Becoming a Ninja at Chonmage World in Mie
Located a 20 minutes from Toba station and is theme park Chonmage World.
Chonmage is the name of the hairstyle historically worn by samurai during the Edo and surrounding periods. So why is this theme park named after an old hairstyle? Because it’s a historical theme park!
It was a small theme park showing you what the time of samurai and ninja was like, complete with a recreation of Oda Nobunaga’s castle (the original was completely destroyed before this one was rebuilt).
Everything in the park, from the buildings and statues, to the appropriately dressed staff, was reminiscent of feudal Japan.
There were a variety of different buildings you could go into to learn about ninja and samurai culture—as well as a bunch of various games.
Unfortunately the games all cost money (it is a theme park after all…) so I never played one myself, but I enjoyed watching as others attempted to channel their inner ninjas skills throwing shuriken, ninja stars, at the wall.
There was also a small ninja museum which show cased some of the attack methods used including weaponry. We went into the ninja training facility, which was similar to a western-style haunted house.
After the training facility, we were put to the test when we were sent to the ninja training maze.
Upon learning everything there was to learn about ninjas, we were off to learn more about the samurai.
We hopped on a bus that took us up the rest of the mountain, where the Azuchi castle was.
There wasn’t too much inside the castle, apart from historical exhibit facilities and a few displays, but there was an outdoor balcony around the whole top of the castle. From there you could see the mountains, the ocean, and the surrounding town, it was really beautiful.
When we climbed back into the castle, we saw there was one more level you could go up to, but you had to take off your shoes and climb a tiny ladder.
Once upstairs everyone was in shock.
There were signs everywhere saying not to touch the walls or ceiling because everything was plated in gold. It was surely the shiniest room I’ve ever been in.
Visiting Chonmage World just to see the recreation of Azuchi Castle is worth it. It was a five-lay, 7 story structure, and proudly boasted of being the tallest wooden structure in the world.
So if you find yourself in Ise, stop by Chonmage World and learn about being a ninja or a samurai for the day– top knot hairstyle not required!
Azuchi Momoyama Bunka Mura
1201-1 Mitsu Ise City
[post by Beth]
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