Source: At Press

This city was saved by ninjas during lockdown

2020 was supposed to be a great year for Japan, with the inbound economy expected to rise due to large scale events planned across all four seasons such as the Tokyo Olympic Games, Fuji Rock Festival and Tokyo Game Show. But to the surprise of many, 2020 actually became the year that the world stopped spinning.

When COVID-19 hit the scene back in the earlier months of the year, school children were sent home, healthcare systems were overrun and businesses closed as the world was put on hold in order to lessen the spread of such a large pandemic. The effects of this lockdown has been intense and has been felt in all industries and regions across Japan.

Hida Takayama is a city tucked away in Japan’s mountainous Gifu region. The area is usually frequented by adventurous tourists looking for an escape in this naturally beautiful geological location, but with COVID-19 putting a halt on all non-essential travel, the city was on the verge of becoming a ghost town.
In a city of increasingly less people, various businesses such as shops, accommodations and restaurants began to close day by day, and when it seemed like nothing could save the area from the deafening silence of a lack of tourism, suddenly, the city was invaded by a group of ninjas.

No...not really.

In actuality, the entertainment style venue, “Ninja Cafe & Bar, Hida Takayama” has opened up it’s doors and has been attempting to help revive the tourism industry of the Hida Takayama area.

What is Ninja Cafe & Bar Hida Takayama?

A sister store of the ever-popular Ninja Cafe & Bar Asakusa based in Tokyo, this entertainment cafe offers various experiences to visitors, with the concept that they “become a ninja”.
The store pays close attention to detail, and has worked the world of ninjas into the appearance, interior, sound, staff, food and overall vibe of the venue. By fully immersing visitors into a ninja lifestyle, the resulting experience is out of this world.

The main activity at the venue is for the visitor to “become a ninja”, whereby they dress in traditional ninja costumes and take part in a wide variety of ninja training such as experiencing shuriken throwing and trying their hand in iaido (a form of Japanese martial art using a sword).

Ninja Cafe & Bar is the only ninja entertainment venue in Japan that includes a restaurant in addition to their “experience” activities and facilities. Everything has been thought about, from the building decorations and interior to the mannerisms of the staff. Visitors may even notice some stereotypical ninja architectural designs, such as revolving doors and some hidden trap doors in the building.
Despite the secrecy of ninjutsu, the Ninja Cafe & Bar Allows visitors to record their experiences and share them with the outside world.

The new Hida Takayama store has been attracting a great deal of expectations from parents and children in the Tokai region, who have been eagerly anticipating the venue's arrival.
With the Asakusa store having won first place on Japan’s largest entertainment search site; Ikoyo, the announcement of a new store in the Takayama region quickly became a hot topic on social media. Now, more than ever, the city greatly appreciates the addition of a new store, as it is bringing hope to the region where damage to the area’s tourism industry remains a painful aftereffect of COVID-19.

After opening on June 1st, the new store is taking great caution when it comes to the health and safety of their customers. Until the end of June the store is offering special one-on-one training for visitors, in order to offer a safe yet entertaining service as we head out from the safety net that lockdown had provided us with.

Ninja Cafe & Bar Hida Takayama

Location: Central One BLD 1F 3-58-10 Honmachi, Hida Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture
Business hours: 11:00 to 22:00 (closed on Tuesdays)
Number of seats: Seated 30 (maximum 40 seats)
Phone: 0577-32-1710 (080-5819-9978)
WEB: https://ninja-Hida
Ninja monopoly service: Scheduled until the end of June 2020. The price is the same as the normal store price.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.