Iga Ueno Area伊賀上野エリア
The birthplace for Iga Ninja. Haisei-den is a shrine that expresses the shape of famous poet, Matsuo Basho.
Iga Ueno is situated almost at the midpoint between Osaka and Nagoya. It is a castle town that spreads out in the northern Iga Basin, completely surrounded by mountains. The city is laid out in a neat grid of streets. The samurai residences and temple town retain strong reminders of the olden days. It is also famous as the birthplace of the Iga ninja spies, which is one of the ninja schools established around the 15th century. The ninjas would infiltrate into the enemy's ground with their special skills called 'ninjutsu,' with the objectives of scouting, conniving stratagems, raiding, harassing the rear guard and engaging other activities. At the Iga Ninja Museum, where an actual ninja's residence was relocated, you can enjoy watching powerful ninja shows, and experience for yourself the challenge of throwing ninja stars and even try on real ninja clothing.
Iga Ueno Castle is famous for having the highest stone walls in Japan. These stone walls were selected for use in a scene for the movie "Kagemusha," directed by the internationally renowned film maker Akira Kurosawa.
Iga is also noted as the hometown of Matsuo Basho, who created 'haiku,' unique Japanese-style short poetry consisting of 3 lines with 17 syllables, and contributed to the renovation of the old-fashioned linked verse known as 'haikai.' The Haisei-den, the great haiku poet's hall, was built inside Ueno-koen Park in 1942 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his birth. The building itself is shaped like the figure of Basho attired in a traveling clothes. The round roof symbolizes his sedge hat, the octagonal eaves his surplice, the pillar is his cane, and the frame of the Haisei-den is in the shape of his face. Other Basho-related facilities include the Minomushi-an, or bagworm hermitage, and the venerable Basho Memorial Hall, Basho-o Kinen-kan Museum.
From Tokyo :
[Rail] 1h 45 min from Tokyo to Nagoya Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 2h from Nagoya via Iga Ueno (JR Kansai Line) to Uenoshi Station by Iga Line. Or 2h from Kintetsu Nagoya Station via Iga Kanbe Station to Uenoshi Station by Iga Line. From Nagoya Station, a non-stop bus, which takes 1h 30 min to Uenoshi, is also available.