Ueda, Japan

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ueda, Japan

Region: Nagano Prefecture

Geographic Coordinates: 36.401900, 138.249000
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 35.0°C (14°F to 95°F)
Climate: Ueda, Japan has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and humid, while winters are cold and snowy.
Population: 152948
Language: Japanese

Ueda is a city located in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan, Known for its stunning natural beauty, Rich cultural heritage, And vibrant economy. The city has a population of approximately 160, 000 people and covers an area of 552 square kilometers. One of Ueda’s most prominent landmarks is the Ueda Castle, Built in 1583 by Lord Sanada Masayuki. The castle was once an important military stronghold during Japan’s feudal era but now serves as a popular tourist attraction where visitors can learn about its history and enjoy panoramic views from its observation deck.

Another notable attraction in Ueda is Bessho Onsen, One of Japan’s oldest hot spring resorts. This charming town features traditional Japanese architecture and offers visitors a chance to relax in natural hot springs while enjoying breathtaking views. Ueda also has a rich cultural heritage that can be seen throughout the city. One example is Ikenami Shotaro Memorial Museum dedicated to one of Japan’s most famous novelists who was born in Ueda City. For those interested in outdoor activities such as hiking or skiing, Ueda offers many opportunities to explore nature.

The city sits at the base of Mount Asama which provides hiking trails for all levels with stunning views along the way. During winter months there are several ski resorts nearby including Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort which boasts some great powder snow slopes for skiers and snowboarders alike. food lovers will appreciate Ueda’s cuisine which includes local specialties such as soba noodles made from buckwheat flour grown locally on terraced fields around Nagano prefecture or kuri-kinton made with chestnuts grown on nearby mountainsides.

Ueda is a city that offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, Cultural heritage and modern amenities. Whether you are interested in exploring historical landmarks or enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and skiing or just relaxing at hot springs while relishing scenic beauty, Ueda has something for everyone. With its rich history and stunning scenery, It is definitely worth a visit for anyone traveling to Japan.

Important Landmarks

  1. Ueda Castle
  2. Sanada Museum
  3. Anrakuji Temple
  4. Ikushimatarushima Shrine
  5. Bessho Onsen hot spring town
  6. Ueda City Museum of History and Folklore
  7. Matsugasaki Park and Cherry Blossom Festival (April)
  8. Togakushi Shrine and Ninja Village (30 minutes drive from Ueda)

Primary Industries

  • Manufacturing
    • Electronic equipment
    • Machinery
    • Automobile parts
  • Agriculture
    • Fruits (apples and grapes)
    • Vegetables (tomatoes and cucumbers)
  • Tourism
    • Historical sites (Ueda Castle and Bessho Onsen hot springs)
    • Shopping centers
  • Healthcare
    • New hospitals and clinics
  • Education
    • Several universities, colleges, and vocational schools

    Noteable History

    1. Battle of Ueda (1600) was a crucial battle during the Sengoku period that occurred in Ueda Castle between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Sanada Masayuki’s forces.
    2. Matsuo Basho, a celebrated Japanese poet, visited Ueda while traveling and composed multiple haiku about the city.
    3. Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune came to Ueda in 1725 and instructed the construction of a new bridge over Chikuma River.
    4. Takeda Shingen, a feudal lord who governed Ueda Castle during the 16th century, played an essential role in shaping its history.
    5. Ooka Tadasuke, an esteemed judge from Edo period Japan, was born in Ueda.
    6. The Great Fire of 1898 destroyed much of downtown Ueda, including numerous historic buildings and temples.
    7. Nakamura Kinnosuke was a well-known actor from Japan’s golden age of cinema who was born in nearby Takasaki but spent most of his childhood in Ueda.
    8. The opening ceremony for Nagano Winter Olympics (1998) took place at Minami Nagano Sports Park located just outside the city limits of Ueda.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Ueda Castle: A historical castle situated in the heart of Ueda City.
    2. Sanada Treasures Museum: A museum that showcases the rich history and culture of the Sanada clan, a prominent samurai family hailing from Ueda.
    3. Utsukushigahara Open-Air Museum: An open-air sculpture park that exhibits works by both Japanese and international artists.
    4. Bessho Onsen Temple Town: A temple town steeped in history, renowned for its hot springs and traditional architecture.
    5. Togakushi Shrine: A complex of Shinto shrines nestled in the mountains near Ueda, famous for its ancient cedar trees and ninja legends.
    6. Takashima Castle Ruins Park: A park featuring ruins of an ancient castle perched atop a hill overlooking Lake Suwa.
    7. Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum: An art museum showcasing works by local artists as well as international exhibitions.
    8. Zenko-ji Temple: One of Japan’s oldest and most significant Buddhist temples located in nearby Nagano City.
    9. Hokusai-kan Museum: A museum dedicated to Katsushika Hokusai’s life and work, one of Japan’s most celebrated artists who was born near Ueda.
    10. Matsushiro Underground Imperial Headquarters – An underground bunker used during World War II by Japan’s military now open to visitors as a historical site.

    Cultural Events

    1. Ueda Castle Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated in early April to rejoice the blooming of cherry blossoms in and around Ueda Castle.
    2. Ueda Matsuri is a traditional festival that takes place in late July, which showcases parades, music, and dancing.
    3. Bessho Onsen Summer Festival is held in August and features fireworks displays and traditional Japanese performances.
    4. Shingen-ko Matsuri reenacts the famous battle of Kawanakajima between samurai warlords Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin.
    5. Obasute no Tanabata Matsuri celebrates Tanabata (the star festival) with colorful decorations made from bamboo and paper strips; it’s held in early August.
    6. Hatsuuma Winter Festival takes place in January, showcasing snow sculptures, food stalls, and traditional Japanese performances.
    7. Tsukimi Moon Viewing Festival celebrates the harvest moon with food offerings and tea ceremonies at local temples and shrines; it’s held in September or October depending on the lunar calendar.


    • Shinshu Ueda Ramen: This is a local specialty ramen with a soy sauce-based soup and thin noodles.
    • Sanada Soba: This is another local specialty soba noodle dish made with buckwheat flour.
    • Hida Beef: A high-quality beef from the Hida region that is known for its marbling and tenderness.
    • Izakaya Kashiya: A popular izakaya (Japanese pub) that serves traditional Japanese dishes such as sashimi, grilled fish, and tempura.
    • Soba no Miya: A restaurant specializing in soba noodles made from locally sourced buckwheat flour.
    • Tofu no Mori: A restaurant that serves tofu dishes made from locally grown soybeans.
    • Oyaki Yamaguchi-ya: A shop that sells oyaki, a type of steamed dumpling filled with vegetables or sweet bean paste.
    • Okonomiyaki Yatai Village: An outdoor food stall area where you can try Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (savory pancake).
    • Kome to Cha Cafe & Bar: A cozy cafe/bar that serves coffee, tea, craft beer, and light meals using local ingredients.
    • Shichifukujin Sake Brewery Museum & Restaurant: A sake brewery museum where you can learn about the history of sake making in Ueda while enjoying sake tasting and traditional Japanese cuisine at the on-site restaurant.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Ueda Castle Park is a historical park that boasts a castle, museum, and cherry blossom trees.
      2. The Sanada Treasure Museum showcases the rich history of the Sanada clan in Ueda.
      3. Bessho Onsen is a hot spring town with traditional Japanese architecture and stunning natural scenery to admire while soaking in the hot springs.
      4. Sugadaira Kogen Ski Resort is a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts who enjoy skiing and snowboarding.
      5. Togakushi Shrine consists of several shrines and temples nestled in the mountains, well-known for their beautiful nature trails and hiking routes.
      6. Matsugasaki Park is a public park that offers walking paths, playgrounds, as well as sports facilities like tennis courts.
      7. The Utsukushigahara Highlands are an expansive highland area that provides panoramic views of surrounding mountains to visitors.
      8. Shinshu Mura Cultural Village is a theme park where visitors can immerse themselves in traditional Japanese culture through various activities such as tea ceremonies or calligraphy.


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