Ueda Samurai Tour
approx. 8 hours【available year-round】
Follow in the footsteps of samurai during this historic taxi tour through the castle town of Ueda.
- Travel to the gorgeous vermillion coloured shrine called the center of Japan
- Take a look at the unique octagonal pogade, designed as a National Treasure
- Pray for good luck at the Kitamuki Kannon Temple
- See what remains of Ueda Castle, once ruled by the Sanada family
- Wander around Yanagimachi Street to get a feel of a traditional shopping street
- Visit the famous Matsumoto Castle, the oldest existing 5-story castle in Japan
Pick-up offered at Matsumoto Station or any hotel or other location within Matsumoto City. For departure points outside of this area, please fill in the departure point on the reservation form and we'll confirm if pick-up is possible.
The tour starts at 9:00.
For a different departure time, please inquire about the possibility when you book.
● Ikushima Tarushima Shrine (duration: 30m)
Said to be the center of Japan, the Ikushima Tarushima Shrine is painted in a beautiful vermillion color, making it immediately stand out from its surroundings. For those interested in experiencing a real Shinto ceremony, please inquire when you book (ceremony fee not included in tour).
● Anrakuji Temple (duration: 30m)
Visit Anrakuji Temple, Nagano's oldest zen temple. Climb the stairs along the pond to see the unique octagonal three-storied pagoda, which was designated as a National Treasure.
Admission ticket included.
● Kitamuki Kannon Temple (duration: 30m)
Located in Bessho Onsen, the oldest hot spring area in Nagano, you will find the Kitamuki Kannon Temple. Established in the 9th century, this temple is unusual in the fact that it faces north instead of south as most temples do, and therefore directly faces Zenkoji Temple in Nagano City. Leading up to the temple, you will find various restaurants and shops selling unique souvenirs.
● Ueda Castle (duration: 30m)
A symbol of the area, Ueda Castle is famous for both its history as the most prominent castle of the Sanada samurai clan, as well as its scenery during the cherry blossom season when a thousand cherry blossoms turn the castle's park into a pink paradise.
● Yanagimachi Street (duration: 25m)
Experience the atmosphere of a traditional townscape. Yanagimachi Street features several restaurants as well as traditional Japanese stores such as a sake brewery and a miso shop.
● Matsumoto Castle (duration: 1h)
Step into Matsumoto Castle, which is designated as a National Treasure. As you make your way past all floors (including an "invisible" one!), there are many displays with samurai armors, old weaponry and more that teach you all about the castle's long history. Once you get to the top, you'll be met with a spectacular panoramic view of Matsumoto City.
Admission ticket included.
The tour ends in Matsumoto City.
Want to connect with the local community and learn more about Japan?
We offer the option of having a local volunteer accompany you on selected courses free of charge. Our English-speaking volunteers would love to show you around and tell you all about the places you'll visit. If you'd like to have a volunteer join you during your trip, please select the option on the reservation form (subject to availability).
- Reservation confirmation will be received within 72 hours of booking.
- Infant seats are available.
- This tour is not wheelchair accessible.
- The tour schedule may be subject to change or cancellation due to the weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Changes to the tour schedule are not possible on the day of travel. If you have any questions or need to make changes, please contact us in advance.
Payment for the tours must be made online in advance via a credit card. We will send you a link to complete the payment once we've confirmed the tour's availability. If the payment is not completed one day before the scheduled departure date, the reservation may be cancelled.
For a full refund, cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled departure date. If you cancel within 2 days prior to the departure date, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee. If you cancel within 24 hours of the departure date, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.