Get a feel for the assassin life at the expansive Koka Ninja Village. Packed full of activities to test your ninja skills, a visit to the village will transform you into a legendary, stealthy shinobi.
Walk, take a taxi or arrange for pick up by free shuttle bus from JR Koka Station.
From Kyoto, take the JR Biwako Line—also known as the Tokaido Line—to Kusatsu. Change for the JR Kusatsu Line to Koka (about one hour). From JR Koka Station, the Ninja Village is a 30-minute walk. You may be able to catch a shuttle bus from the north entrance of the station (they'll pick you up on request), or just take a taxi.
Like the Koka Ninja House, the Koka Ninja Village is part of the Koka area's heritage as the home of ninja clans. In the 1400s, local rebels became famous for their stealthy methods and their ability to pass unseen in Koka's mountainous terrain. Over time, clans of hired fighters developed, known as shinobi ("sneaky") or ninja. The image of a black-clad warrior in the shadows comes from later folklore and even kabuki.
The Koka Ninja Village is a fun way to explore the legendary training of Koka's ninja clans. There are several buildings with staff to demonstrate tricks and tools from ninja training as well as their fighting techniques. You can rent ninja clothing and learn how to climb rock walls, use the "spider" technique to walk on water, and throw shuriken stars for target practice. You'll also see evasive features built into the houses, like traps and secret escapes.