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Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen

Ueda & Bessho Onsen

A Place of Samurai Legend, Living Tradition, Nostalgic Charm & Healing Hot Springs

Key features

  • Castle Town
  • Samurai
  • Festivals
  • Onsen
  • Hot Springs
  • Traditional Cuisine
  • Traditional Craft
  • Ueda Tsumugi
  • Kimono
  • Temples
  • Retro Atmosphere
  • Showa Period
  • Highly Photogenic
  • Instagramable

Public Transport

Ueda Stationimmediate access
Bessho Onsen Station30 min by train

Popular Attractions

Ueda Castle Park15 min walk
Yanagimachi15 min walk
Bessho Onsen30 min by train

Ueda & Bessho Onsen

A Place of Samurai Legend, Living Tradition, Nostalgic Charm & Healing Hot Springs

Key features

  • Castle Town
  • Samurai
  • Festivals
  • Onsen
  • Hot Springs
  • Traditional Cuisine
  • Traditional Craft
  • Ueda Tsumugi
  • Kimono
  • Temples
  • Retro Atmosphere
  • Showa Period
  • Highly Photogenic
  • Instagramable
As the former stronghold of the legendary Sanada clan, Ueda is a place of true historic significance coupled with nostalgia of the more recent past. Any visit to Ueda begins at Ueda Castle Park, where visitors can walk in the shadow of the fearsome samurai that fought and repelled the equally legendary Tokugawa clan. To this day, Ueda Castle Park is in every sense the true heart of the city and while the original castle no longer stands, the expansive park includes reconstructions of the East Gate and their defensive turrets. From the castle, visitors can walk onto Yanagimachi – a historic shopping and dining street that remains in a beautiful state of preservation, lined with traditional merchant buildings housing a range of stores and eateries including Okazaki Sake Brewery, Takeda Miso Brewery Hishiya, Bakery Levain and Co. Labo Shop along with soba restaurants, cafes and more.
Once in Ueda, visitors also discover place steeped in Showa Period (1926-1989) charm including the retro district of Fukuromachi including its beloved Ueda Eigeki cinema, the traditional sweets of Iijima Shoten and other quaint reminders of yesteryear. Nearby Bessho Onsen blends the historic and retro with pure relaxation, as one of Nagano’s best-known Showa Period hot spring towns and beautiful collection of temples. Conveniently located between Nagano and Karuizawa, Ueda and Bessho Onsen can be enjoyed as daytrips from both of those cities or most enjoyably, as an overnight / multiday visit at all times of year including during the blossoms of spring, the festivities of summer, leaves of autumn and snow of winter when nearby Sugadaira Kogen Ski Resort offers visitors leisurely skiing and snowboarding along with some of Nagano's best alpine views and snowcat tours.

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  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen
  • Ueda & Bessho Onsen

Recommended Highlights in Ueda & Bessho Onsen

Ueda Castle Park & Yanagimachi

Ueda Castle Park & Yanagimachi

Located in the centre of the city, Ueda Castle Park and the nearby historic precinct of Yanagimachi are the best places to start your exploration.

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Traditions & Tastes of Ueda

Traditions & Tastes of Ueda

While it may legends of samurai that draw you to Ueda, once there you will discover place of tradition and nostalgic charm.

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Stay & Explore Bessho Onsen: Nagano's Oldest Hot Spring Town

Stay & Explore Bessho Onsen: Nagano's Oldest Hot Spring Town

Only 30 minutes from central Ueda, Bessho Onsen is Nagano's oldest hot spring town - home to numerous guesthouses, historic temples and yet more charm.

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25 Things to Do Around Ueda & Bessho Onsen

25 Things to Do Around Ueda & Bessho Onsen

Ueda is a small, nostalgic city known for its quaint features, good food, hot springs and legendary samurai. Here's our suggestion of the best things to do and see when you get there.

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News / Info

How to Get to Ueda & Bessho

How to Get to Ueda & Bessho

As a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line, Ueda is easy to reach from Tokyo, Karuizawa and Nagano with local services also running to and from the city.

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Find a Hotel in Ueda & Bessho

Find a Hotel in Ueda & Bessho

Visitors to Ueda and Bessho Onsen have plenty of accommodation to choose from ranging including Western-style hotels and traditional hot spring guesthouses.

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Sugadaira Kogen Ski Resort

Sugadaira Kogen Ski Resort

Only 60 minutes from Ueda Station, Sugadaira Kogen enjoys one of Nagano's seasons and is blessed with beautiful views and plenty of hot springs.

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Welcome to Ueda! Recommended Travel Itinerary

Welcome to Ueda! Recommended Travel Itinerary

As a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line, Ueda is quick and easy to reach from Tokyo and nearby Karuizawa and Nagano including the slower option of the Rokumon Sightseeing Train.

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Recommended Destinations in Ueda & Bessho Onsen

Ueda Castle Park

Ueda Castle Park

As the former stronghold of the legendary Sanada clan, Ueda Castle Park is the historic heart of the city and to this day remains the best place to begin your exploration.

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Yanagimachi

Yanagimachi

Once part of the Hokkoku Kaido – an important trade route linking Ueda to Nagano and Niigata – Yanagimachi is home to stores and eateries housed in beautifully-preserved traditional buildings.

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'Tsumugi' Kimono Experiene

'Tsumugi' Kimono Experiene

Ueda is home of one of the oldest and most renowned silk-weaving traditions in Japan. Known as ‘Ueda Tsumugi’, local silk production stretches back centuries and is kept alive by passionate artists.

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Ueda Sanada Festival

Ueda Sanada Festival

Taking place each year on the last Saturday of April, the Ueda Sanada Festival celebrates the legendary samurai in spectacular fashion, with hundreds of costumed performers and thousands of onlookers taking to the streets.

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Bessho Onsen

Bessho Onsen

Only 30 minutes by train from central Ueda, Bessho Onsen is Nagano's oldest hot spring town - boasting some of the region's best accommodation and important temples.

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Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort

Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort

Around 60 minutes from Ueda Station, Sugadaira Kogen is one of Nagano's largest and highest ski resorts, known for its outstanding views, gentle ski runs and multiple hot springs.

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Winter Lantern Festivals

Winter Lantern Festivals

Each winter, the hot spring towns of Bessho Onsen and Kakeyu Onsen play host to their annual lantern festivals, imbuing the winter's night with warmth and beauty.

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Utsukushigahara Kogen inc. Open-Air Museum

Utsukushigahara Kogen inc. Open-Air Museum

Known for its leisurely hiking trails, panoramic views, open-air museum and star-filled night sky, Utsukushigahara tempts you to go a little further and discover one of Ueda's true highlights.

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Access

Public Transport

Ueda Stationimmediate access
Bessho Onsen Station30 min by train

Popular Attractions

Ueda Castle Park15 min walk
Yanagimachi15 min walk
Bessho Onsen30 min by train