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Taking a Ninja Class at Ninja Dojo and Store in Kyoto, Japan

Taking a Ninja Class at Ninja Dojo and Store in Kyoto, Japan

My trip to Japan was filled with activities that I wanted to do, simply because they looked like fun.

Taking a ninja class was one of them!

There’s a place called Ninja Dojo in Kyoto, Japan that teaches you the art of the ninja, including espionage and defense, in a training session.

I took a one-hour group lesson and it was an unforgettable afternoon! Here’s what you need to know to plan your ninja experience.


Where is Ninja Dojo and Store?

Empty dojo with tatami floors

Ninja Dojo and Store is located in Kyoto, Japan. You can easily access it via public transportation, taxi, rideshare, or walking.

It was just a few blocks from the Keio Prelia Hotel Kyoto Karasuma Gojo where I was staying.

The dojo is on the third floor of a building and there’s a sign out front and chalkboard marking the entrance.

There are stairs to get to the place of the lesson and you’ll need to take your shoes off.


What can you do at Ninja Dojo and Store?

Ninja throwing stars on display

You can shop for ninja souvenirs at their in-house shop or sign up to take a ninja class.

The souvenirs are legitimate. I bought a throwing star that was heavy and sharp.

They have other items like katanas and ninja attire. It’s an extensive inventory.

There are two types of classes available: group or private.

There is a maximum of 10 people in the group class. Kids 5 and up can participate, though ages 5-14 need to do so with an adult.

The group sessions are one or two hours. I took the one-hour class.

In the class, we learned:

  • A ninja meditation and finger folding movement that helps them channel the energy of the Gods
  • Ninja walking to avoid traps and step lightly
  • How to escape through trap doors
  • How to draw a ninja sword
  • How to throw a ninja star
  • How to blow darts at a target

In each case, you are handling the equipment yourself. It is a hands-on class.

There’s a 10am lesson for the 2-hour class and 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm lessons for the 1-hour class, with some additional lessons during busy season.

Finally, they occasionally have special events like a ninja trek half day tour to Mt. Daimonij, a power spot amongst Kyoto’s 36 peaks.


Are there English speaking instructors on site?

Ninja instructor dodging obstacles on floor

Yes! Instructors all speak English.

Moreover, they are ninja masters trained in the techniques and tradition of the craft.

My instructor was a woman (badass!) and you could tell she took the art of being a ninja very seriously, wanting to impart on us knowledge about their role then and now, and break stereotypes.

I left with a much deeper respect and understanding.

Is attire included?

Women posing with ninja sword

The price of your ninja class includes attire rental.

You take your shoes off when you enter and are barefoot throughout the class.

There are people to help you get dressed and make sure everything is on correctly.

They put you into the uniform and add a belt for your waist and head. They also add lace-on cuffs for your arms and feet.

It kind of felt like a pit stop once I walked in and confirmed my reservation — I was suddenly surrounded by two women that got me ready in under 3 minutes.

Can you take pictures?

Woman attempting Ninja hand meditation

You can take pictures and video to your heart’s content.

There are many moments where you’re handling equipment one at a time so it makes the perfect photo opp, like the blow darts.

There’s also a time at the end when you can pose with the trap door, katana, whatever you like.

I propped my phone up on some nearby equipment since I was on my own.

How much does a ninja class cost?

Japanese throwing spears on display

Group lessons start at 10,000 Japanese Yen (JPY), roughly $66 for a one-hour lesson, and 15,000 JPY, roughly $99.

Private lessons are 60,000 JPY for up to 6 people ($397), and 100,000 JPY for up to 10 people ($662).

To book a class, go directly to their website and book through their platform.

To book a private lesson, send an inquiry with your request details and they’ll get back to you about availability.

Is it worth it?

Woman holding katana sword over shoulders

I had a blast!

When I booked my trip to Japan for cherry blossom season, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to see a Sumo match during that time. That season starts in May.

This was a great alternative where I felt like I still got to do something distinctly reserved for Japanese culture while being active and engaged.

Everyone in the class had a good time. I would definitely recommend this activity for first-time visitors to Kyoto.

Till next time, safe travels!


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