Suwa, Nagano

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Suwa
諏訪市
City
Onbashira in Suwa Taisha, which is held once every six years
Onbashira in Suwa Taisha, which is held once every six years
Flag of Suwa
Flag
Location of Suwa in Nagano Prefecture
Location of Suwa in Nagano Prefecture
Suwa is located in Japan
Suwa
Suwa
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 36°2′N 138°7′E / 36.033°N 138.117°E / 36.033; 138.117Coordinates: 36°2′N 138°7′E / 36.033°N 138.117°E / 36.033; 138.117
Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
Prefecture Nagano Prefecture
Government
 • Mayor Katsufumi Yamada
Area
 • Total 109.91 km2 (42.44 sq mi)
Population (October 1, 2010)
 • Total 51,084
 • Density 468.40/km2 (1,213.2/sq mi)
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
Symbols
- Flower Iris and Lily
Address 1-22-30 Takashima, Suwa-shi, Nagano-ken
392-8511
Phone number 0266-52-4141
Website www.city.suwa.lg.jp/www/index.jsp

Suwa (諏訪市 Suwa-shi?) is a city in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

As of October 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 51,084 and a population density of 468.40 persons per km². The total area of the city is 109.06 km².

The city was founded on August 10, 1941, after the merger of the town of Kami-Suwa, and the villages of Shiga and Toyoda (all from Suwa District). It is located on the shores of Lake Suwa.

The Suwa region is the leading industrial area of Nagano and was once known as "The Oriental Switzerland" in Japan for its highly developed precision machinery industry.[1] Seiko Epson Corporation, a manufacturer of information-related equipment and Seiko timepieces, is headquartered in Suwa.[2]

Suwa has a sister city in the United States: St. Louis, Missouri. There, some Japanese businesses with U.S. operations include Aluman Foils, Inc., Consolidated Gran & Dick Proctor Imports, Inc., Mitsubishi Trading Co., Marubeni, Nissho-Iwai, Bio Kyowa Chemical Co., and Koken Manufacturing.[3]

Climate[edit]

Suwa has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with very warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation is significantly higher during the summer wet season from June to September than in the winter.

Climate data for Suwa, Nagano
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 3.2
(37.8)
4.0
(39.2)
8.3
(46.9)
15.8
(60.4)
20.9
(69.6)
23.7
(74.7)
27.3
(81.1)
28.7
(83.7)
23.7
(74.7)
17.5
(63.5)
12.1
(53.8)
6.4
(43.5)
15.97
(60.74)
Daily mean °C (°F) −2.0
(28.4)
−1.4
(29.5)
2.5
(36.5)
9.5
(49.1)
14.7
(58.5)
18.5
(65.3)
22.3
(72.1)
23.2
(73.8)
18.8
(65.8)
12.0
(53.6)
6.4
(43.5)
1.1
(34)
10.47
(50.84)
Average low °C (°F) −6.8
(19.8)
−6.3
(20.7)
−2.5
(27.5)
3.9
(39)
9.1
(48.4)
14.3
(57.7)
18.6
(65.5)
19.3
(66.7)
15.0
(59)
7.6
(45.7)
1.6
(34.9)
−3.5
(25.7)
5.86
(42.55)
Precipitation mm (inches) 39.4
(1.551)
56.0
(2.205)
83.9
(3.303)
109.4
(4.307)
109.8
(4.323)
200.8
(7.906)
214.2
(8.433)
129.4
(5.094)
183.9
(7.24)
100.2
(3.945)
65.3
(2.571)
35.1
(1.382)
1,327.4
(52.26)
Snowfall cm (inches) 23
(9.1)
30
(11.8)
16
(6.3)
1
(0.4)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
8
(3.1)
79
(31.1)
 % humidity 72 72 69 67 68 75 78 76 79 78 75 73 73.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 178.9 167.1 196.0 191.8 213.2 160.2 168.4 196.4 140.9 154.3 158.3 170.5 2,096
Source: NOAA (1961-1990) [4]

Prominent features[edit]

The town is famous for its ryokans (onsen hotels, i.e., traditional Japanese guesthouses at hot springs). It forms the backdrop for much of Sayo Masuda's Autobiography of a Geisha.

Annual fireworks displays are held in August and September. The displays take place on the shores of the lake, and many tens of thousands of spectators enjoy the shows from the shores. Trains are the recommended way to get to Suwa on those days, though buses are significantly less expensive.

Every six years (in the years of the Tiger and the Monkey), Suwa hosts a Shinto festival called Onbashira (literally, "the honored log"). As part of the event, very large trees up in the hills are felled and brought down into the valley, pulling them with ropes and sliding them down hills. To demonstrate their bravery, young men from the area ride on the logs as they hurtle down the slopes.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Suwa Area, Web Site Shinshu". Nagano Prefectural Government. 2001-11-26. Retrieved 2007-12-17. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Head Office & Japanese Facilities." Seiko Epson. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  3. ^ St. Louis Center for International Relations. Retrieved on 3 June 2009.
  4. ^ "Suwa Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 

External links[edit]