Shimosuwa, Nagano

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Location of Shimosuwa in Nagano Prefecture
Location of Shimosuwa in Nagano Prefecture
Shimosuwa is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 36°4′N 138°5′E / 36.067°N 138.083°E / 36.067; 138.083Coordinates: 36°4′N 138°5′E / 36.067°N 138.083°E / 36.067; 138.083
Country Japan
Region Chūbu
Prefecture Nagano Prefecture
District Suwa
 • Mayor Satoru Aoki
 • Total 66.90 km2 (25.83 sq mi)
Population (July 1, 2006)
 • Total 22,421
 • Density 340/km2 (870/sq mi)
 • Tree Cherry
 • Flower Azalea
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City hall address 4613-8 Nishitakanochō, Shimosuwa-machi, Suwa-gun, Nagano-ken

Shimosuwa (下諏訪町 Shimosuwa-machi?) is a town located in Suwa District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It is located on Lake Suwa, a large, natural lake surrounded by mountains.

As of 2006, the town has an estimated population of 22,421. The total area is 66.90 km².

Shimosuwa is the location of two of the shrines that make up the famous Suwa Taisha or Suwa Grand Shrine. The Harumiya (春宮) and Akimiya (秋宮) shrines are symbolically renewed every six years during the Onbashira festival. Huge trees are cut in a Shinto ceremony, then the logs are dragged from the mountains down to the shrines.

Shimosuwa was the 29th station on the 59-station Nakasendo (literally 'the route through the mountains') and was featured in the woodblock print series of the Nakasendo by the artist Hiroshige. Shimosuwa was also a stop on the Kōshū Kaidō.

Shimosuwa is also the site of several onsen or natural hot spring spas. Shimosuwa is located on the Chūō Line of JR East, about three hours from Tokyo.

Shimosuwa maintains an exchange relationship with Kaifeng, Henan Province in the People's Republic of China.

Lake Suwa from Shimosuwa Town

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