With Nagano's oldest hot springs and Zen temples, Ueda's history began over 1,000 years ago as the center of Shinshu (the old name for Nagano) government and culture.

During the Warring States period, the powerful Sanada clan employed ninjas, and evidence of those times can still be seen today in the castle and surrounding area, and is currently romanticized in many books and a popular television series.

Sanada Clan and Yukimura Sanada

The castle town of Ueda had its start in feudal times with the powerful Sanada clan, who built the castle in the 16th century.
This history still brings many tourists to Ueda today.

Japan’s most popular statue of Yukimura Sanada on horseback can be seen outside Ueda Station’s castle exit.
His life has been portrayed many times, most recently in 2016, when NHK broadcast the hit historical fiction drama series.

In more recent times, Ueda became renowned for silk production and its associated crafts.