Home to one of Japan’s oldest Shinto shrines, Suwa overlooks the picturesque waters of Lake Suwa near the hiking trails and ski slopes of Mount Kirigamine. It boasts a reconstructed 16th-century castle and an explosive geyser.
Things to do
Don’t miss the Suwa Lake Geyser Center, which features numerous mineral springs and a geyser. Discover the natural history of Lake Suwa at the video exhibit, then soak your feet in the lakeside foot bath while enjoying views of the Japanese Alps.
Want to see one of the oldest shrines in Japan? Visit the Suwa Taisha, believed to have been standing since the late-7th century. This ancient shrine complex encompasses four sacred temples, including the main Hon-Miya shrine and the Haru-Miya shrine with its Manji stone statue.
Explore the highest flatland castle in Japan at the 16th-century Takashima Castle, considered one of the most beautiful castles in the country. It appears to be “floating” on top of the lake and boasts original stone walls and a carefully recreated castle keep and kabuki gate.
Stretch your legs along one of the walking trails up the slopes of Mount Kirigamine. It’s blanketed in grasslands and blossoming alpine plants during summer, while in winter it transforms with cross-country and downhill ski slopes.
Suwa is around three hours by train from Nagoya Airport and Haneda Airport. The city is easily explored on foot, with the lakeshore and most sights within walking distance of Kami-Suwa Station.
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