja Sword at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

And me, fulfilling that other dream of wanting to hold a ninja sword. (I swear they would not take my photo unless I smile for the camera!)

Swords at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Samurai swords are longer, heavier and curved.
Ninja swords are shorter, lighter and straight.

Ninja Sword as a tool at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Genzo Tsurugi demonstrating one of the many uses of the ninja sword. This time as a step stool for reaching high places. Can’t do this with a curved samurai sword.

Fun House at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Final part of the ninja training was going through the (not) fun house where we just ran our way through, shrieking the whole time. Yeah, we were cowards.

Shurikens for sale at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Shurikens are for sale at the Saga Ninja Village. This made me absolutely ecstatic.

Ninjayce at Ninja Village in Saga, Japan

Thank you Saga Ninja Village! #ninjayce

The place, rundown as it was, had its merits. I do hope they revamp the place and add more attractions and activities. But really, I was still glad we went all the way from Sasebo to Saga for this experience. Because there wasn’t a lot of people due to the weather, we were able to take our time and not be stressed by any crowd. The staff was so nice and let us use the blow darts and shurikens until we were both tired and ashamed (me) for our lack of throwing skills. Geeking out was absolutely fun! And those souvenir shurikens made everything worth it.

How to go to Saga Ninja Village Hizen Yume Kaidou

  • From Sasebo or Hakata Train Station: Take the local train to Takeo-Onsen
  • At the Takeo-Onsen Station: Take the Bus to Kokaido Mae Bus Stop
  • Walk to the Saga Ninja Village

Address:
716-1, Oaza, Shimonoko, Ureshino-cho, Ureshino-shi, Saga

Hours:
Weekdays: 09:00 to 16:00
Weekends and holidays: 09:00-17:00

Tickets:
Admission + 4 activities: 1100 JPY
Ninja Show with treasure hunt: 500 JPY
Shuriken: 400 JPY each

October 21, 2016

***All photos were taken using iPhone 6

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

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