Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

Imjin War book cover Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877

Ueda Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady


Ueda Domain

1600 - 1622

Sanada Clan

95,000 Koku

1622 - 1706

Sengoku Clan

60,000 Koku

松平 (藤井)
1706 - 1872

Matsudaira (Fujii) Clan

58,000 Koku

Ueda Castle is classified as a hilltop castle (its layout: Teikakushiki), and is located in Nagano Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Shinano Province. It is associated with the Sanada, Matsudaira clans. Dates in use: 1583 - 1874.

The lord of this castle, Sanada Masayuki, successfully defended here against the Tokugawa clan's armies in 1583 & again in 1600. Despite fighting for the losing side in the Battle of Sekigahara, Masayuki's life was spared. Possession of the castle was then transferred to the Sengoku clan who made attempts to rebuilt it. Mid-reconstruction, in 1622, the lord died leaving the castle to be completed to the next lord.

This castle really does only reveal itself at the last minute. It isn't until you enter the Ueda city-hall car park that you come across signs of the castle, and then when you do, it really is right in front of you. Concealed behind the turret flanked front gate is a shrine.

Google Map Views (グーグルマップ)

Best view ベストビュー
Orbit view 軌道ビュー


1583 The castle was built by Sanada Masayuki.
1585 The first battle for Ueda castle took place. The castle was successfully defended against the Tokugawa soldiers.
1600 The second battle for Ueda castle took place. Once again the attacking Tokugawa soldiers were beaten back.
1601 Before being tranferred to Matsushiro Castle, the Sanada clan were ordered to demolish the castle.
1622 Sengoku Tadamasa was transferred to what what was left of the castle & began to rebuild it.
1871 The castle was abandoned.
1875 The castle grounds & buildings were sold off.
1949 The North & South Turrets were moved back to their original location after being auctioned off when the grounds were sold.

Historical recognition

SiteNational Historic Site