Children’s Ninja Village: Discover Your Inner Ninja

How do you overcome a fear of heights? Become a ninja for a day!

Let me provide the back story. My two oldest children were daredevils from a young age who showed almost no fear when it came to adventurous activities. However, my youngest son had many fears, and one of the greatest of them all was a fear of heights. Doing an activity that was even slightly above the ground was a major effort for him.

However, for one day, when he was six, he temporarily overcame this fear. How did he do this? By discovering his inner ninja at Children’s Ninja Village in Nagano.

He was keenly interested in anything related to ninjas leading up to the trip. When we discovered that there was a ninja village in Nagano, right near other places we wanted to visit, such as the Snow Monkey Park and Shibu Onsen, it suddenly became a must-visit place for our youngest son.

A child dressed in a black ninja outfit climbs a wall using handholds and chains at an adventure park. The wall is painted with a mountain and forest mural, creating a scenic and challenging environment for the climbing activity.
Little Man traversing a wall

Attractions and Activities at Children’s Ninja Village (Chibiko Ninja Mura)

Before we get into the story of how our little man overcame his fear of heights for the day, I want to provide a quick overview of the attractions and experiences at the Children’s Ninja Village, about a 40-minute drive from Nagano.

  1. Ninja Training Courses: The park features various obstacle courses and training areas where children can practice ninja skills. These courses include climbing walls, balance beams, and other physical challenges designed to mimic traditional ninja training.
  2. Costume Rentals: Visitors can rent ninja costumes to enhance their experience. Wearing the costumes, children can feel like real ninjas as they explore the village and participate in activities.
  3. Shuriken Throwing: One of the popular activities is shuriken (throwing stars) practice. Kids can learn how to throw shuriken at targets, a skill that was essential for ninjas.
  4. Ninja House: The park has a ninja house (trick house) with hidden doors, secret passages, and optical illusions that challenge visitors to find their way through.
  5. Historical Exhibits: The village includes exhibits showcasing ninja tools, weapons, and historical information about ninjas, providing an educational aspect to the visit.
  6. Ninja Shows: Live ninja shows are performed, demonstrating various ninja skills and techniques. These shows are both entertaining and informative, often including acrobatics and mock battles.

Our Day at Children’s Ninja Village

We had driven from Shibu Onsen, and as we neared the Children’s Ninja Village, our kids’ excitement was obvious. We were hoping that the ninja-themed activities would provide a day of fun and challenges.

Our Little Man was focused from the moment we stepped through the gates. We headed straight to the costume rental area, where he quickly picked out his ninja outfit. As soon as he donned the black garb, complete with a hood, something in him seemed to shift. His usual cautious nature was replaced with determination.

Three children dressed as ninjas, two in black and one in red, strike ninja poses in front of a rustic wooden obstacle course in a forested area. The sign on the left features Japanese characters.
Striking ninja poses before training starts

From the moment he donned his ninja costume, he began to lose his fear. There was some hesitation at the start, but he was virtually fearless by the end. He was tackling obstacles that filled us with trepidation without a moment of hesitation.

Zero encouragement was required. He did everything his older brother and sister did without the tiniest bit of doubt. In fact, he often led them to try ever more hair-raising experiences.

Rope and Rings Course

Our kids started with a rope and ring course. Our Little Man had to carefully step on the rings and hold on to the ropes for balance. He was determined and had to concentrate carefully. He was proud of himself after completing the course. You could see the growing confidence already.

Two images of a child dressed in a black ninja outfit navigating a ropes and rings obstacle course outdoors. In the left image, an adult watches the child concentrate while holding onto the ropes. In the right image, the child has successfully crossed the course.
Concentrating while crossing the ropes and rings course. Success!

Log Climbing Wall

The next activity involved traversing a log cabin wall, which required a mix of balance and climbing skills. They had to step over a series of wooden legs while stabilising themselves with a rope support. He was very focused during this activity.

Two images of children dressed in ninja outfits climbing along the side of a log cabin using ropes. In the left image, a child in a black ninja outfit carefully holds onto a rope while navigating wooden footholds. In the right image, two children in black ninja outfits and one in a red ninja outfit balance along the same rope and foothold course, showcasing their skills.
Traversing the wall of a log cabin

Bridge Crossings

The various bridges tested his agility and balance. The plank and swinging rope bridges, in particular, moved around a bit, but he negotiated them well.

A child dressed in a black ninja outfit crosses a suspended wooden plank bridge while holding onto ropes. The child appears focused and determined, with a forested area visible in the background.
A determined look on the wooden plank bridge
A child dressed in a black ninja outfit carefully traverses a rope bridge, balancing with one foot on a lower rope and holding onto an upper rope for support. The background shows a wooded area and part of an obstacle course.
Carefully traversing a rope bridge
Three children dressed in ninja outfits, two in black and one in red, cross a wooden plank bridge suspended by ropes in a forested area. The child in black at the front leads the group, holding onto the ropes for balance. The lush greenery of the forest surrounds the bridge.
Little Man leading the way on another bridge crossing

Our middle child, who I’ll call ‘The Adventurous One’, confidently tackled the obstacles and loved striking poses.

A child dressed in a black ninja outfit sits confidently on a rope net bridge, striking a pose. The background includes a wooden structure and lush greenery, highlighting the adventurous setting of the obstacle course.
The ‘Adventurous One’ striking a pose

Ziplines

Ziplines had been more confronting for Little Man in the past due to their speed and the sudden stop at the end. On this particular day, he handled them comfortably and with growing confidence. However, he was more apprehensive about the larger zipline.

A child dressed in a black ninja outfit rides a small zipline, holding onto the rope while sitting on a wooden platform. The background features a fenced area and a tree, creating an adventurous playground setting.
Taking on the smaller zipline
A child dressed in a black ninja outfit rides a zipline, with legs lifted and hands gripping the rope. In the background, an adult and another child in a red ninja outfit watch from a wooden platform. The scene is set in a forested adventure park.
Little Man taking on the bigger zipline

Water Activity

Little Man next engaged in a water-based activity, including pulling himself across a small lake on a small raft. It required quite a bit of balance and skill for a six-year-old; otherwise, he could end up in the water. It was impressive that our Little Man tackled such an activity with minimal hesitation.

A child dressed in a black ninja outfit stands on a wooden raft in the middle of a pond, pulling himself across the water using a rope. The background features a rocky shore and a path lined with greenery.
Little Man on the Water Raft obstacle

Ninja Skills and Ninja Trick House

Before getting back to the obstacle course, the kids did a number of other ninja activities, including the ninja slalom and playing in the ninja trick house (which included tilted floors). A particular highlight was throwing shuriken and blowing darts.

A wooden building labeled "Ninjyutu House" with cartoon ninja characters on the front, including a blue ninja and a pink character holding a sword. The top of the building features a large kanji character for "ninja." The scene is brightly lit by sunlight, and the setting appears to be part of a themed attraction or training area.
The ninja training house
Three children dressed in ninja outfits strike poses with shurikens (ninja stars) in their hands. The first child, in a black outfit, poses with one arm raised. The second child, in a red outfit, holds a shuriken close to their face. The third child, also in a black outfit, holds a shuriken in a ready stance. The setting appears to be an outdoor area with wooden buildings and trees in the background.
Ninjas with their shurikens
A child dressed in a red ninja outfit stands in front of a dart target range, holding a blowpipe. Behind them are several targets with red bullseyes, and the walls are decorated with colorful paper stars and posters.
Ninja dart blowing

Ropes Course

After further developing their ninja skills, the kids tackled a high ropes course, which required a lot of balance. Little Man moved through such activities with much more confidence.

Two children dressed in black ninja outfits navigate a high ropes course, balancing on parallel ropes while holding onto upper ropes for support. The background features wooden buildings and a scenic view of trees and hills.
Our boys traversing a high ropes course

At times, he was literally running across obstacles.

A child dressed in a black ninja outfit runs across a wooden beam in an outdoor obstacle course. The background is a forested area with sunlight filtering through the trees and other parts of the obstacle course visible.
Zooming through the ninja obstacles

Climbing Activities

Towards the end of his day as a Ninja, it was clear that our Little Man had almost overcome his fear of heights (at least for one day). He was climbing structures that he would never have dreamed of doing and even had the confidence to pose (while standing on a roof).

A child dressed in a black ninja outfit climbs a wooden pole ladder attached to a tall wooden wall. The child looks confident and happy, with a background of green trees and sunlight filtering through the leaves.
Confident and happy climbing a wooden pole ladder
A child dressed in a black ninja outfit stands confidently on the roof of a building, striking a pose. The background includes tall evergreen trees and a clear blue sky, emphasizing the adventurous setting.
Little Man standing on a roof? No problem!
A child dressed in a black ninja outfit sits cross-legged on the roof of a wooden structure, meditating with hands in a traditional mudra pose. The background features trees with green leaves, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
The Adventurous One meditating on a roof
A child dressed in a black ninja outfit climbs a large wooden structure made of horizontal logs. The structure has signs with Japanese text, and the background features a forested area with sunlight filtering through the trees.
Climbing a wooden structure – one of the final challenges

His day of personal growth culminated when he climbed a tall vertical pole and posed on a narrow wooden platform with his older brother and sister. My wife and I remember feeling quite nervous for our kids as they were standing atop this obstacle, but our Little Man was confident at this point, even showing off a little bit by sticking his leg out.

Two images of children dressed in ninja outfits climbing and standing on a wooden high ropes structure. In the left image, a child in black stands confidently on the platform while another climbs the ladder. In the right image, three children, two in black and one in red, stand together on the platform at the top of the structure. The background features trees and a blue tarp covering part of the area.
Climbing the final challenge and posing at the top

A Memorable Family Experience

By the end of the day, the kids were tired but happy. Little Man’s capacity to take on new challenges had grown immensely, while our older children had satisfied their adventurous spirit.

Three children dressed in ninja outfits, two in black and one in red, stand together smiling in front of a wooden fence at the end of a forest path. The photo was taken at the end of the day after they had finished their ninja activities, and they appear tired but happy. The background features lush green trees and a sunny outdoor setting.
Tired and happy at the end of a big day of ninja training

Dressing up as ninjas and engaging in ninja activities was a great cultural immersion. The activities were terrific for family bonding, with our kids encouraging and supporting each other. They also got a lot of physical activity and burned their energy in a fun way. The beautiful outdoor environment was also a big positive.

Our experience created a lot of great memories, which we still reminisce on to this day.

So, how is our young man going with his fear of heights?

So you may be asking what was our little man’s fear of heights like this after his day as a ninja. Well, this fear certainly didn’t magically go away. He still didn’t like activities involving heights but was now, more often than not, able to give them a go.

In fact, at the age of nine, he took on a particularly nerve-wracking zipline in Korea (940 metres or 3083 feet long with speeds up to 56 km or 35 miles/per hour). Not without considerable trepidation, mind you, but he did it.

Now, as a teenager, he is far more prepared to try challenging things. I’d like to think that his day as a ninja was his first big step towards confronting his fears and overcoming them.

How to overcome a fear of heights? Become a ninja for a day!!!

Practical Information

To help you plan your visit to the Children’s Ninja Village, here are some important details about the location, opening hours, cost and ticketing, and available food and souvenir options. This information will help you prepare for a fun and memorable experience at this unique attraction.

A rustic wooden building is nestled among trees at Children's Ninja Village, with the foliage displaying vibrant autumn colors. The scene captures the beauty of fall with orange and red leaves contrasting against the green forest, creating a picturesque and serene setting.
Autumn colours at Children’s Ninja Village

Location

The Children’s Ninja Village (Chibiko Ninja Mura) is located at 3193 Togakushi, Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture, 381-4101.

The broader Togakushi area offers a mix of natural beauty and culture including the historic Togakushi Shrine, known for its cedar-lined paths, and opportunities for hiking and exploring scenic landscapes.

The area has a strong historical association with ninjas. The Togakushi Ninja Museum is an eight-minute drive from the Children’s Ninja Village.

From Nagano, the nearest major city, it takes about 40 minutes by car to get to Children’s Ninja Village (or 90 minutes by public transport, including a 15-minute walk at the end).

We stayed at Shibu Onsen, about a one-hour drive from Ninja Village. Public transport is not a good option from Shibu Onsen.

Opening Hours

The village is typically open from 9 am to 5 pm. The Ninja Village is closed during Winter (late November to late April). It is also closed on Thursday, except during summer vacations (this year from 26 July to 28 August), when it is open every day. Always check their official website for the most up-to-date information.

Cost/Tickets

The basic entry fee is 350 yen for children between four and six years old and 650 yen for elementary school-aged children to adults. Tickets are a little cheaper on weekdays and when booked online.

There is an additional costume rental fee of 500 yen for children and 1,000 yen for adults. There is an additional 350 yen cost for specific attractions including shuriken throwing and shooting, the ninja slalom, the ninja mansion, the ninja museum and the ninja trick house.

You can buy a combo ticket (called Monkey Jump) which includes entry to Ninja Village and six extra cost attractions for 1,850 yen for infants and 2,200 yen for everyone else. This will save you some money if you plan to do most of the extra cost experiences.

Admission prices can change, so it’s advisable to check online before visiting.

Food and Souvenir Shop

The Children’s Ninja Village offers a variety of food and souvenir options. Visitors can enjoy traditional Japanese snacks and meals at the on-site restaurant, including soba noodles, curry rice, and ice cream.

There is also a souvenir shop where guests can purchase ninja-themed merchandise such as toy weapons, clothing, and other memorabilia to commemorate their visit.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to make the most of your day:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and good shoes suitable for climbing and running.
  • Bring extra clothes if you plan on participating in the water activities (just in case someone falls in).
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent, especially during the warmer months.
  • Make sure you have your camera ready to capture all the fun moments.

Final Thoughts

Visiting the Children’s Ninja Village is an unforgettable experience. It offers fun and challenges for the whole family and is a great way to spend a day immersed in adventure, nature, and Japan’s unique ninja culture.

Three children dressed in ninja outfits, two in black and one in red, climb a log wall at Children's Ninja Village in Nagano. The text on the image reads, "Children's Ninja Village, Nagano - Discover Your Inner Ninja!" with a call to action at the bottom saying, "Click above to read more!" The background shows the wooden log structure they are climbing on.
Children’s Ninja Village – Pinterest Image

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