Iga

Sidewalk near Ueno Park in Iga

Iga (伊賀) , also known as Iga-Ueno (伊賀上野), is a city in Mie prefecture, Japan.

Understand

Iga or, more specifically, the town of Ueno (上野) within its borders is best known as the birthplace of two famous people: haiku poet Matsuo Bashō (松尾芭蕉), the author of Narrow Road to the Deep North, and ninja clan leader Hanzō Hattori (服部半蔵), celebrated in fiction and found even in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.

Get in

Iga is about halfway between Osaka and Nagoya, and about an hour and a half from Kyoto. The main stations are Iga-Kanbe (伊賀神戸駅), on the Kintetsu Osaka Line, and Iga-Ueno (伊賀上野), on the JR Kansai Main Line. The two stations are linked by the Kintetsu Iga Line, which takes you to Ueno-shi station (5 minutes, ¥220). The train windows may be adorned with solemn ninja pigs and triangular ninja heads, which can't help but stir up some excitement for what lies ahead.

If coming from Osaka, take the subway to Tanimachi Kyuchome Station. Walk east for 10 mins to Osaka Uehommachi Station on the Kintensu Osaka Line. The local (普通) subway fare is the cheapest at ¥1110 but takes 1.5 hours. The limited express (特急) costs ¥1980 but takes around 45 mins. Alight at Iga-Kanbe Station.

Get around

The castle and museums are located in Ueno Park, a short walk directly north of Kintetsu Ueno-shi station. There's a tourist information booth near the station; just look for the cartoon ninjas.

See

Tip your cap to Bashō
Ueno Castle

Buy

Several small shops in Ueno Park sell amusing ninja souvenirs. If you're hoping for an authentic set of throwing stars or some Hanzō steel, though, you'll have to look elsewhere.

Sleep

There are a few business hotels in town, but no youth hostels.

Go next

Routes through Iga

Osaka Nara  W  E  Kameyama Nagoya


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