Sometimes words are simply not enough so to better explain some of the beauty and events of the Suwa area, we put together a 4K video. The video consists of several of the major areas and attractions in the region.
Lake Suwa is the heart of Suwa and largest lake in Nagano Prefecture. Whether walking, cycling, or jogging, it provides a relaxing backdrop. In spring, the lake is surrounded by beautiful cherry blossoms, while summer sees it lit up from above by fireworks. In these warmer months, lake activities include pleasure cruises, amphibious bus tours, and fishing.
Meanwhile, in the winter, Lake Suwa is home to an extraordinary, natural occurrence known as omiwatari or “The God’s Crossing.” The fluctuation in temperature in the morning and night causes rapid freezing and melting of the lake waters. This in turn creates magnificent pressurized ice formations which emerge from the Lake’s frozen surface. These same hot spring waters serve the numerous hot springs and foot baths throughout the area. The God's Crossing does not occur every winter as the perfect conditions must exist for this rare phenomenon.
Suwa Taisha Shrine
Suwa Taisha, or Suwa Grand Shrine, is of Shinto origin and is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. The shrine areas are surrounded by thick trees and landscaped gardens and are accessible by walking or cycling. There are four building complexes, including the Maemiya (old or front shrine), Honmiya (main shrine), Harumiya (spring shrine), and the Akimiya (fall shrine). Suwa Taisha is the head shrine for a network of over 10,000 related Suwa shrines nationwide.
Suwa Fireworks Festival
From late July to the end of August, Suwa City displays some of Japan’s largest and most well-known fireworks competitions over Lake Suwa. Lights reflect off the water and sounds echo throughout the surroundings during these beautiful night shows. There are regular fireworks displays every day during this period, with the largest held on August 15th every year.
One of the most spectacular natural areas in all of Suwa, this pond area had been home to numerous Japanese movies and drama acts so is well known to locals. The reflections on the water and distinct treeline behind the water make this a great stop for photographers and nature lovers alike. The pond is quite distinct in all four seasons and is especially beautiful in autumn.
Hot Springs and Footbaths
One of Japan’s premier hot springs towns, the bathhouses get much of the water from the springs directly underneath Lake Suwa. The water here is of superb quality and there are numerous bathhouses in the areas surrounding the lake all the way up into the mountain areas. Foot baths are also a regular feature in the region often complemented with smooth stones on the bath grounds that are an excellent therapeutic for your feet as you walk through the water.