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The area surrounding Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) in Central Japan is rich in samurai and ninja history. In 2018, the airport began the Samurai Ninja Project, as an initiative to promote the culture to international visitors. While the ninja culture is regularly displayed throughout the airport, Feb. 22 is an extra special occasion.
Since the number two in Japanese is “ni” and 2/22 translates to “ni” “ni” “ni” — which sounds a lot like “ninja” — the Japan Anniversary Association designated Feb. 22 as National Ninja Day.
To celebrate the event, 50 NGO airport staff members, from airline staff to cleaning crews, wore red and black ninja outfits.
An additional 3,500 airport workers wore badges that said they were on ninmu, which translates to duty. Instead of using the correct kanji (symbol) for ninmu, the character used for ninja was written on the badge instead, as a play on words.
The airport held a morning departure ceremony that included activities for children and a performance by the Hattori Hanzo Ninja Corps — the airport’s resident group of ninjas. The group performs at Chubu Airport and greets incoming tourists on the 22nd of each month. Each January, the airport holds a two-day long ninja festival, with shows and ninja-training experiences for travelers.
At the ceremony, airport director Masato Kondo said, “We want Chubu Airport to be known as ninja airport.”
While you soon will be able to fly to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) on several new routes from US carriers, consider booking a flight to NGO if you want to get the full ninja experience.
Featured photo by Chubu Centrair International Airport via Facebook.
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