The Koka Ninja House claims to be Japan's only remaining house where ninja lived and trained.
A 20-minute walk from Konan Station.
From Kyoto, take the JR Biwako Line to Kusatsu and change to the JR Kusatsu Line alighting at Konan Station. The Ninja House is a 2-kilometer, 20-minute walk to the south.
Note that the Tokaido Line is also called the Biwako Line in this area.
Former home of the head of the Koka Ninja Clan
Koka Ninja House offers a shuriken (ninja star) throwing range
Ninja lore around Koka, now Koga, begins in the late 1400s, when local rebels used the rugged surroundings to practice guerilla warfare. Over the years, clans of "fighters for hire" developed, and lived outside the strict codes of honor of the samurai warrior class. Koka's famous ninja were free to work in secrecy as spies and mercenaries.
The image of the ninja we hold in our minds today is largely a romanticized version popularized in kabuki theater plays.
The house was built during the Edo period (1603-1867), in the late 1600s, as the home of Mochizuki Izumonokami, the head of the Koka ninja clan. Although the Edo period was the beginning of the end for the ninja, with the introduction of firearms changing the way warfare was carried out, you can still see the Koka Ninja House just as the ninja left it.
It looks like a normal old house from the outside. However, the interior reveals a number of ingenious tricks and tools for repelling invaders that the ninja used for training. You'll have the chance to try these tricks and tools yourself. You can even practice throwing shuriken stars, try on ninja clothes, and sip "ninja tea."