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“Not a spiritual temple, but full of intelligent attraction”

Myoryuji - Ninja Temple
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US$689.82*
and up
Private Kanazawa Custom Day Tour by Chartered...
Ranked #9 of 290 things to do in Kanazawa
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 29 June 2018 via mobile

Today no tourists visit this temple for a prayer, but to see curiously its deceitful architecture deviced by the then most powerful shogun in Kaga (old name of Kanazawa) for his own regime survival. It looks just a normal 2 stories temple, but actually 29 number of staircases are built beneath the floor, behind the wall, and everywhere else, which connect total 7 layers of floors in this temple. (Back then, building any architecture of more than 3 floors was prohibited by law). It is also said that the water well located at the center of this temple is a hidden path to escape to Kanazawa castle, with a long tunnel built under the ground. None of these are fiction, it is a historic truth!:0 A 1000 yen entrance fee sounds a bit costly and you need to book for the entrance beforehand, but instead you get a group tour (around 15 people) with a dedicated guideperson, which is arranged every 30 minutes. The guided tour is around 40-50 minutes, no photograph is allowed inside. Not sure if the guide can also arrange English tour.

There is not much else to see around this temple area, except Nishi-Chaya district, literally meaning West-Teahouse, where geisha used to entertain their guests in a restaurant.(Now you will not see any of them) 10 minute walking distance from Ninja temple.

Thank t0m0y0_mu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"hidden rooms"
in 25 reviews
"guided tour"
in 30 reviews
"secret passages"
in 13 reviews
"english guide"
in 21 reviews
"guide book"
in 11 reviews
"non japanese speakers"
in 8 reviews
"follow along"
in 5 reviews
"book in advance"
in 12 reviews
"hotel reception"
in 4 reviews
"tour starts"
in 4 reviews
"escape route"
in 4 reviews
"make reservations"
in 8 reviews
"the guidebook"
in 5 reviews
"via phone"
in 4 reviews
"no photography"
in 4 reviews
"interesting features"
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"worth the effort"
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Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile

Be warned, the nickname “Ninja Temple” is something coined by the marketing advisors to this temple to attract more business and make even more money! Don’t let your kids get too excited about Ninja! The real story is that the temple was the Shogun’s Temple, and is remote from the castle. Therefore, the Shogun had to be protected from his enemies, and the temple therefore has lots of interesting design features, which, for its time, would have been remarkable. The carpenters who built it were all killed once the Temple was complete, to preserve the secrets of it defenses! The tour is in Japanese, but there is an English translation booklet, which you carry around throughout to follow the guided tour. No bags, no cameras, and no shoes are allowed, and there are many steep steps, but it is an interesting visit, and a relatively modest entrance fee.

1  Thank Graham H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2018 via mobile

Fun visit to a temple which is a bit ‘different’. The reservation system put me off at first. There are 2 phones so you can reserve (in English), on the premises.
The tour (in Japanese, you get an EN brochure) is fun and definitely different from the average temple visit, but I wouldn’t consider it a must-see.

Thank siel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2018 via mobile

The temple is a testament to very clever craftsmanship and definitely worth a visit. However you will need to make a reservation (by phone, in Japanese. We got the lady at the train station tourist info office to help us) and you cannot visit except as part of a scheduled tour. The tours are only in Japanese and they prohibit anyone from translating from Japanese for anyone else. They provide and English guidebook but this only has a couple of short sentences on each of the features, but the tour guide talks for 5-10 mins at each of the features so there's definitely a lot that isn't translated and you miss out on!
Not a place for the less mobile to visit- lots of steep, narrow staircases.

1  Thank Cat A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 May 2018 via mobile

We were here on our last day in Kanazawa. You are supposed to book your spot by phone before you come, but if you are lucky like us you can just come early in the morning and join the guided tour right away. The tour was held only in japanese, but if you are a foreigner they will lend you a booklet with photos and explanation about what the guide will tell during the tour. The tour runs for around 45 minutes, and it was done efficiently. If there were a lot of people they will divide you into a small groups and tour the temple in different order. There are lots of interesting feature in the building, and packed with lots of history too. Though it has no connection with the ninjas it still really is an exciting place to visit.

Thank astriditas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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