What to do and see in Suwa, Japan: The Best Places and Tips

December 2, 2017 Tynisha Seiler

Discover the best top things to do in Suwa, Japan including Suwa Shrine, Suwa City Kohan Park, Katakura Hall, Lake Suwa Service Area Up Line, Kirigamine Fujimidai, Takashima Castle, Kitazawa Museum of Art, Suwako Fireworks, Onbashira, Tateishi Park.
Restaurants in Suwa

1. Suwa Shrine

1 Nakasu Miyayama, Suwa 392-0015, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-52-1919
Excellent
43%
Good
48%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 341 reviews

Suwa Shrine

Reviewed By edmundduck - Hong Kong, China

I visited many Japanese shrines. This Suwa Shrine (諏訪大社) was definitely an amazing and inspiring one comparing to others. I certainly enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere there, however I wanted to visit all 4 of them within 1 day, so it became kinda rush. Let me share my experience.
This shrine is divided into 4 parts as below,
1. 上社本宮
2. 上社前宮
3. 下社春宮
4. 下社秋宮
The 1st and 2nd one are in southern part of Suwa, and 3rd and 4th one are in northern part. They are indeed very far from each others. In Spring season, day time is still short, so if 1 day tour for all is what you need, then don't take train, get a rental car instead.
The 1st one is the most notable and the largest one, so we visited it first, and spent most of the time there. After that, visited the 2nd one. When we finished that, it should be afternoon, had a quick lunch. We spent a while to visit the shops nearby the 1st Shrine, and bought some Japanese food. Finaly, we drove and visited the 3rd and 4th one. When we finished the 4 Shrines tour, it was already sunset, that's close, but it's worthwhile!

2. Suwa City Kohan Park

2-208-307 Kogandori, Suwa 392-0027, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-52-4141
Excellent
23%
Good
53%
Satisfactory
23%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 135 reviews

Suwa City Kohan Park

Reviewed By keninsydney - sydney

JR上諏訪駅から徒歩10分程で諏訪湖畔につきます。
湖畔は遊歩道として整備されていて遊具やベンチ等々も完備された散策&市民の憩いの場に成っています。
諏訪湖の眺めもいいのですがその先に見える山々の神々しいこと・・

3. Katakura Hall

4-1-9 Kogandori, Suwa 392-0027, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-52-0604
Excellent
29%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 161 reviews

Katakura Hall

Reviewed By Sachi F - London, United Kingdom

This "shared" public bath house was open in 1929! During the Meiji and Taisho eras, Suwa’s Katakura family made a fortune in the silk industry and used that wealth to build the Katakura-kan bath house which was made open for the locals to have bath and use for social activities. This kind of act really represents the true sense of traditional Japanese value - "sharing" what you have. The way the space was used is well thought and the bath is supposed to have "one thousand people". The depth is 1.1m, so you would need to be standing while in the bath. The bottom of the bath has pebbles, so by walking in the bath, it gives you two benefits: "onsen" effect and foot massage! The building and the marble bath are designated as Important National Artifacts. It is open from 10am till 9pm, closed on 2nd and 4th Tuesday. Have a soak and feel the history!

4. Lake Suwa Service Area Up Line

Suwa, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-58-5934
Excellent
24%
Good
54%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 105 reviews

Lake Suwa Service Area Up Line

Reviewed By hir008 - 東京

諏訪湖を見下ろせる景色の良いサービスエリア。標高が高いせいか、空気もすがすがしい。信州のおやきを車中用に買い、峠の釜めしを売っていたので、晩御飯に土産にした。

5. Kirigamine Fujimidai

Shiga Kirigamine, Suwa 392-0008, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-68-2586
Excellent
49%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 54 reviews

Kirigamine Fujimidai

Reviewed By Foot-Soldier-4 - Hong Kong, China

Trails in the Highland were clearly marked and well-maintained. The terrain was not steep and everywhere we looked, it’s lush greenery, small wild flowers and Mountains from far away. We even saw a deer hopping by at one point. Nice & easy walk in the nature. This highland is not as famous as Kamikochi or Norikura Kogen, but our walk there was equally pleasurable.

6. Takashima Castle

1-20-1 Takashima, Suwa 392-0022, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-53-1173
Excellent
9%
Good
52%
Satisfactory
35%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 153 reviews

Takashima Castle

Reviewed By Canmaninjapan - Kamakura, Japan

The day I went there, I saw two other people. It is prominently set 5 minutes from Lake Suwa with a partial moat and a majestic perch on an ancient stone foundation. I love Castles, and this one is one of my favorites in Japan. Sure, it is not as grand as the Castles in Osaka or Matsumoto (my favorite), and it is a reconstruction because it was destroyed long ago and rebuilt, but it is definitely worth seeing. The park around it is a good place to chill out, too. We didn't get to go into it because we arrived after 4:30, but we enjoyed the view and there is also a shrine that is worth a visit in the park withing the walls around the castle, along with a very cool playground. Enjoy!

7. Kitazawa Museum of Art

1-13-28 Kogandori, Suwa 392-0027, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-58-6000
Excellent
52%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 49 reviews

Kitazawa Museum of Art

Reviewed By たぬきおやじ - Tokyo, Japan

昨年5月 フランス・ナンシー市の【ナンシー派美術館】と【ナンシー美術館】を訪れ 《エミール・ガレ》や《ドーム兄弟》などの作品を数多く鑑賞しており 日本国内の美術館で《エミール・ガレ》や《ドーム兄弟》の作品を展示してあると言っても 期待していなかったのですが 実際に入場すると期待以上の作品を目にし ビックリです。こちらのコレクションは《エミール・ガレ》《ドーム兄弟》《ルネ・ラリック》《パート・ド・ヴェール》を柱としており、現在は展示テーマ《ガレのジャポニズム展(2018年3月31日迄)》で 全86点(内50点ほどは エミール・ガレの作品)展示しており、アール・ヌーボ様式のガラス美術に関心を持っておられる方に訪問・鑑賞をお薦めします。北澤美術館としては 1000点ほどのコレクションを持っているそうなので 全てを鑑賞するには 毎年100点鑑賞しても 約10年必要とし 飽きることはなさそうです[2014年に展示面積194m2に181m2拡充し 展示点数を約50点から約100点ほどになったそうです]。なお 展示作品として入口すぐに展示してある【ひとよ茸ランプ】のみ写真撮影可能ですが 他の作品は写真撮影不可となっています。

8. Suwako Fireworks

4 Kogandoori, Suwa 392-0027, Nagano Prefecture
Excellent
86%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 27 reviews

Suwako Fireworks

The main Suwako Hanabi fireworks show is held late in the summer. It is one of Japan's most notable shows, being one of the largest, with over 40,000 individual rockets fired into the air against the city lights and mountainous backdrop of Nagano. The main treat is the Grande Finale, where over a mile of cascading fireworks are set off all at once, in a breathtaking display. The secondary festival, in September, focuses on more technical, experimental, and customized styles of rocket.

9. Onbashira

Around Lake Suwa (4 places)_Suwa Taisha, Suwa 393-0000, Nagano Prefecture +81 266-58-1123
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 26 reviews

Onbashira

The Onbashira festival is held only once every six years, to metaphorically revitalize the Suwa shrines. The historic and lengthy event has been performed for over 1,200 years in Japan, and consists of two month-long components. The Yamadashi takes place in April, during which four very large tree trunks are felled by hand axes in the cemetery of a shinto shrine. They are wrapped and adorned in red and white, and then dragged by teams of men towards the Shinto shrines, who test their courage during the trial by performing "kiotoshi": dangerously riding the logs downhill on rough inclines. The Satokibi, in May, sees these logs used as symbolic support structures. They are raised in the shrines by hand, while one man straddles the top, singing. When it is fully raised, and the man on top balanced many feet in the air, success is declared. A remarkable spectacle.

Reviewed By apingface

Here is my home of soul.
This is main shrine of 25,000 Suwa shrines all over Japan.
This shrine is also famous for "Onbashira festival" one of craziest fes in Japan held every 7 years.
You'll see traditional shrine bult long time ago.
Also you can enjoy shopping or dining local food at street in front of shrine.
There is beautiful cafe with massive window to enjoy one of bunch of special tea served by specialist.
To go the cafe, turn left before stairs in shrine and keep walking until finding tiny bridge.
You'll see beautiful city view upstairs.
it's must go.

10. Tateishi Park

10399 Oaza Kamisuwa, Suwa 392-0003, Nagano Prefecture
Excellent
40%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 30 reviews

Tateishi Park

Reviewed By gingerbrownie - Hong Kong, China

It is said to be the best place to see Suwa Lake which is featured in the Japanese animation "Kimi no Na". There is a funny slide but it was closed on the day I visited. And there is nothing else! There are buses going there from the train station but not many. I missed the bus because the bus schedule has changed after I checked and I ended up taking a taxi which fare is 1,200 yen (it took around 7 minutes?). You may walk up but I read online that according to the tourism centre, it takes 45 minutes. The way back is much easier. Just keep going down for around 25 minutes. Remember to print a map or get one from the tourism centre at the station which opens from 9am.

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