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Japan goes for the kill with ninja tourism
Kathryn Wortley, Tokyo, March 3, 2017

Ninja experts, tourism business and travel agents in Japan have launched the government-backed Ninja Nippon Project to attract visitors to Japanese cities with ninja roots.


According to the project’s representatives, many places across Japan have a rich connection with ninjas, such as Iga in Mie Prefecture, dubbed the “Ninja City”.


Representatives of the Ninja Nippon Project and Ashura, a renowned ninja troupe from Iga, Mie Prefecture. Photo credit: Kathryn Wortley


Hiroshi Mizohata, chair of the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau and vice president of the Japan Ninja Council, will leverage the success of experimental tours launched last year to introduce a series of ninja-themed tours in five areas in May.


“Ninjas are very popular abroad so by making ninja-theme tours we hope to offer enjoyable trips for inbound visitors,” said Masakuni Mori of Tokyo-based Tobu Top Tours, which is working with the Japan Ninja Council to develop two tours. “The tours will offer sightseeing in towns related to ninja heritage, and allow visitors to (try out) ninja weapons such as throwing stars.”


The 2D/1N “circular tour” will showcase multiple regions and their differences related to ninja history and culture, while the “stay tour” will target visitors seeking a deeper knowledge of the ninja culture with stays in one ninja region for five to seven days.


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