Ueda Sanada Festival
Taking place each year on the last Saturday of April, the ‘Ueda Sanada Festival’ celebrates the legendary samurai in spectacular fashion. The festival run through the day – from 09:30 to 16:00 – and features hundreds of participants dress in period costumes with displays of gunnery, sword-fighting and ‘taiko’ drumming drawing thousands of visitors to the castle park to watch a brilliant historical display. Events take place within the grounds of Ueda Castle Park – the site of the once formidable fortifications upon which the Sanada clan repelled the much stronger Tokugawa forces on two occasions in 1585 and 1600.
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While the original castle no longer stands, visitors to the park can get a real sense of the past grandeur of the site thanks to the preservation of its imposing foundation walls, parts of the moat system and beautiful reconstructions of the East Gate and three turrets. Whether you’re committed fan of all things samurai or just have a passing interest in Japan’s legendary warriors, the festival is a great way to infuse their story with some of the colour, noise and spendlour with which they one ruled Ueda.
09:30 - 16:00
Last Saturday of April
Admission is free
The festival takes place within the grounds of Ueda Castle Park. Given the size of the park, it can be approached from multiple directions however it takes around 15 minutes on foot from Ueda Station