Koka city [甲賀]
Koka Ninja House
Koka is a city located in the south part of Shiga Prefecture.
"O" in the word is pronounced long, so it is read as "Kôka".
Some call the name "Kôga".
It is about 30 km east of Otsu city and about 30 km south of Oumihachiman city.
The area is hilly and rural area spreads.
Koka is known as Ninja.
There is Iga city about 20 km south of Koka.
Koka and Iga are not so far, but both areas had own Ninja group.
Since ancient times, there had been the samurai group in Koka area.
In the 15th century, the group became strong and often disobeyed the order of government.
The samurai group was destroyed by the government in the 1480s.
But, in the battle, they sparked a guerrilla war and the government had trouble with the group for three years.
So, the name of Koka samurais became well-known throughout the country because their elusive and effective guerrilla warfare and high combat ability in the battle were so impressive.
They were "Koka Ninja".
After the war, they were deprived of samurai rank and became commoners.
After that, they served various lords as Ninja.
But the work as Ninja had faded away.
On the other hand, Iga Ninja group were employed by the government, so the group was kept for a long time.
Koka Ninja House (甲賀流忍術屋敷)
Koka Ninja House ("Koka-ryu Ninjutsu Yashiki" in Japanese) is located about 2 km south of Konan station of JR Kusatsu Line.
It was a house of Mochizuki family who was the head of Koka Ninja group, and was around the end of the 17th century.
The outer appearance is a normal Japanese house.
But, to prepare for the attack of the enemy, some tricks such as turning wall, pitfall, secret room, etc. are set up in the house.
In addition, the book of the secret principles of Ninja art, the weapons of Ninja, etc. are displayed in the house.
Koka Ninja Village (甲賀の里 忍術村)
Koka Ninja Village ("Koka-no-Sato Ninjutsu-mura" in Japanese) is located about 2.5 km north of Koka station of JR Kusatsu Line.
It is a theme park of Koka Ninja.
Karakuri Yashiki is a former Ninja house of Fujibayashi family.
We can see some tricks in the house.
Koka Ninjutsu Museum is the museum displaying various documents of Koka Ninja arts and Ninja weapons.
An old private house in Koka is used as the museum.
In addition, visitors can join Ninja training in outdoor obstacle course waring Ninja costume.
From the north exit of Koka station, free courtesy car is operated.
How to get here
By rapid train of JR Biwako Line, to Kusatsu, 20 minutes from Kyoto, 55 minutes from Maibara.
Then, change to the train for Tsuge station of Kusatsu Line.
About 28 minutes to Konan, about 34 minutes to Koka.