Trip Ideas

The Course of Good Luck

Kagura

In this town heavily influenced by venerable Suwa Taisha, there are many places that locals believe to bring good luck. While walking around, visit these spots and pray for your own luck and fortune, cleanse yourself in hot springs, and receive the town’s many blessings.

total timeHalf day (about 6 hours)

  • 01

    Tourist Information Center

  • 02

    Manji no Sekibutsu

  • 03

    Musubi no Sugi (The Cedar of Bonding)

  • 04

    Fushimiyatei

  • 05

    Tanga no Yu Water Pump

  • 06

    Kanayaki Jizō

  • 07

    Kodakara Jizō

  • 08

    Restaurants around Akimiya Shrine

  • 09

    Koyasusha Shrine

  • 10

    Iinari Jizō

  • 11

    Koyu Hot Spring

01

Tourist Information Center

Shimosuwa’s famed uncle Komatsu-san will greet you at the tourist information center. He knows so much about the local Onbashira Festival that people call him Mr. Onbashira, and he’ll happily tell you all about the local sightseeing spots. So, after arriving at the station, make this your first stop!

徒歩 25 minutes

02

Manji no Sekibutsu

A Stone Buddha is enshrined amidst a rice paddy to the side of the Harumiya shrine. The unique shape of this two-meter-tall natural boulder with a head propped on top is exquisite and has become well known thanks to praise from prominent figures such as the artist Taro Okamoto. Read more about Manji no Sekibutsu here.

徒歩 5 minutes

03

Musubi no Sugi (The Cedar of Bonding)

Blessing: Bonds
This legendary cedar tree is said to bring people together, creating connections in business, love and marriage. While many people wish for love, this spot is said to create all manner of bonds and connections.

徒歩 7 minutes

04

Fushimiyatei

This two-story merchant house, believed to have been built in 1864, has been restored to its original appearance. Now, it is used as a rest space for pedestrians as well as a community space for residents. We recommend you try some of the freshly made pickles that the local grandpas and grandmas have to offer!

徒歩 7 minutes

05

Tanga no Yu Water Pump

Tanga no Yu is a public bath with a long history, originally built as a dormitory to house traveling monks during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333). The spring here pumps out hot spring water at 52°C and is said to soothe cuts. Since the hot water is free to collect, it has been used for various household chores for centuries, from before convenient tools like boilers existed and even to this day.

徒歩 3 minutes

06

Kanayaki Jizō

Blessing: Beauty and Success
Can you become beautiful and successful in life just by praying your hardest!? When visiting this jizō statue, pray while thinking about the parts of yourself that you would like to make beautiful.

徒歩 3 minutes

07

Kodakara Jizō

Blessing: Fertility effects
It is said that soaking in this hot spring will grant you the blessing of children. After taking a bath, visit the jizō statue standing by the entrance for more luck.

徒歩 3 minutes
  • Eric's kitchen

  • Unatomi

  • Yamanekotei

  • Kagura

  • Ochadokoro Hanamusubi

08

Restaurants around Akimiya Shrine

The most fitting meals for one seeking to improve their fortune:

Visit Eric’s Kitchen for breakfast after your morning excursion. For lunch, visit Kagura and enjoy their shichifuku (seven blessings) miso, or for a more filling option, head to Unatomi for grilled unagi. After a tiring stroll, nothing beats a taste of something sweet. Yamanekotei Honten is a soba restaurant, but they’re also known for their unique and creamy dessert called Sobachichi. Another great option for those looking for luck in love is Ochadokoro Hanamusubi (it has musubi in the name!), where you can relax in its Japanese-retro interior.

徒歩 3 minutes

09

Koyasusha Shrine

Blessing: Safe Birth, Child-rearing
This shrine is dedicated to the goddess of children, safe birth and child-rearing, Koshino nunakawa hime no Kami. The goddess has a strong connection to the lives of women and is known colloquially as Okoyasusama.

徒歩 3 minutes

10

Iinari Jizō

Blessing: Granting Wishes
This big-bellied jizō grants whatever wishes are asked of it. The name iinari means “(to do) as one says” and this iinari jizō is a very rare type of jizō even throughout Japan.

徒歩 10 minutes

11

Koyu Hot Spring

According to legend, this hot spring source, Wata no yu, first appeared after a goddess soaked up a piece of cotton in hot water and placed it here. In 1987, Yusen House Koyu was built. The hot spring is known for its gently warming waters—not too hot, just right.

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