capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan


we will see


The tour guides insist there is no connection between the 'Ninja Temple' and actual ninja assassins. But with 23 rooms and 29 staircases, an impressive array of trapdoors and hidden rooms, and a sepukku (ritual suicide) chamber, it is easy to see why people would make that assumption. Visitors cannot enter the temple except through the tours, so call ahead to book a tour. The tour is conducted in Japanese, but they give travellers a folder with English translations. Local lore has it that there was an underground tunnel from the castle to the temple, to allow the Maeda lords an escape route in case of attack. However, no documentary proof of this has been found, and, like the ninjas, it merely adds to the myths of the place. Unfortunately, the staff have a well-deserved reputation (amongst Japanese and foreigners) for being rude and unhelpful. ¥1,000 for adults and ¥700 for primary school pupils, and you're supposed to make a reservation in advance, although they can usually squeeze you in if there's space and you don't mind waiting for your tour to begin. The hour-long tour is well worth the price.