Ninja is a word that has made it around the world. These mystical ancient warriors that would crawl like spiders to the rooftop and enter their enemy’s house as quiet as a mouse. On a trip to Osaka, you can put yourself in a ninja’s shoes and experience a cruise of the city to see the many sights in a more exciting fashion.
The emergence of ninja in Japan is said to have started in the sixth century, however, it wasn’t until the 15th century that they were specifically trained for covert missions. Ninjas were hired mostly by powerful feudal lords, “Daimyō”, in ancient Japan for espionage, sabotage, and even assassination. While Samurai adhere to a code of conduct called “Bushido” and fighting for honor, the ninjas do not follow any rules and their method of fighting is considered disreputable.
In the 17th century, under the Tokugawa Shogunate, peace was finally restored in Japan. During this time, ninjas declined in numbers and then eventually vanished; leaving only stories and legends of their existence in Japan warfare’s history.
Nowadays, there are several places in Japan where you can get a glimpse of the history regarding ninjas through museum tours, staged plays and even ninja training courses.
If you are in Osaka, thanks to this newest attraction in the city, you don’t have to go the neighboring prefectures to see and even experience becoming a ninja. The Ninja Training and Sightseeing Cruise which started this June 2017 allows everyone to enjoy a riverboat ride with an exciting twist.
The cruise starts at Hachikenya-hama Pier in Temmabashi, cruising from Okawa down to Dotonbori River. What’s exciting about this cruise is that every participant will be provided with full ninja attire such as pants, shirts and a hood or forehead protector known as a “hachigane”.
Katana is a sword-type blade used by ancient Japanese warriors. This type of sword is popular even outside the country and became one of the symbols and part of Japan’s rich history and culture. During the training course, you will get to know the proper gripping and use of this blade. Don’t worry, this training is safe as you won’t be using the real katana.
I think every one of you has watched a movie or anime where a ninja would throw a star-shaped weapon at their enemies. This star-shaped weapon is called a shuriken and was used both by samurai and ninjas in battles long ago. In this cruise, participants will also get to experience shuriken throwing and will be trained in the correct way to do it.
This will definitely be one of the most exciting things that you will experience on this adventure ride. A ninja training will not be complete without a fight with a ninja on board.
Participants are advised to make reservations by filling in the application form on their website. Reservations are accepted three months prior to your desired schedule or on the same day if there are available slots for you or your group. Once the application form is submitted, you will receive an email regarding the cruise and the payment details.
The fee for adults is 4,500 yen and 3,500 yen for children ( from 2 years old up to 6th grade). The tours only operate on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
Please take note that cruises may be canceled or delayed due to water or weather conditions. Participants are allowed to bring snacks provided that no trash is left on the boat.
Osaka is not just perfect for sightseeing, shopping and city walks but it is also a great place to visit if you want to immerse yourself in Japanese culture. This Ninja Training and Sightseeing Cruise is one of the ways to fully appreciate and enjoy your visit in the city. So if you are looking for things to do in Osaka, this activity should not be missed.