Search for Ninjas in Nagano

Togakushi
Sanada (Ueda)
Matsumoto

Togakushi

Togakushi, the mountain wilderness located above central Nagano City, has been known for centuries as a sacred place, and home to shugendo ascetic monks from 800 years ago. From that origin emerged the Togakure-ryu school of ninjutsu, considered to be one of the top 3 such schools in the country. Today, the intrepid can trek the forest reserve to see the caves the shugendo hermits dwelled in as well as the wild plants used for medicine – and poison. For everyone, there is the Kids Ninja Village and the Togakushi Ninpo Center which both feature various ninja-like athletic challenges, a museum displaying ninja tools and depictions of their secretive techniques, and so on. One of the soba restaurants (Togakushi is a major buckwheat growing region famous for soba noodles) offers “Ninja Soba”, and a local gift shop sells ninja-related items.

For people curious about Ninja, Togakushi offers a great introduction to the origins of the Togakure-ryu tradition.


  • Togakure-ryu Ninja Training
    Yamanokami Dojo
    Sneak a Peak into the World of Ninjas be a Lesson with a Togakure-do Master!

    Dates :
    Every Sunday
    Hours :
    9:00-11:00 (other times by appointment)
    Reservations :
    Not required

    Details


  • Togakure-ryu Ninja Training
    Yamanokami Dojo
    Sneak a Peak into the World of Ninjas be a Lesson with a Togakure-do Master!

    Dates :
    Every Sunday
    Hours :
    9:00-11:00 (other times by appointment)
    Reservations :
    Not required

    Details

Sanada(Ueda)

Sanada, a district of modern-day Ueda City, is the historical home of the Sanada Clan, one of the most storied samurai families. Novels have been written and television mini-series produced about their heroic deeds. Closely tied to the Sanada are tales of ninja activity, some presumptive and some simply the stuff of legends. Read on to find what role Yamaga Shrine played for ninja spies, and to discover the boulders where the fabled ninja Sarutobi Sasuke is said to have practiced his techniques. And then there is Ueda Castle, the Sanada bastion in central Ueda City, with its ninja secrets.


  • Ueda CastleSecrets of Ninja and Ninja Training Center
    Details

  • Kakuma GorgeMythical Ninja Training Ground – the Sarutobi Boulders
    Details

  • Yamaga ShrineImportant Junction for the Sanada Ninja
    Details

Matsumoto

Matsumoto is a castle town built around its famous keep in the center. Although a peace-time castle (as opposed to a Warring States Era fortress) it was an operational structure protected by active samurai.
According to the Matsumoto City Museum, the Toda Family of samurai were the most important vassals of the Matsumoto Domain, supporting the Matsumoto clan for over 150 years with their four areas of expertise being spear fighting, artillery, medicine and … ninjutsu. The Todas reportedly recruited a ninja named Akutagawa from Koga (one of Japan’s top three schools of ninjutsu). He familiarized himself with the terrain and customs around the city and contributed to the Matsumoto Domain through information gathering.
When coming Matsumoto, be sure to visit Matsumoto Castle and keep an eye out for the secret ninja role Akutagawa likely played.


  • Kimono & Ninja Costume Rental Shop
    Hanakomichi
    Take a one-of-a-kind stroll in a kimono, ninja costume, or samurai armor through the castle town of Matsumoto!

    Dates :
    Tuesday – Sunday
    Hours :
    10:00-17:00 (other times by appointment)
    Reservations :
    Not required

    Details

Others


  • Tomi City
    Nonou graveyardThe Final Resting Ground of the Lady Ninjas
    Details