Trip Ideas

Visiting the Four Shrines of Suwa Taisha

The four shrines of Suwa Taisha, which are located around Lake Suwa, are the main shrines of the Suwa Shrine System which enjoys wide-ranging divine virtues. Visitors who come all this way and visit the four main shrines will certainly want to receive some of the blessings before heading home!
There is no particular order in which to visit the shrines. We recommend traveling by car, but visitors who have a little more time may want to try cycling along the shores of Lake Suwa on an e-bike. Receiving red stamps to commemorate your visits to the four shrines makes a great souvenir, don’t miss out!
E-bikes can be rented at OIDEYA, but only a limited number are available. Contact them via phone at 0266-27-0001.

total timeAbout 5.5 hours

  • 01

    Chino Station

  • 02

    Suwa Taisha Kamisha Maemiya Shrine

  • 03

    Jinchokan Moriya Museum

  • 04

    Suwa Taisha Kamisha Honmiya Shrine

  • 05

    Chino Station – Shimosuwa Station

  • 06

    Honda Shokudo or Chabo Shokudo?

  • 07

    Suwa Taisha Shimosha Akimiya Shrine

  • 08

    Suwa Taisha Shimosha Harumiya Shrine

  • 09

    Manji no Sekibutsu

Chino Station


Chino Station

Located a 22-minute train ride away from Shimosuwa Station on the JR Chuo Line. Walking would take more than 30 minutes from the station to the shrine, so we recommend taking a taxi (seven min.). For those wanting to move their bodies, try taking an e-bike along Lake Suwa!

徒歩 About 7 minutes
  • Suwa Taisha Kamisha Maemiya

  • Suwa Taisha Kamisha Maemiya


Suwa Taisha Kamisha Maemiya Shrine

Supposedly, Maemiya Shrine is the first place where Suwa Taisha’s guardian deity, Takeminakata no Kami, settled. This is also considered the birthplace of the Suwa Shinko faith. The current honden (main hall of worship) was built in 1932 with materials which were donated by Ise Jingu shrine on the occasion of Shikinen Sengu (the periodical relocation of gods) ritual.

Address :2030, Miyagawa, Chino, Nagano Prefecture

Phone :+81(0)266-72-1606

徒歩 About 5 minutes

Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum


Jinchokan Moriya Museum

At Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum, some valuable items that explain the traditions of Kamisha’s Shinto rituals and the military commanders of the time are on display. The museum’s unique building was the very first work of the world-famous architect Terunobu Fujimori. Be sure to visit his nearby tearoom buildings if you have time!

Address :389-1 Miyagawa, Chino City, Nagano Pref

Phone :+81(0)266-73-7567

徒歩 About 10 minutes

Suwa Taisha Kamisha Honmiya


Suwa Taisha Kamisha Honmiya Shrine

Honmiya Shrine is marked by its lack of a honden, which is characteristic of Suwa-style shrine architecture. Honmiya also retains the most buildings of the four shrines of Suwa Taisha. Additionally, Honmiya boasts such a unique layout since Mt. Moriya is worshipped here. Visitors can see the hoden (treasure hall) up close here, which isn’t possible at other shrines.

Address :1 Miyayama, Nakasu, Suwa City, Nagano

Phone :+81(0)266-52-1919

徒歩 About 10 minutes


Chino Station – Shimosuwa Station

Chino Station can be reached via a ten-minute taxi ride from Honmiya Shrine, then get back to Shimosuwa Station by train on the JR Chuo Line.

  • Chicken Cutlet rice bowl at Chabo Shokudo

  • Interior of Honda Shokudo

  • A dish from lunch course at Honda Shokudo

  • Dessert at the end of the lunch course


Honda Shokudo or Chabo Shokudo?

Chabo Shokudo is a restaurant well-loved by the locals. Many regular customers come here time and time again for its massive chicken cutlet drenched in a sweet and spicy sauce!
On the other hand, Honda Shokudo features creative dishes based on Italian cuisine by using local ingredients and making the best use of their flavors. Reasonable prices and high-quality dishes mean locals and visitors alike can come here and enjoy a relaxing meal. However, it is a highly popular restaurant, so be sure to make a reservation!

徒歩 About 10 miinutes


Suwa Taisha Shimosha Akimiya Shrine

Akimiya is one of the four shrines of Suwa Taisha and enshrined here is an ancient Japanese yew tree. The kaguraden hall with a crossed gable roof and the heihaiden hall are important cultural properties of Japan. There are many things to see here, from the 800-year-old Neiri no Sugi (slumbering cedar) to Japan’s largest bronze komainu (the lion-shaped guard dog in front of shrines). Every year at the Senzasai on August 1st, the deity returns from Harumiya shrine.

Read more about Akimiya here.

Address :5828 Shimosuwa Town, Suwa District

Phone :0266-27-8035

徒歩 About 15 minutes


Suwa Taisha Shimosha Harumiya Shrine

Harumiya was the first enshrinement location at Shimosha, and the heihaiden and katahaiden halls of worship are designated as important cultural properties of the country. An ancient cedar tree is enshrined here and every year on February 1st, the deity of the Akimiya shrine is welcomed here as part of the Senzasai ceremony. To reach Ukishima Shrine and the Manji no Sekibutsu, use the path through the shrine grounds.

Read more about Harumiya here.

Address :193 Shimosuwa Town, Suwa District

Phone :0266-27-8316

徒歩 About 5 hours


Manji no Sekibutsu

A Stone Buddha sits amidst a rice paddy to the side of the Harumiya shrine. The unique shape of this two-meter-tall natural boulder with an unbalanced head propped on top is exquisite and has become well known thanks to praise from prominent figures such as the artist Taro Okamoto.

Find out more about the stone Buddha here.