Suwa, Nagano

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Suwa
諏訪市
City
Suwa City Hall
Suwa City Hall
Flag of Suwa
Flag
Official seal of Suwa
Seal
Location of Suwa in Nagano Prefecture
Location of Suwa in Nagano Prefecture
Suwa is located in Japan
Suwa
Suwa
 
Coordinates: 36°2′20.9″N 138°6′50.5″E / 36.039139°N 138.114028°E / 36.039139; 138.114028Coordinates: 36°2′20.9″N 138°6′50.5″E / 36.039139°N 138.114028°E / 36.039139; 138.114028
Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
Prefecture Nagano
Area
 • Total 109.17 km2 (42.15 sq mi)
Population (October 2016)
 • Total 49,354
 • Density 452/km2 (1,170/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
Symbols  
• Tree Phellodendron amurense, Pseudocydonia
• Flower Hemerocallis esculenta, Iris
Phone number 0266-52-4141
Address 1-22-30 Takashima, Suwa-shi, Nagano-ken 392-8511
Website http://www.city.suwa.lg.jp/
Onbashira in Suwa-taisha, which is held once every six years

Suwa (諏訪市, Suwa-shi) is a city located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2016, the city had an estimated population of 49,354, and a population density of 452 persons per km². Its total area is 109.17 square kilometres (42.15 sq mi).

Geography[edit]

Suwa is located in central Nagano Prefecture, on the shore of Lake Suwa, approximately 100 kilometers south of the prefectural capital of Nagano city, and two hours by car from either central Tokyo or Nagoya.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

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)
16
(60.7)
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)
10.5
(50.8)
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)
5.9
(42.6)
Average 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)
Average 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)
Average relative humidity (%) 72 72 69 67 68 75 78 76 79 78 75 73 74
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)[1]

History[edit]

The shores of Lake Suwa have been inhabited since at least the Japanese Paleolithic period. The Suwa clan ruled the area since the Nara period, and the area developed as a castle town for Suwa Domain under the Edo period Tokugawa shogunate and as a post station on the Kōshū Kaidō highway. In the post-Meiji restoration cadastral reforms of April 1, 1889, the village of Kamisuwa was established. Kawasuwa was elevated to town status on April 20, 1891. After merger with the villages of Shiga and Toyoda (from Suwa District), Kamisuwa was elevated to city status on August 10, 1941, changing its name to Suwa.

Economy[edit]

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.[2] Seiko Epson Corporation, a manufacturer of information-related equipment and Seiko timepieces, is headquartered in Suwa.[3] The area is also a popular tourist destination, noted for its hot spring resorts.

Education[edit]

Suwa has seven public elementary schools and five public middle schools operated by the city government, and three public high schools operated by the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education. The Japanese Red Cross Society Suwa School of Nursing is also located in the city.

Colégio Sal e Luz, a Brazilian school, was previously located in Suwa.[4] It moved to Okaya.[5]

Transportation[edit]

Railway[edit]

Highway[edit]

International relations[edit]

Local attractions[edit]

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.

Takashima Castle (高島城 Takashima-jō) is located in Suwa. The castle is also known as ’The Floating Castle of Suwa’ (諏訪の浮城 Suwa-no-uki-shirō) or Shimazaki Castle (島崎城 Shimazaki-jō).

In popular media[edit]

Suwa forms the backdrop for much of Sayo Masuda's Autobiography of a Geisha.

Notable people from Suwa[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Suwa Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Suwa Area, Web Site Shinshu". Nagano Prefectural Government. 2001-11-26. Archived from the original on March 8, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  3. ^ "Head Office & Japanese Facilities." Seiko Epson. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "Escolas Brasileiras Homologadas no Japão" (). Embassy of Brazil in Tokyo. February 7, 2008. Retrieved on October 13, 2015.
  5. ^ "Escolas Brasileiras Homologadas no Japão" (Archive). Embassy of Brazil in Tokyo. Retrieved on October 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "US-Japan Sister Cities by State". Asia Matters for America. Honolulu, HI: East-West Center. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Retrieved 21 November 2015. 

External links[edit]