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Ninjadera (Ninja Temple)

Ninjadera (Ninja Temple)

The Ninjadera (Ninja Temple) is officially known as Myoryuji Temple. The temple has no affiliation with any ninja clan, but earned its nickname from the many deceptive defenses built into the structure. It is located in the Teramachi District, which is located in the southern part of Kanazawa. During the Edo Period the Maeda Clan, previous rulers of the region, commissioned the temple to be built by Kanazawa Castle in 1585, but was later moved to its present location. Back then the Shogun (military leader) imposed very strict building restrictions as a way to weaken various ruling lords and prevent opposition. Myoryuji Temple was constructed to bypass those restrictions and be a disguised military outpost for the Maeda Clan. Escape routes were constructed in order for someone to leave during the battle in order to alert the castle of an attack. There are guided tours that will allow you to see the hidden tunnels, secret rooms, traps, and maze of hallways and staircases. The tours are in Japanese, but there are English guidebooks available.