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“Very interesting ” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Myoryuji - Ninja Temple

Myoryuji - Ninja Temple
1-2-12 Nomachi, Kanazawa 921-8031, Ishikawa Prefecture
+81 76-241-0888
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Ranked #2 of 83 things to do in Kanazawa
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Very interesting ”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

You have to book this tour through your hotel... And It's probably the best attraction in the region. The tour is in Japanese, however, they give you a booklet in English to follow along. Just know, there are no restaurants in the area, so eat elsewhere first .

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329 reviews from our community

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  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
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  • Japanese first
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English first
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Perfect Diversion for Tweens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

We enjoyed this...while the tour is in Japanese, there is a very detailed folder in English explaining each area of the house. Our kids enjoyed it after wanting a "ninja" experience -- granted this is NOT a ninja house but the secret passageways was enough for us! You do need to ate reservations -- we were able to get in same day but it was very busy. Total our took about 30 mins -- very fun!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews 32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“More tricks, than worship”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Best insight of the turbulent history , the imaginative tricks the lords used for protection.
The whole place is based on deceit , looks like as something, but it is something completely different . Make sure, you have an interpretor with you, tours late only in Japanese , however a leaflet handed out in English makes it easy to follow.

Visited September 2013
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5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
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4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“I would return, if they allowed photography.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Myoryuji is a true Japanese tourist destination, and worth seeking if you are in Kanazawa. The introduction and tours are presented in Japanese. Everything except a glossy black and white brochure is in Japanese. We were fortunate to have Japanese friends who interpreted the tour guide’s descriptions, so we were able to understand some of the non-obvious features, such as the ability to stab invaders through the rice-paper kicks on a main staircase (you have to see it to really appreciate how clever it was). Another reviewer commented that there is a large folder with explanations in English; good. We did not see it, probably because our friends were interpreting the tour.

Nevertheless, I can understand some of the complaints of other reviewers. The reception that you get as a foreigner is rather formal. And if you try to take photos or video, as one inattentive tourist did, the tour guides will grab (forcefully) your camera, lens-first. Backpacks are banned because of the potential to damage the old and fragile walls and sliding doors, but there are coin-operated lockers, sufficient in number, to accommodate everyone, and I left my whole photography kit without worry. The introduction is prerecorded, is 20 minutes in duration, and is in Japanese only. If you don’t understand Japanese, then you can sit quietly and read the English brochure, and look at your surroundings.

I am particularly annoyed with places that restrict photography, even when safety or security isn’t a remote concern. One place that particularly bothers me is the Biltmore Mansion. Another is Myoryuji. I found the restriction on photography a bit hypocritical, too, since the English brochure has photos of the house, including the shrine (!). And you can find online, at the time that this review was written, numerous pictures of the interior taken by tourists, evidently with the knowledge of the tour guides. Conscientious photographers know not to photograph shrines, and a kind request from the staff would suffice for those not familiar with that sign of respect.

That said, this is an amazing tour; it is worth doing if you are in Kanazawa. Myoryuji was built four hundred years ago. It violated building code by having an extra story, but actually packed seven levels into four stories. A sixteenth century habitrail, Myoryuji has multitudes of hidden rooms, trap doors, escape hatches, disappearing doorways. At one point, the tour guide took us downstairs from the tatami room, then closed the door. When we then left that room I couldn’t remember how we had gotten into the next room because the door was so well fitted, it just blended in with the walls. The whole house is like this: confusing and beautiful.

Myoryuji is within walking distance if you are staying in the center of Kanazawa in the shopping and bar district. If the tour covered more of the house, or especially if photographers were welcome, then I would definitely return.

Visited August 2013
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48 reviews 48 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Fun place to visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

The visit is by reservation only so ensure you/your hotel make the reservation first. Once you are there, you'll notice a group of people all waiting around to get in. When the time comes, the staff opens the gate to the main hall and you'll see a staff carrying a list of names. Just give your name to the staff (if it's in English, write it out beforehand and hand it over). You'll then be guided inside the temple and asked to be seated. The group is about 30 to 40 people. They'll then broadcast something in Japanese. They'll then divide the group into subgroups.

The magic happens around that time. Somehow the staff is able to pick you out as the foreigner who looks totally clueless (I'm ethnic Chinese and I can pass as Japanese), and will give you a binder with English translation of the tour.

The tour ends about 40 minutes after your reservation time. You get shown trap doors, secret passage ways etc. Some rooms even have air-con. I won't give too much away so enjoy your time there.

Visited August 2013
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