SAKAE, Chiba -- A new facility that rents out ninja costumes and other traditional clothes has been opened by the local government here in a bid to attract more foreign tourists to the area.
"Cosplay no Yakata" offers about 300 costumes of 20 characters, including samurai. The new wooden two-story building is about 250 square meters in size and also offers showers. It was built to replace the old structure that was opened three years ago after its size of about 40 square meters was deemed too small.
The town of Sakae, which is near Narita International Airport, is trying to attract foreign tourists to the area and about 30 percent of visitors to the facility have been from overseas. The new site is six times larger than the old one and cost 97 million yen to build.
The rental fee for the costumes varies from 1,000 yen to 6,000 yen and the outfits can be rented for up to three hours at a time. Nami Makino, 9, a fourth-grade elementary school student from Narita, Chiba Prefecture, who enjoyed throwing plastic ninja stars, said, "I feel like a female ninja."
(Japanese original by Tadakazu Nakamura, Narita Bureau)