Suwa-taisha is one of the oldest shrines in the country and represents more than 10,000 Suwa Shrines nationwide. The grand shrine is comprised of four shrines: Kami-sha Hon-miya located in Kami-Suwa-shi, Kami-sha Mae-miya in Chino-shi, and Shimo-sha Aki-miya and Shimo-sha Haru-miya both in Shimo-Suwa-machi, all in Nagano Prefecture. The deity enshrined here is Tateminakata-no-Mikoto -- widely worshipped in earlier times as the god of hunting and agriculture and later as god of national security. Members of the samurai class were devotees of this shrine from early times, and Takeda Shingen, ruler of this region in the 16th century, is also known to have been a defender of the shrine. A divine festival known as the Onbashira Matsuri takes place once in every seven years. It is an awe-inspiring event in which a large number of participants bring 16 giant fir logs down from the mountain -- with many people actually riding the tree trunks down a mountain slope -- and erect them in the shrine.
Address: 1 Nakasumiya-yama, Suwa-shi, Nagano
Admission Fee: Free in the shrine precincts
[Car]JR Chino Stn./Taxi/10-min. ride