Nagano Photo Tour - Ueda Castle Ruin Park - A Haven For Samurai
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Thursday, June 13, 2019
By Japan Dreamscapes
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Nagano Photo Tours revolve around Snow Monkeys in their natural habitats, but the region is also steeped in rich samurai history and supplies several photo ops that can only be enjoyed by exploring with Japan Dreamscapes (JDS).


The castle has the rare claim to fame of having been laid siege to not once by twice during the Sengoku, or countrywide conflict part of Japan’s history.  The defenders of the castle became famous for the massive casualties they would inflict on the would be invaders, and as you hike among the ramparts and moat enclosures while on your Nagano Photo Tour, the stones will resonate with the essence of the samurai spirit and the sheer tenacity that made them famous.  In terms of classic Japanese architecture, the Ueda Castle is a must see for visiting photographers.

If impressive figures from Japan’s past are what appeals to you, then a statue of the Sanada clan’s former patriarch, Yukimura Sanada on horseback riding tall in the saddle is positioned close to the castle park’s exit, a must see photo op for visitors.  His likeness is depicted in full armor with sword drawn as if in mid battle.  The gravity of his commitment to his clan and to protecting his castle seem to emanate from the statue.  Make sure you don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to capture a photo for your personal gallery.


Once you enter the park grounds, you can stroll down Yanagimachi Street.  The thoroughfare is a snapshot from the Edo Period, and every store front represents a new photo op for you to immortalize one more piece of the Ueda adventure during your Japan Photo Tour with JDS.  The Hokkoku Kaido highway, which Yanagimachi Street is a part of was a vital path joining the gold mines of Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture and the Kanto Region, which contained Tokyo.  You’ll be able to see the white-walled houses and latticed doors emblematic of the Edo Period.  Once you’ve filled your camera’s memory card with spectacular Edo Period Photography, your JDS Photo Workshop Leader will take to the sample some of the finest cuisine the area offers.  And if you have any questions about samurai lords or some of the great figures of Japan’s past, please ask your Photography Tour Leader.  He’ll be able to share tales of the warring period while you enjoy your lunch.


To quench your thirst for relics, there is one final area on the castle grounds that your JDS Photography Guide recommends, the Sanada Village.  Inside the village’s buildings are countless artifacts from one of the most powerful samurai clans of all time.  Samurai armor on display using several historically accurate methods for preservation.  Of course scrolls containing orders and reports along with texts contemporary to the era are also on display.  And one cannot overlook the photo op that is the gleaming katana, the preferred weapon of the samurai.

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