Ueda (上田) is a city in Nagano prefecture.
Nagano Shinkansen Tokyo-Ueda; Shinano-Tetsudo line Karuizawa-Ueda; Japan Railways bus from Matsumoto airport.
Walking will mostly do; there are plenty of city buses.
- Ueda Castle Park (上田城跡公園), Ninomaru 3-3. 二の丸3-3 (Leave Ueda Station by the Oshiro exit and walk out to the first set of traffic lights at Ueda Station Castle Exit (上田駅お城口) intersection. Continue straight up the main shopping street. Turn left at Chuo 2 Chome intersection. After about 500m you will reach the east gate of the castle park.). Only 3 towers and gates remain of the original castle. As the base of the Sanada clan, it is famous for being a key to the Sanadas defeating the mighty Tokugawa clan's forces on two occasions in the 16th century. On the third attempt, the castle was destroyed, but it was rebuilt by the Sengoku clan in 1626, supposedly to the original plan. The maple leaves in the park in late autumn are spectacular. edit
- Anrakuji Temple (安楽寺), Bessho Onsen 2361; 別所温泉2361 (Follow the signs for about 900m from Bessho Onsen station.), ☎ 0268-38-2062, . 08:00-17:00 (Mar-Oct); 08:00-16:00 (Nov-Feb). A beautiful and peaceful temple precinct tucked up against the hill. The temple stores important cultural objects from the Kamakura Period, and is the oldest Zen temple in Nagano Prefecture. The pagoda is the only remaining octagonal pagoda in Japan, and is designated a national treasure. Opening times and price refer to the octagonal pagoda section of the temple precinct only. ¥300. edit
- Ueda City Museum (上田市立博物館), Ninomaru 3-3 (inside Ueda Castle Park) 二の丸3-3(上田城跡公園内) (Enter Ueda Castle Park on the east side, cross the moat, and turn right. The museum is the white building on the right.), ☎ 0268-22-1274. 8:30-17:00. Closed Wednesdays and the day after public holidays. A small but diverse collection, including several well preserved sets of samurai armor used by the local Sanada clan members. 250Yen. edit
- Yamamoto Kanae Memorial Gallery (山本鼎記念館), Inside Ueda Castle Park (Enter Ueda Castle Park on the east side, cross the moat, and turn right. The gallery is the white building on the straight ahead across the plaza), ☎ 0268-22-2693, . 8:30-17:00. Closed Wednesdays and the day after public holidays. Celebrates Yamamoto Kanae (1882-1946) who worked in oils and woodblock prints. He pioneered a radical New Art Education for Children method that involved encouraging children to draw objects freely, rather than copying classic works from books. He also started a movement that involved teaching local people woodcraft. 250Yen. edit
Hill-lovers will enjoy Taroyama (太郎山), 1164 m, 2-3 hours from the station (head due north until forced to bear right).
- Kaldi Coffee Farm (カルディコーヒーファーム), Tenjin 3-5-1 Ario Shopping Centre First Floor. 天神3-5-1アリオ上田 1F (Exit Ueda station on the Onsen exit side. Turn right and follow the small road that goes under the Bessho Line and parallel to the Shinano Railway. After about 400m you will see the shopping center on the corner.), ☎ 0268-25-8503, . 9:00-21:00. A coffee store also featuring a very wide range of imported goods. edit
- Collabo (コラボ食堂), Chuo 4-7-27; 中央4-7-27 (On the north end of Yanagi-machi shopping street), ☎ 0268-22-5968, . Lunch 11:30-14:00; Coffee and tea: 14:00-16:00. Closed Thursdays. Serves a different set lunch every day. The meals are made with lots of local ingredients, and are good value. The place is run by a non-profit organisation whose aim is to preserve and propagate local food culture. Set lunch 800 yen.. edit
- Curry House Bengal (カレーハウスBENGAL), Chuo 2-4-9 (Walk north from Ueda station, through Ueda Station Shiroguchi intersection. Turn right at Chuo 2 chome intersection. Take the first lane on the left. The restaurant is about 50m down on the left.), ☎ 026-822-1036. 1100-1500; 1630-2030; closed Tuesdays. If you like your Japanese style curry with a dash of chilli, this is your place. Mains include a cup of soup, pickle/salad, and sometimes a complimentary cup of milk tea to wash it all down. Serves are generous and the service is quick. The menu is in Japanese and English. Salad ¥650; Mains from ¥1150. edit
- Jaipur Indian Cooking (インド料理ジャイプール), Chuo 1-9-20 中央1-9-20 (Come out the Oshiro (north) exit of Ueda station. Go straight, passing by the covenience store Seven-Eleven, to the crossroads “Chuo 1” with traffic light. Turn right at the crossroads, walk down the street to the first traffic light. The Jaipur is on your left, on the corner. About a 6-minute walk from the station.), ☎ 026-826-7878. 1130-1430; 1530-1900; closed Wednesdays. Good quality Indian curry and other dishes. Non-smoking Lunch set from 850 yen on weekends; dinner from 1500 yen. edit
- Rin's Coffee (リンズコーヒー), Chuo 1-1-22; 中央1-1-22 (On the left, two doors up route 141 from Ueda Station Castle Exit (上田駅お城口) intersection), ☎ 0268-21-1424. 8:00-20:00 (Tue-Sat); 8:00-18:00 (Su & Hols). An elegant coffee lounge selling a wide array of local and imported coffees. Coffee ¥350-¥500. edit
- Cafe Garden Berry, Bessho Onsen 208-1; 別所温泉208-1 (3 doors north of Oyu Onsen bath house), ☎ 0268-38-2053. 07:00 till late. A cozy coffee shop with good quality coffee and various beverages and snacks made from local ingredients. The owner, Hoshino-san, speaks English. Coffee from ¥350. edit
Toyoko-inn is just NW of the station; 8080 for a double with breakfast (April 2009).
Ueda Guide: The unofficial English tourism website about Ueda and also links to EGG, a volunteer guide group specializing in helping and introducing foreign tourists to Ueda.
- Chikuma - take the Shinano railway north to Togura or Chikuma stations and visit the onsens, mountains and temples of this small city on the Chikuma River
- Yamanouchi - home of the famous hot-spring soaking snow monkeys.
- Joshinetsu Kogen National Park - which includes Shiga Kogen, Japan's largest ski resort, host of 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Giant Slalom, with 21 interlinked ski fields and over 70 lifts.
- Matsumoto - home of the famous black castle, whose gardens and views are a delight in spring and autumn
- Kiso Valley - through which winds the historic Nakasendo (Mountain Road) with numerous historic and beautifully restored villages
- Hakuba - some of the best ski fields in Japan and great summer hiking along the spectacular northern alps
- Azumino - Spice up your life with a visit to one of Japan's most famous wasabi farms
- Nagano - Take a pilgrimage to Zenkoji Temple