Right next to the Hanayashiki theme park in Asakusa, there is a ninja merchandise shop with a hidden ninja dojo! Over one hour, you will learn the basics of how to be a ninja, such as how to use a sword, how to walk stealthily, hide from your enemies in plain sight, and throw shuriken.
You won’t become a true ninja master in just that lesson, but it is fun and interactive experience and teaches something about how ninjas trained and worked in olden day Japan. It would help if you understood a bit of Japanese to communicate with the teacher, but if you don’t, all the key learning points and instructions are also listed in English on a screen. The rest of the lesson is very interactive, and you will understand the teacher through demonstrations.
First, the ninja teacher will teach you how ninjas handle a sword, and the reason why they use short swords rather than long katanas. A ninja needs to be quick and stealthy, and you will learn how to handle a sword the way ninjas do, but with a plastic weapon of course.
Next, you will learn how to walk quietly and low to avoid being seen over walls. This will leave your legs a little sore and you will need to be in pants you can move around comfortably in. This is a small glimpse into the fitness training that ninjas must undergo before they can be deployed on missions.
After that, you will learn how to blend with your surroundings. This is one of the easier and sillier tasks, that you are sure to breeze through. Next comes the hardest one of all—throwing shuriken. You will practice throwing shurikens onto a target. The shurikens are real and made of metal, and can do some damage if you aren’t careful. You will be taught two throwing techniques, and will get plenty of practice. It is harder than it looks to get the shuriken nicely lodged into the cork board. You can then have a competition with your ninja teacher and fellow classmates, similar to the annual shuriken throwing contest held in Iga.
For your hard work, you will be awarded with a personalised certificate, and will get to keep the shinobi headband that you have been wearing to train with. You can show your certificate in the store to get 10% off all items too. The fees for each person in ¥2,000 and there are six lesson timings to choose from each day, which you can book from their website.