A temple with 23 rooms and 29 staircases
Myoryuji is a Nichiren Buddhist temple constructed in 1643 by the third feudal lord of the Kaga Domain, Toshitsune Maeda. As the original temple of good luck, many people came to visit the shrine regardless of social standing or sect, not to mention lords and vassals. The situation was tense for Lord Maeda of the Kaga Domain, who was also the Tozama Daimyo (a Daimyo who followed the House of Tokugawa at the 1600AD Battle of Sekigahara and after), due to constant surveillance from the Tokugawa Shogunate, One theory is that Myoryuji was a branch castle (constructed so that it could be separate from the main castle, as tactics dictated). In order to ambush the Shogunate military and to protect the Daimyo, the entire building is a maze with an incredibly complex structure and elaborate and varied traps and mechanisms, which is why it is known as Ninjadera. In other words, this temple is has absolutely no need for ninjas. Myoryuji appears to be a two-story building, but it is actually a four-story building with seven internal floors comprising 23 rooms and 29 staircases. A trap is set so that the offertory box (a box in which to put money offered to the gods or to Buddha) in front of the main temple building becomes a pitfall, and there are hidden staircases that lead to secret passages underground, and stairs where the boards give way to traps. There is also an observation tower that looks out to the plains of Kaga. 29 traps are set in Myoryuji. The approximately 40-minute official tour takes in the best of these traps inside the temple and the history of the temple. The explanations are only provided in Japanese, but you can participate with the help of explanatory pamphlets in English, Chinese or Korean. Telephone reservations are preferred, but it is also possible to participate without reserving. Please be aware that pre-school age children are not permitted due to the complexity of the structure.