Suwa Lake and Tateshina My wife and I traveled for two days to visit
at Suwa lake and Tateshina Heights from July 7. We left my home at 9 o'clock and arrived at the side of the lake at 11:30. As soon as we arrived, we had an early lunch at Oginoya and ate Kamameshi which is a dish of rice, meat, and vegetables boiled together in a small pot. After lunch we visited several famous sightseeing spots in Suwa .
1. Takashima Castle
The castle was build in 1598. Takashima family lived there for over 270 years before the Meiji era. The castle was surrouded by water, so it was named as "water castle" and it could be seen as floating in the lake. The castle was destroyed at the beginning Meiji era , but the tower was rebuilt in 1970.
Kanetaro Katakura, who is the second of Katakuragumi(company) made this Katakura-kan as a recreation facility for their employees . Katakuragumi started silk business in Okaya town near Suwa. and became successful with their business and the number of factories built became about 100 include Korea and Taiwan. The silk factory in Tomioka, Gunnma prefecture established by the Japanese government also became Katakura's factory in 1939, which is designated as a world culture heritage in 2014. When he visited in Europe , he was impressed about the well filled social welfare and decided to build this facility. This facility consists of two buildings,public bath and recreation hall, both are designated as the Japanese important culture property now. The two building were completed in 1928 after the land was reinforced by hammering 1800 pine trees into ground.
Suwa Taisya is the general name consists of four shrines --上社本宮 kamisya-honmiya, 上社前宮kamisya-maemiya, 下社春宮Shimosya-akimiya, and 下社秋宮Shimosya-harumiya. The Taisya is one of the oldest shrine and has no main hall. Instead, the Ichi tree or Taxus cuspidata, and cider tree are enshrined in Shimomiya-akimiya, Shimomiya-harumiya respectively. Oyama mountain is enshrined in two Kamisya shrines. It is said that old Shinto shrines had no main hall and enshrined several things of nature. The famous shrine "Onbashira" festival is held every 7 years and the each shrine's dedicated 4 big pillars are replaced by new cut trees of about 200 years old. 200,000 shrine followers and sight-seekers participate in this festival.