Sightseeing Spots - Sightseeing

Uedajo Castle Ruin Park : 上田城跡公園

Invincible Castle Famous for Twice Repulsing the Tokugawa Shogunate, Secrets of Ninja and Ninja Training Center

Eastern Nagano


Ueda Castle, especially its original tower and impressive main gate, will impress you with its massive size and stonework. Two of the recreated towers are open for touring (entrance fee required). The castle grounds are famous for the cherry blossoms in April and the colorful foliage in the fall.

It was the main bastion of the Sanada Clan during the Warring State era and is famous for repelling the forces of the Tokugawa as they ascended to the Shogunate not just once but twice. Not to discount the valor of the samurai who defended the castle, but ninja spy craft was no doubt part of the equation.

Inside the walls of the castle is a well which was useful in times of sieges for more than just obtaining water. Legend has it that there is a tunnel leading from the well to a temple outside of the castle to the north – just one facet of the mystique of Ueda Castle.

Often at Ueda Castle the Omotenashi Troupe greets guests dressed in full samurai and ninja regalia. Their samurai performances take place at scheduled times throughout the year. The day the author visited, Sanada Yukimura and one of the Sanada Ten Braves ninja bodyguards, Sarutobi Sasuke, welcomed us to the castle (and posed for photographs).

On the north side of the main bailey there is a ninja training center, complete with shuriken throwing and dart blowing ranges as well as places to practice various ninja techniques. It is called the Sanada Ninja Shurenjo and features signs explaining the history of the Sanada ninjas. Shuriken competitions and training sessions are occasionally held here.

As with most similar castles in Japan, Ueda Castle was torn down after the Meiji Restoration. Many of its timbers were then repurposed to construct other buildings in the area. When civic leaders decided to rebuild, after an exhaustive search they tracked down many of those timbers and re-repurposed them for the castle's reconstruction. Despite being recreated relatively recently (the main gate was finished in 1996), the use of the original posts and beams adds an air of authenticity to the construction.


Yagura (turret) & City museum: 9:00 to 17:00 (doors close 16:30)
Open year-round, but,
Yagura & City museum: closes every Wed, the day after national holiday, and year-end and new-year holidays.
Yagura closes in winter (Nov to Mar), too.
Ninja training center: Usually open a couple of days each month with fixed dates for 2024 being Apr 7 & 28, May 3 & 5. Future dates pending. Groups can reserve dates in advance with most weekends and holidays being available.
Entrance Price
Yagura: 300 yen / City Museum: 300 yen (both: 500 yen); Ninja training center shuriken throwing and dart blowing: 200 yen each; Other facilities: Free
Not required
Foreign Languages
English (Voluntary English Guide (EGG))


Tel# is for the Ueda Convention Bureau.


tel : +81(0)268-23-5135Official site

Access / Location

By Train
From Ueda Station(JR Hokuriku(Nagano) Shinkansen), Walk 12 minutes. Go straight up from Ueda Station Castle Exit and turn left at the "Chuo 2 Chome" intersection.
By Car
From Ueda Sugadaira IC, 15 minutes
6263-I Ninomaru, Ueda 386-0026

Nearby Attractions

Sightseeing Spots