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West Japan hotel's new 'ninja rooms' feature hidden scrolls, throwing stars

A showcase containing replicas of ninja firearms is seen in the ninja room on the fourth floor of the Iga Ueno City Hotel in Iga, Mie Prefecture, on March 28, 2023. A hidden scroll can be seen under the floor to the left of the paper lantern. (Mainichi/Yasuhiro Onishi)

IGA, Mie -- Guests are now welcome to stay at the first hotel rooms to be adorned with replicas of fire arrows and other tools from a ninja museum in this west Japan city.

    The Ninja Museum of Igaryu and its operating company, the Iga-Ueno Tourist Association, joined forces with an event planning company based in the city of Kyoto in December 2021 to start creating the "ninja rooms" at hotels and other lodging facilities. However, due to factors such as the coronavirus pandemic, no orders had been placed for the service.

    Around 2015, the Iga Ueno City Hotel began creating its own style of ninja-themed rooms, with one room each on floors 4, 6 and 8 with features such as ninja wallpaper and scrolls containing riddles hidden under movable flooring. The hotel became the first to request the museum's service, with work completed this month. Kazuhiro Matsumoto, the hotel's manager, said they decided on the ninja rooms partly in hopes of attracting foreign tourists.

    The ninja room on the hotel's fourth floor is equipped with a 120-centimeter-wide by 80-centimeter-tall showcase on the theme, "firearms of the Igaryu ninja," featuring replicas of various types of fire arrows which were used by ninjas, along with excerpts of literature from the Edo period containing references to the items.

    Replicas of stealth tools used by ninjas decorate a showcase in the sixth floor's ninja room, at the Iga Ueno City Hotel in Iga, Mie Prefecture, on March 28, 2023. (Mainichi/Yasuhiro Onishi)

    The room on the sixth floor features replicas of grappling hooks and other ninja stealth tools, while combat tools such as the infamous "shuriken" throwing stars are displayed in the eighth floor's ninja room. Paper lanterns with the crest of the famous Momochi ninja family are also in three rooms.

    The museum has indicated that rooms featuring other ninja items are possible. The Iga Ueno Tourist Association said it would like to follow up with other ideas, such as a "Hattori Hanzo room," after the famous Sengoku-period ninja, and the "castle shinobikomi room."

    The ninja rooms are 23 square meters, and can accommodate one to four people. For inquiries, the hotel can be reached by phone (in Japanese) at 0595-22-0101.

    (Japanese original by Yasuhiro Onishi, Iga Resident Bureau)

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