Iga Ueno Castle 伊賀上野城
Festivals with ninjas and ogres at a castle in ninja territory
While getting your ninja experience in Iga, do not forget to visit this hilltop castle and feel the power of the samurai lords who employed ninjas for covert missions. If you are here in spring or autumn, be sure to visit the two exciting festivals.
How to Get There
You can reach the castle from Uenoshi Station by foot in about 10 minutes.
To get to Uenoshi Station from Osaka, take the Osaka Loop Line to Tsuruhashi Station and then switch to the Kintetsu-Osaka Line until you get to Iga-Kambe Station. After that, make one last connection to the Iga Tetsudo Line.
Iga was rebuilt with its original materials
The castle's western wall has panoramic views of the surrounding countryside
Festivals featuring ninjas and ogres are held here in April and October
An authentic historical experience
The original Iga Ueno Castle was built over 400 years ago as the seat of power for local lords. The current structure is a reconstruction that, unlike many other rebuilt castles in Japan, was made using the original materials.
Explore the historic district
To explore the history a bit more, head down to the historic district south of the castle. You can stroll around and see the old samurai residences. Shops sell locally crafted pottery and kumihimo braided cords.
See things from a feudal lord's perspective
Take in a sweeping view of the surrounding countryside from atop the high western wall above the moat. You can walk right up to the edge 30 meters above the water, where the open space provides a great spot to capture some panoramic shots.
Springtime stealth: A ninja festival
If you are visiting in the spring, try to come during the Iga Ueno Ninja Festa. It is a five-week ninja-themed event with performances, contests, and activities that begin in early April and run through to the Golden Week holiday in the first week of May. The main festivities are on weekdays and national holidays. To get your fill of everything ninja, visit the nearby Ninja Museum of Igaryu .
The autumn ogre party
The Ueno Tenjin Festival is in late October. You will see the nine elaborate danjiri parade floats on one evening and a parade of floats and the “procession of ogres” on the final day.