Travelling From Home: Odawara Castle Online Ninja Experience

I was really looking forward to write about travelling again such a complicated topic with everything going on around the world with covid-19. At the moment any travelling for tourism and business to Japan is banned and with everything changing is hard to know when we will be able to visit such a lovely country, although I assisted to the Tokyo online expo and I kept in contact with many of prefectures tourism boards to start planning the content once the borders get open again. Till that some of them are offering those travel experiences online, one of the is the Odawara Castle.

Odawara is a city full of tradition and culture located just south of Tokyo. The beautiful city sits on the coast between the Pacific Ocean and mountains of Hakone. This once was an influential center of power for the Hojo clan and became an important commercial stop between Kyoto and Tokyo in the later years.

The Fuma ninja experience is live streamed from the Ninja Museum on the grounds of Odawara Castle in Japan, this experience aims to give participants true insight into the mysterious world of the Ninja. The experience is given in both English and Japanese and hosted by Jinkawa Hiroshi, one of Japan’s foremost experts on the history of the ninja and ninjutsu, the art of the ninja. The experience will include some historical background on the role of the ninja and then participants will be encouraged to try some traditional ninja training techniques together. 

I was kindly invited to take part of the online experience, so one Sunday morning I grabbed a cup of coffee and “travelled” to Odawara this is the kind of experience you can try if you were able to physically visit the castle and the ninja museum, I personally had the idea of “ninja” from all the cartoons and movies from back when I was a child and I’m glad I took part of this experience because clearly I didn’t have any idea of what a ninja was, the historical importance of them, what truly was their job, the clans and their internal conflicts around Japan, the tools they used and all the skills they had, the difference between a ninja and a samurai.

The tour lasts around 40 minutes, and apart of the history you get to learn about the tools and other skills any ninja needed to know, I liked in one part of the visit how the sensei talks about the importance of breathing properly and do a little exercise, and is true a ninja needed to run fast but really fast plenty of times and with a poor breathing he would’t go so far so body and mind needed to be well connected.

It was a very nice experience since I managed to learn a lot about the Japanese history and it was different, again I had a wrong idea about ninjas so in a normal trip I probably wouldn’t joined or visited the museum, I went out of my comfort zone (Well I was still comfortable in my bed with a cup of coffee) and experienced something different that I really enjoyed.

If you would like to take part of this online experience, you can get your ticket HERE

Participation fee is 1,500 JPY (£10.50) per person (reserve 12 hours in advance) 

I hope you enjoyed the post and tell me if you are planning a trip to Japan or fancy seeing anything in particular from this country.

Evelin x