Spots in Tateshina / Suwa / Iida Area

  • Lake Suwa
    Travel / Tourism
    Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture
    Lake Suwa, the largest lake in Shinshu, has a circumference of about 16 kilometers. Here you can enjoy lengthy walks and jogging as well as pleasure cruises and boat trips on the lake. From autumn through to winter keen anglers can fish for wakasagi (a variety of smelt). The Lake Suwa Fireworks Festival, one of Japan’s largest firework displays, is held at the lake in summer with an incredible 40,000 fireworks lighting up the night sky. The huge fireworks display unsurprisingly attracts huge numbers of people each year.
  • Venus Line
    Travel / Tourism
    Chino, Nagano Prefecture - Matsumoto-shi
    This is a sightseeing road and popular free driving course connecting Nagano Prefecture’s Chino City and Ueda City Utsukushigahara Highlands. The road is dotted with Shinshu highland resorts including Tateshina Highland, Yatsugatake Sanroku, Lake Shirakaba and Mt. Kirigamine, and the interweaving mountains and greenery stretch endlessly into the distance. Along the way is Yashimagahara Shitsugen (marsh land), designated a National Natural Monument and home to 400 varieties of sub-highland plant. If the weather is good one can see all the way from final stop of Utskushigahara Highland to Mt. Fuji.
  • Suwa Taisha (Suwa Grand Shrine) Kamisha Honmiya
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwashi Nakasu 1
    Suwa Taisha (Suwa Grand Shrine) Kamisha Honmiya, one of the oldest shrines in the country and the head shrine of over 10,000 Suwa shrines throughout Japan, has no main building, but only a “heihaiden” and a “katahaiden,” a unique style known as the Suwa style. Many precious buildings remain, and six of them are registered as Important Cultural Properties. In olden times, people worshiped at Suwa Myojin to pray to the guardian deities of wind, water, and the harvest, as well as brave men. Nowadays, it is believed to house the deity that guards life and livelihood. It’s about five minutes from the Suwa Interchange on the Chuo Expressway.
  • Narai-juku (post town)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shiojirishi Narai
    Long ago, the Nakasendo was an important highway connecting Edo and Kyoto, and many travelers stopped at the post town of Narai-juku before or after crossing the Torii Pass following this route. The post town once prospered due to the many people moving along the highway, and the town was even described as “Narai Sen-ken” (1,000 buildings of Narai). Narai was quite large, and divided into three districts—uptown, midtown, and downtown, and today the townscape remains mostly unchanged from its heyday. In 1978, the post town was designated an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.
  • Fujimi Panorama Resort (Ski resort)
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Suwagunfujimimachi Fujimi 6666-703
    This ski resort is in Fujimi Fujimi Town. Besides winter sports there are many activities that showcase Mt. Nyukasa’s natural seasonal scenery. You can enjoy trekking and mountainbike riding in spring and summer and in autumn you can go on one of the many gondola rides and see the scenery illuminated by the Mt. Yatsutagake sunrise; options include the “premium sea of clouds gondola” “fall foliage gondola” and “night gondola” rides. In addition because the ski slopes make a heart shape when viewed from the Yatsutagake observation platform onsite the area is known as a sacred lovers’ spot.
  • Tateishi Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Suwashi Kamisuwa
    Tateishi Park offers great views of the urban landscape, Lake Suwa, Okaya, Shimosuwa Town, and even the Northern Alps (Hida Mountains) during fair weather. The panoramic sunset view has earned widespread acclaim, and it is ranked among the 100 best sunset spots in Shinshu, the “New Japan Top Three Night Views,” and the “Top 100 Night Views.” It is also known as a natural habitat of Japan’s national butterfly, the giant purple butterfly. It is about 30 minutes by car from the Suwa Interchange on the Chuo Expressway.
  • Takabocchi Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shiojirishi Kataoka
    A highland situated along the Takabocchi Skyline road in Kataoka, Shiojiri City. Sprawling at the foot of 1,665-meter-tall Mt. Takabocchi, the highland is a renowned picturesque destination and offers a 360 panoramic view of the area, including Lake Suwa, Yatsugatake, Mt. Fuji, and the Akaishi Mountains.
  • Suwa Grand Shrine Shimosha Akimiya
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwagunshimosuwamachi 5828
    A Shinto shrine located in Shimosuwa Town, Suwa County, Nagano Prefecture. The Akimiya is one of six shrines which comprise Suwa Grand Shrine, the head shrine of some 25 thousand Suwa shrines located across the country. Worshipped for providing abundant harvests and granting bravery since ancient times, in recent times the shrine has also come to be worshipped for protecting life and livelihood. The Kagura-den hall, with an eye-catching giant rope hanging in front, and the two-storied Heihai-den (worship and offering hall) are designated Important Cultural Properties. Other shrine highlights include the Neiri no Sugi, an 800-year old Japanese cedar tree. The shrine is famous for the Ombashira Festival held every seven years, as well as the Boat Festival (Ofune Matsuri) held on August 1.
  • Kurumayama-kogen SKYPARK Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama 3413
    Because of the high altitude of this ski resort the quality of the snow is good and the slopes are always kept in prime condition. The weather is almost always good and from the top of the mountain and slopes views can be had of the Shinshu mountains. Slopes are designed so that both beginners and advanced skiers can enjoy themselves to the max. When spring comes the Natsuyama Observatory Lift starts running. You can enjoy all the wild plants and trekking on the highland plateau. The sunrise unkai (sea of clouds) lift from where you can see a sea of cloud from the summit at 1925 meters is also very popular.
  • Lake Shirakaba
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama Shirakabako
    Lake Shirakaba, with a circumference of four kilometers, was originally a pond created as a reservoir for farm use. You’ll find an amusement park, golf course, ski resort, hotels, and other facilities around this area, making it one of Shinshu’s top resort spots. Throngs of people visit every year.
  • Suwa Taisha (Suwa Grand Shrine) Shimosha Harumiya
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwagunshimosuwamachi 193
    Suwa Taisha, one of the highest-ranked Ichinomiya shrines of the old Shinano Province, is said to be one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is the main shrine of the various Suwa shrines throughout the country. The granite torii gates at the entrance are said to have been built in 1659, evidence of its long history. The lower shrine holds various ceremonies, including “Senzasai” ceremonies which are said to have an influence on the Years of the Tiger and Monkey as well as biannual “Harumiya” and “Akimiya” ceremonies. It’s about 15 minutes from the Okaya Interchange on the Nagano Expressway.
  • Roadside Station Toyamago
    Nagano Pref. Idashi Minamishinanowada 456
    A roadside station situated along the Wada Bypass in Minamishinanowada, Iida City. The station has a souvenir shop selling local specialty products, a tourist information center, and a footbath. The Kagura no Yu hot spring bathhouse on the station's grounds has a rest area as well as a restaurant serving local cuisine.
  • Utsukushigahara Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Iriyamabe
    Utsukushi-ga-Hara Highlands which is a part of the largest quasi-national park in Nagano Prefecture is the largest plateau in Japan sitting at an elevation of close to 2,000 meters above sea level. The superb 360 degree panorama rewards visitors with views overlooking the Northern and Southern Alps, and Mt. Fuji. The mountain top Utsukushi-ga-Hara Highlands has trails and hiking paths so you can fully enjoy the magnificent nature and fresh air.
  • Kita Yatsugatake Ropeway
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama 4035-2541
    This large ropeway, able to carry 100 people, is located at the northern tip of the Yatsugatake mountain range and connects Mt. Kita Yokodake and Mt. Shimagare. It takes about seven minutes to reach Yokodake-Tsuboniwa summit station with an altitude of 2237 meters from the station at the base of the mountain with an altitude of 1771 meters. The magnificent view of the mountains seen from the gondola window is spectacular, and is especially popular among mountaineers.
  • Kirigamine Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Kirigamine of Suwa-shi Nagano Prefecture
    Selected as one of the top 100 famous mountains in Japan, Kirigamine Highlands, at approximately 1,600 meters above sea level, extends 10 kilometers east to west and 15 kilometers north to south. In early summer the azaleas and daylilies are at their best, and from summer through to autumn you’ll find fireweed and silver grass in bloom. Lots of alpine plants can be spotted in these grassy meadows and visitors can get views of Mt. Fuji and the Yatsugatake Mountains from this popular scenic spot.
  • Roadside Station Shinshu Tsutakijuku
    Nagano Pref. Suwagunfujimimachi Ochiai 1984-1
    A roadside station standing along National Route 20 in Ochiai, Fujimi Town, Suwa County. The station has a farm-fresh shop selling vegetables picked that morning as well as other agricultural products, processed foods, and crafts. The station's store sells select specialty products from Nagano and Yamanashi. In the station's restaurant, you can enjoy local soba noodles and other dishes. In addition, the station is adjoined by the Tsuta no Yu hot spring bathhouse.
  • Mishaka Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Toyohira Okutetsu
    The Mishaka Pond was created as a reservoir for agricultural purposes. The pond was also used as inspiration for the painting Midori Hibiku (echoing green) by renowned Showa period painter Kaii Higashiyama. Surrounded by glorious nature, the water surface reflecting the image of the trees like a mirror is both beautiful and fantastic.
  • Suwa Grand Shrine Kamisha Maemiya
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Miyagawa 2030
    One of the shrine buildings on the grounds of Suwa Grand Shrine standing along National Route 152 in Miyagawa, Chino City. Suwa Grand Shrine is the head shrine of all Suwa Shrines in the country. The area where this shrine building is located is believed to be the location where the god worshipped by these shrines, Suwa Daimyojin, first took up residence, and as such can be considered the origin point of the Suwa faith.
  • Bungui Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shimoinagunoshikamura Kashio
    "A pass situated along the Akiha Kaido road in Haseichinose, Ina City. Located directly over the Median Tectonic Line, a large fault zone, the area is said to be a strong mystical ""power spot"" with a zero magnetic field. On weekends and holidays, the area sees many visitors, and accordingly traffic is restricted on nearby roads, requiring visitors to make use of a shuttlebus to reach it."
  • Suwa Takashima Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwashi Takashima 1-20-1
    "A park and castle site situated along Prefectural Route 50 in Takashima, Suwa City. Takashima Castle was built 400 years ago by Hineno Takayoshi, a vassal of the Toyotomi clan. An impregnable castle surrounded by Lake Suwa, the sight of the stronghold floating on the lake's water has resulted in it gaining the nickname, ""the Floating Castle of Suwa."" The castle tower was restored in 1970 and is used as a museum which presents materials on the history of Suwa Domain and Takashima Castle. The surrounding park is a renowned cherry blossom viewing destination in spring."

Nagano Areas


Nagano prefecture is an exciting mix of mountains, hot spring monkeys, and preserved Edo history. At the heart of the Japanese Alps, Nagano is one of the country’s most popular destinations, whether in winter for its snow sports and the much-loved Jigokudani Monkey Park or in the warmer months for discovering the undulating hills on foot. For fantastic Edo architecture, head to the Kiso Valley for a 60-kilometer stretch of quaint wooden buildings that marked the Nakasendo route 200 years ago.

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