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Ninja-dera (Myoryuuji temple)

Ninja-dera (Myoritsuji temple)Ninja-dera is a Buddhist temple located about 0.3 km southeast of Nishi-Chaya district, and the formal name is Myoryuuji.

Ninja is a spy or an assassin serving a Japanese feudal lord in the 15-19th centuries. They used various techniques to creep into the target place and evade their pursuers.
This temple had no Ninja, but it has various tricks and traps like Ninja.

In 1643, Toshitsune Maeda, the the 3rd lord of Kaga Clan, was built this temple here.
But his aim was to set up the protection facilities of Kanazawa city without the knowledge of Edo Government.
He built many Buddhist temples around this area unsuspectedly, and he put not only priests but also many samurais in the temples to prepare for emergencies.
And this Myoryuuji was the central temple, and it was a fort.

This temple is seemingly ordinary.
And it looks like two-story building, but it has four floors. (Edo Government had prohibited construction of building with more than three stories.)
And there is an inconspicuous lookout to overwatch on the top of the roof.

There is a well in the center of the site, and the tunnels for escape from all rooms lead to this well.
And many secret compartments and pitfalls are set up to different parts of the temple.
In addition, it has been said that there is a tunnel leading to Kanazawa Castle from this temple. But it still is not found.

To tour inside of this temple, we must join its guide tour. Little children cannot join it. And, taking photos is not permitted in this temple.
(If you tour this temple by oneself, it is said that you may not come back safely.)
Additionally we have to have an appointment to join the tour.
It takes about 40 minutes to tour.

How to get to here

By route bus

Get on a route bus at track No 7, 8 or 9 in front of Kanazawa station.
To Hirokoji stop, about 10 minutes. About 5 minutes walk from there.

By car

About 2 km from Kanazawa Castle Park.

Main gate of Nijja-dera temple
Photo by Kanazawa City Tourism Association
Main temple of Ninja-dera
Photo by Kanazawa City Tourism Association
A lookout on the top of the roof
Photo by Kanazawa City Tourism Association
A street around Ninja-dera
Photo by Kanazawa City Tourism Association

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