Ninja Trick House in Shinjuku, Tokyo offers an experience you can’t get just anywhere: sword and throwing star practice in an intimate, hands-on environment that both kids and adults will love.
Photo courtesy of Ninja Trick House in TokyoPerfect as a short excursion from your hotel in Shinjuku or as a place to take the kids while your spouse is shopping (or napping), Ninja Trick House is located on the 4th floor of a small building in the back alleys of Kabukicho, and it could be “tricky” to find without a map, but don’t let that discourage you from visiting. Despite its urban surroundings, once inside you easily feel transported to another world, a world of espionage and shadows.
Photo courtesy of Ninja Trick House in TokyoThe tour begins with a short video pointing out the differences between ninja and samurai. Samurai of course were trained to fight on the battlefield, whereas ninja were employed for espionage and political machinations, and generally only fought to get away. Ninja Trick House has plenty of examples of hidden “tricks”, called karakuri, ninja used to conceal weapons, escape routes and so on, and this is what gives Ninja Trick House its name.
Once you’ve thoroughly explored the house’s secrets and have checked for hidden assassins, it’s time to release some steam with a (replica) sword – the dummy samurai doesn’t mind. The tour guide will show you the proper technique, complete with a bow at the end.
The second essential ninja experience is the shuriken throwing stars. Proper shuriken technique is all in the wrist. Aim for one of the several targets and give the throwing star a good spin for maximum style points. It’s also interesting to learn how shuriken were used not only for throwing, and how the different shapes were used for slightly different purposes.
The swords and throwing stars are not sharp enough to cut but of course proper care and child supervision should be exercised.
Tours are given as visitors arrive; no reservation is necessary. For the best experience (and due to the small room size) the tour size is kept to four people. The average time spent on the tour is 15 to 20 minutes. Fans of Naruto will appreciate the artwork on display near the entrance, and ninja souvenirs are also for sale.
Photo courtesy of Ninja Trick House in TokyoHours: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM *Last admission 8:30 PM
Closed: Check the calendar on their website for the latest holiday information
Admission: 1000 yen (children 3 and under are free)
Directions: Visit their website for a good map showing the way from Shinjuku Station’s East exit, or use Google Maps (shown below).
Address: Daiichi Wako Bld. 4F 2-28-13 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0021