Ninja country

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
Trip End Dec 04, 2011

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What I did
ninja museum,iga ueno

Flag of Japan  , Mie,
Friday, November 25, 2011

The day started out well enough.With the usual train connection(3)confusion.I boarded the Ninja train(it had cartoon ninja's paited on it) at Iga Kambe and headed to what I thought was the right station and got of at Iga Ueno.When I got off the train the place was deserted,I swear i could see tumbleweeds out the corner of my eye rolling down the street.I asked the station attendant if their was tourist info and he just looked at me strange and poined- I wandered round this small village of 4 shops,one a truckstop.There were some weather worn stuffed rag ninja figures above a shop but apart from this no sign of ninja's.A lovely stroll nonetheless and i actually found a 
ninja shrine(i think from the writing on it) In a little lane. It had an entrance to it that was like 4 foot high so you had to squat or kneel to see into it.
     I went into a junk and collectables store that had some really amazing stuff in it(opposite iga ueno station) and asked the nice old lady who ran it for directions.She was able to give me some maps and info and pointed me in the right direction,so I signed her visitors book and bought a steam boy mug top,to be used as a chopstick holder,and then i was off.
      So I headed into the main town past truckstop,river and floodplain.Past rice paddy and waving grain.Down deserted japanese country roads and streets.A fair hike but a pleasant one.I eventually
found the Ninja Museum.I met a german traveller who was sleaping in the outdoors a la kerouac hobo and was impressed given the time of year .when I was younger I had my own hobo adventures!Ahh memories!
       the museum has various parts.The first part is the Ninja House with all the trapdoors and secret compartments and weapon stashes and the other 2 parts are the museum itselfe which has all the ninja gear and information etc.Amazing stuff,apparently Ninja's first appeared in India 5000 b.c. and spread through china eventually arriving in Japan via Korea in 500 a.d.and didnt become a martial art till much later.
        And so the time getting on(if you go there leave very early I didnt!) I thought I'd miss the ninja performance and head off back into town and see if I could catch a few other sights like Basho's House etc. on the way to a train station,but alas I could not get my bearings and ended up going back to Iga Ueno,just as pleasant going back! I found at the station stuck to a wall a small statue in a glass box of some saint with a ball for a leg(or maybe thats his hat) and sitting on a red silk cushion.Amazing!
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Mike on

Brings back memories of the shows we watched as kids - Phantom Ninjas or something. I think there were a few different ones. Memories unlocked from 40+ years of long storage!

mum&dad on

how do we go about getting a book of all your blog. It all looks so interesting. it would be a shame not to print it. looking forward to seeing you soon.

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