The Iga-Ueno Tourist Association in Mie prefecture, Japan, has introduced a new program aimed at providing visitors with a ninja-like experience. The city is renowned for its historical connections with ninjas, and the program will showcase replicas of objects from the local Iga-ryu Ninja Museum in hotel rooms.
Named Ninpak, a wordplay on “ninja” and “minpaku,” meaning private lodging, the program features ninja tools such as shuriken throwing stars displayed in hotels.
The Iga Ueno City Hotel is the first hotel to participate in the program, offering three guest rooms that meet the program’s standards. Media personnel were given a preview of the rooms on Friday.
Jointly operated by the Iga-Ueno Tourist Association and Kyoto-based company Fujiya Co., the Ninpak program launched in December 2021 to provide a ninja-themed experience for tourists. The program was slow to take off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Iga Ueno City Hotel has now become the first to participate.
The hotel’s fourth, sixth, and eighth floors offer the program’s first three Ninpak guest rooms. These partially tatami-matted rooms were already ninja-themed, featuring wallpaper with ninja silhouettes and hidden makimono scrolls. Now, elaborate replicas of ninja tools from historical writings are displayed in a showcase on the wall. Each room has a different collection of tools, including firearms, break-in tools such as grappling hooks, and ninja weapons like shuriken stars and makibishi caltrops. Andon lamps with the emblem of the Momochi, a famous ninja family from Iga, complete the atmosphere.
Fujiya Co. specializes in planning and producing various display projects, including the refurbishment of the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum. The Ninpak program is expected to attract a wide range of visitors, including international tourists and families with children.
“Tourists from Europe love our ninja rooms. Many of them take pictures in the rooms. Now that the rooms have become more attractive with ninja tool exhibits, I think the rooms will be very popular,” said Iga Ueno City Hotel manager Kazuhiro Matsumoto.