Area GuideUeda City

Ueda City

Only 90 minutes from Tokyo by bullet train, Ueda City is nestled within the scenic Chikuma River Valley. This castle town has beautiful mountains, plenty of nature, local wineries and sake breweries.

Ueda Castle was originally constructed by the Sanada Clan during the Sengoku period, and its historical ruins can still be seen today. Ueda Castle is famous for its valiant defense against the Tokugawa shogun’s massive army. It is also famous for its cherry blossoms and the "senbon zakura (one thousand cherry trees)” festival, which is held every April.

Not far from the castle is Yanagimachi Street, a remnant of the old Hokkoku Kaido road. Sake breweries, miso warehouses, and restaurants line this historic town street.

Ueda also has delightful hot springs. Bessho Onsen is known not only for its hot spring baths for its beautiful temples as well. The national treasure eight-sided three-story pagoda of Anrakuji Temple and Kitamuki Kannon Temple are both must-sees. To the southwest of Bessho is Kakeyu Onsen, which has been known as a curative hot spring since ancient times.

Bessho Onsen

The Sugadaira Highlands, not far from Mt. Azumaya (2,354 m) and Mt. Nekodake (2,207 m), are just northeast of Ueda. There you can enjoy a variety of summer sports and outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking, athletics, rugby, tennis and golf. In winter, you can ski through beautiful alpine scenery that has earned the area the name, “the Davos of Japan.”

Close-by Tomi city has recently become well-known for its various wineries and its popular winery tour.

Map and Access

The Hokuriku shinkansen stops at Ueda station, which is easily accessible from Kanazawa and Tokyo in 90 minutes. Note that the Kagayaki shinkansen does not stop at Ueda station.

From Ueda station, it takes 30 minutes to get to the Bessho Onsen by train. From the terminus, you can easily walk to various ryokan and temples.

To reach Sugadaira Highlands, take a bus (the Sugadaira Line) from Ueda station in 50 minutes, or rent a car. Buses leave every two hours.

Kakeyu Onsen is a 70-minute bus ride (on the Kakeyu Line) from Ueda station. Kakeyu-bound buses leave every hour.

Where to Stay

Ueda Station

There are about 10 large hotels near the station.

Bessho Onsen

Bessho has ryokans (Japanese-style inns) with a long history. They are popular among non-Japanese tourists as well as with Japanese dignitaries and celebrities.

Sugadaira Highlands

There are more than 80 hotels, ryokans, pensions, lodges, and various other lodging facilities.

Kakeyu Onsen

Kakeyu has large hotels and ryokans, several of which are able to accommodate medical tourists who wish to benefit from the therapeutic and curative powers of the hot springs.

Sightseeing around Ueda City