GWに武田信玄の攻め道探し Searching for Takeda Shingen's Attack Route

2013.05.04: 長野に来る理由 Reasons to Come to Nagano

Uedahara Battle Marker








This Golden Week holiday, I asked our guests where they did their sightseeing on the way to Kamesei. Nagano City's Zenkoji Temple and Matsumoto's castle were as popular as always, as was spiritual Togakushi, Obuse the chestnut town, and the resort town of Karuizawa. This year, two places were mentioned more frequently than before: Ueda Castle and the samurai town of Matsushiro.

Apparently Ueda Castle's main samurai Yukimura Sanada and the Warring States era in general are gaining in popularity.

I actually feel sorry for people in Japan during Golden Week. So many people work too hard and can only take vacation during these peak holidays, so everywhere you go, it's crowded. Some of our guests tried driving up to Togakushi but turned around and came back due to the congested roads. Another party visited Matsumoto Castle but were told it would be a 2 hour wait to climb to the top.

On the 4th, I took our children into Ueda City. We visited the castle, and saw the parking lot was overflowing with cars. On a drive through Ueda's Shioda Plain area, we spotted a sign for a Uedahara Battle history marker. Following the signs, we came to Ishikuma Shrine. It was here that Shingen Takeda and his forces set up camp, looking across the Uedahara field to Yoshikiyo Murakami's fortress, Susuki-jo in 1548. A stone monument to the battle is erected here, as well as a Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, for some of the thousands of samurai who lost their lives here.

Standing there at the shrine, we felt like we were Shingen looking over the battle field.

And, despite it being the middle of the Golden Week holiday, we had the place to ourselves.

That's the key to enjoying one of Japan's peak holidays. Save the Zenkoji's and Matsumoto Castles for another time. If you want to see the Inner Shrine's majestic cedar trees, go to the ones at Iiyama City's Kosuge Shrine. They're not as massive as Togakushi's, but you'll avoid crowds. Visit the lesser-known spots like the Uedahara battle field. Ask us and we'll fill you in on plenty more off-the-beaten-track places to see in Nagano.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Uedahara


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