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Iga is situated almost at the midpoint between Osaka and Nagoya. It is a castle town completely surrounded by mountains. The city is laid out in a neat grid of streets. It is famous as the birthplace of the Iga ninja spies. Close to the political center Kyoto, yet distinctly remote due to their rugged terrains, Iga and Koka presented an ideal hideout location for refugees, bandits and losing parties of battles. Ninja (忍者) were a type of warrior who specialized in unconventional warfare such as infiltration, sabotage and assassination during the age of the samurai. The ninjas would infiltrate into the enemy's ground with their special skills called 'ninjutsu,' with the objectives of scouting, conniving stratagems, raiding, harassing the rear guard and engaging other activities. Due to their unorthodox methods which contradicted the way of the warrior (bushido), the ninja were not credited with the same honor as the samurai. Iga is also noted as the birth place of the haiku poet Matsuo Basho, who created 'haiku,' unique Japanese-style short poetry consisting of 3 lines with 17 syllables. Two of Iga's main tourist attractions are the Iga Ueno Castle and the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum, the area around the city being the historical home of the famous Iga Ninja. Iga Ueno Castle is famous for having the highest stone walls in Japan. At the Iga Ninja Museum, you can enjoy watching powerful ninja shows, and experience for yourself the challenge of throwing ninja stars and even try on real ninja clothing. There is annual Iga Ueno Ninja Festa ninja festival in every spring.
Covert agent or mercenary of feudal Japan specializing in unorthodox arts of war
Consists of two shrines which are considered two of the most sacred Shinto shrines
Tallest castle honmaru in Japan; reconstructed with only wood to achieve a look closest to the original castle
Ninja museum displaying ninja tactics and weapons
Home to The Ise Shrines, Mikimoto Pearl Island
The traditional Japanese poetry art using 5-7-5 syllables.
interactive experience where you can learn the tricks and trade of Japan's ninja
Married Couple Rocks connected to each other by a sturdy braided rope