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  • Elisse Carma

Ninja Training in Akame

Parker tries to pull himself along the rope at ninja training.

In October, we decided to become ninjas. We traveled with two other families to Akame, a few hours west of us, and signed up for their rigorous ninja training course.

Erinn impresses us all with her ninja skills on the rope.

After fumbling our way into the ninja getups, we first mastered the rope. Each of us, babies included, practiced pulling ourselves along this rope to be ready to cross crocodile-infested rivers or castle motes.

Gaby and Braxton practice the disappearing act at the secret door for ninja training.

We scaled walls and hiked downhill in our impossible ninja clothing while wrangling children. We learned to disappear through secret doors and belly crawl through the tunnel to escape.

Brad and Brian laugh about the dart gun at Ninja training.

We moved onto the blow darts, honing our skills to take out dangerous targets like weird little wooden people.

Ninja Clara waits for her instruction at Ninja training.

We received some classroom instruction, including what to shout at our enemies: "PYOU! SHIA! JIM! ZAI! RIM! TOU! KAI! RETSU! ZEN!" (I think?)

Ninja Clara pouts and walks to our next training location.

Our little ninjas were great sports, training their hearts out and preparing for special missions... or snack time.

Giuliana isn't very happy about being held by Justin at Ninja training.

Our group photo at Ninja Training after all the ninjas completed their training course.

All jokes aside, it was a lot of fun. I'll admit I was a bit flustered by the outfit, which made me look like a giant purple people eater and kept falling off of me. But the kids had a blast and we did too.

Clara gets bored waiting in line for the gondola to go back down the mountain.

After our ninja experience we had noodle lunch at a nice little (completely empty) cafe in the tiny town there, returned our ninja clothes and hiked to see the gorgeous 48 waterfalls. We didn't actually see 48 waterfalls, but the ones we saw were breathtaking.

Justin kisses Clara while we wait for the gondola.

That night we ate dinner at an interesting restaurant called "BABY FACE PLANETS" and headed to our airbnb in the middle of nowhere. The airbnb was like a nature camp for high school kids, with lots of extra rooms (just tatami mats and floor futons) to rent and communal bathrooms and onsen. It was interesting but certainly enough for our needs, and the best part was when the kids went to bed and the 6 adults partied in the hallway late into the night.

Parker and Dean jump off the stairs like crazy little boys.

Needless to say, Dean was THRILLED to be on vacation with Parker and Braxton. All the kids had a great time and there were no major injuries!

The kids watch as we go down the mountain via the longest ropeway in Japan.

On day 2 we went to the longest ropeway in Japan. This was Mount Gozaisho in Mie Prefecture. Holy cow, was this beautiful! I highly recommend this day trip!

Erinn plays with Skye in the gondola

At the top of the mountain there is a beautiful view of Nagoya and another little ropeway and lots of rocks for happy little boys to climb on. We had more noodles at the top and made our way back down just before sunset.

The sun sets over the longest ropeway in Japan.

I will always remember this fun trip with good friends. I can't wait for the next one!

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