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STORY #042

The Villages of Secret Arts
The Real Ninja of Iga and Koga






Ninja have appeared in many forms of popular culture, capturing the public’s imagination with their amazing abilities in television, movies, and anime. But while the word ‘ninja’ is widely known, the true origins of these covert warriors are rarely known.
Iga and Koka are two areas considered to be the birthplace of the ninja arts.
Multiple fortified mansions were built, making use of the area’s remoteness and inaccessibility as well as the complex village landscape.
As mercenary groups formed to coordinate rule and maintain peace over the region, the Iga and Koka clans emerged, developing special strategies and techniques for unconventional warfare nurtured through the rich local religious culture and unique way of life of the region.
In Iga and Koka, the ninja traditions of the Sengoku Era (1457-1567) have been preserved and continue to thrive to this day.
Following in the footsteps of ninja, visitors to the region will be able to appreciate the true nature of these legendary warriors.

More Information [PDF 5.6M]



Koka City (Shiga Prefecture), Iga City (Mie Prefecture)


Koka City
  • Train
    • JR Nagoya Sta.(Kansai Main Line)JR Kameyama Sta.~JR Tsuge Sta.(Kusatsu Line)~JR Kibukawa Sta.(Approx. 2hr)
    • JR Kyoto Sta.(Biwako Line)~JR Kusatsu Sta.(Kusatsu Line)~JR Kibukawa Sta.(Approx. 50min)
  • Car
    • From the Tokyo Metropolitan Area to Tokyo IC(Tomei Expressway)~Toyota JCT(Ise-Wangan Expressway)~Yokkaichi JCT(Tomeihan Expressway)~Kameyama JCT(Shin-Meishin Expressway)~Konan IC(Approx. 5hr30min)
    • From Osaka Suita IC(Meishin Expressway)~Kusatsu-Tanakami IC(Shin-Meishin Expressway)~Konan IC(Approx. 60min)
Iga City
  • Train
    • JR Nagoya Sta.(Kansai Main Line)JR Kameyama Sta.~JR Iga-Ueno Sta.(Approx. 2hr)
    • Kintetsu Nagoya sta.(Nagoya Line)~Kintetsu Iga-Kanbe Sta.(Approx. 1hr20min)
    • JR Osaka Sta.(Osaka-Kanjo Line)~JR Kamo Sta.(Kansai Main Line)~JR Iga-Ueno Sta.(Approx. 2hr)
  • Car
    • From Nagoya Nagoya-Nishi IC(Tomei Expressway)~Ueno IC(Approx. 1hr30min)
    • From Osaka Matsubara JCT(Nishi-Meihan Expressway)~Ueno IC(Approx. 1hr30min)
  • Express Bus
    • Nagoya Meitetsu Bus Center ~Haitopi Iga(Approx. 1hr40min)
    • Osaka Umeda~Haitopi Iga(Approx. 1hr40min)


  • Koka City Tourism Promotion Division
  • TEL:0748-69-2190
  • Iga City Tourism Promotion Division
  • TEL:0595-22-9670


The Villages of Secret Arts