Kintetsu Pass was bought to cover our day trip to surrounding cities of Osaka. And this third day we went to Iga Ueno which is popular for ninja. We took train and transferred at Iga-Kambe to reach Uenoshi and the whole trip from Namba to Uenoshi took around 2hours. On our way to Uenoshi station, we passed through wide fields and we concluded that Iga Ueno might be a peaceful small city. In Iga Ueno, we planned to visit Iga Ueno castle and Ninja Museum, which happened to be located inside Ueno park, 10 minute walk from Uenoshi station.
We first went to the Ninja Museum and at the entrance gate we were welcomed by the ticket counter of course, beside there was a ninja also. When I took photo with him, he taught me how to pose like ninja while saying “nyin nyin” instead of “cheese”. We were then taken to Ninja house where a ninja explained to us various kinds of ninja’s tricks which we thought was very smart when combined with the fast moves they did. Later in the museum area, we were exposed to the clothing, weapons (including the Shuriken), histories of ninjas as well as the difference between ninja and samurai. We also watched ninja show performed by 6 ninjas held to see how they fought and protect themselves. The 30 minute show was very humorous and interactive; however I remembered one baby boy cried loudly due to the noises of the weapons and fights.
Our next tourist spot was Iga Ueno castle but we decided not to enter the castle since we could already take the photos from the outside. Oh, there was a percussion performance under the castle at that time. We spent time to watch the performance; it was interesting to see the groups consisted of adults, teenagers and kids making such harmonious noises by percussion. Everyone was counting to keep the tempo, I guessed. We actually had almost seen one performance while we were in Odaiba but unluckily we reached the place while the performance had been over. This time we were lucky enough that they just started the performance.
We also saw Heiseiden Hall inside Ueno Park, a very Japanese style building which had interesting shape and looked like a hat, built to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Matsuo Basho’s birth, but there was no entrance allowed. Basho was a very famous Japanese poet and there were also Basho Memorial Museum inside the park, which we skipped because of little interest.
We thought of having lunch after we left Ueno park and went to Uenoshi station which happened to have an event and have food stalls. We tried the spaghetti and takoyaki here. Then we headed to Silk Braiding centre which was 2 stations away from uenoshi and we were not really interested when we reached it.
We left Iga ueno later in the day and reached Osaka. We went to Dotonburi to eat the famous Dragon ramen, which was very crowded every time we passed. We were disappointed to see the queue and moved to see other restaurant; so lucky to find another Dragon Noodle store with no queue! We still thought that this ramen still couldn’t beat Ichiran, however it offered more slices of pork so it was still worth it.