Discovery of the city of Iga Ueno 伊賀上野

Visit the ninja village of Iga Ueno

Located in the province of Mie, Iga Ueno was the birthplace of the famous poet Matsuo Basho and is renowned as the "ninja homeland". Ninja museum, Basho's birthplace, fortified castle, a school for sons of samurais: this is a visit filled with history... Iga Ueno City was born from the merger of Ueno City and surrounding villages in Mie Prefecture. The name "Ueno" being very widespread in Japan, we preferred to add "Iga", the name of a former province of Mie.

honor to ninja

  • The Iga-ryu ninja museum

In the Middle Ages, the city of Ueno was famous for its school, one of the two best in Japan, which trained the famous Japanese spies, now known worldwide as the ninja.

Proud of its past, the city opened a museum, Le musée ninja d'Iga, in 1964. You can discover a traditional ninja house there. The latter can be visited alongside a real ninja woman who reveals all its secrets to visitors: hiding places, rotating walls, secret corridors, and other tricks.

Female ninja

female ninja


He passed by here...


Following in the footsteps of Basho


Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), is one of the most famous Japanese poets, especially in the field of haiku . His hometown pays homage to him through stones engraved with poems scattered here and there as well as various attractions.

Oeuvre de Matsuo Basho

Artwork by Matsuo Basho

public domain

  • The Basho Memorial Museum.


This is a small museum located on the grounds of Ueno Castle where scrolls with poems written by Bashô are exhibited as well as maps retracing his many travels. The museum is less than a five min walk north of Ueno-shi Station.

A little further east of the museum is Basho's birthplace (Basho-o Seika) which is unfortunately closed for renovations until March 2021.

In Ueno Park, the Haiseiden Pavilion is a recent hat-shaped building built to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the poet's birth. Every year in October, the "Festival of Basho" is organized there.

About a 20 min walk from the poet's birthplace, Minomushi-an is the only one of the five retreat places where the man of letters liked to retire, the others have been destroyed. It is a traditional house with a small garden perfect for a short stroll. 

Statue du poète Matsuo Bashô

Statue of the poet Matsuo Basho

public domain

Address, timetable & access

  • Address

  • Timetable

    From Kyoto Station, take the JR Nara Line to Kizu (35 min) then the JR Kansai Line, and transfer at Kamo Station to Iga-Ueno (45 min). At Iga-Ueno Station, take the Iga Railway to Ueno-shi (5 min). Count about 2 hrs of a journey in all.

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