Lake Suwa 諏訪湖

  • Published on : 14/01/2016
  • by : Antoine Legastelois

The God's Crossing

With a phenomenon called "the God's Crossing," who wouldn't want to visit Lake Suwa!

The miracle of nature, Omiwatari

Beyond the beauty of the place, the Lake Suwa is most famous for a natural phenomenon quite fascinating that manifests in its waters.

This "miracle of nature" is called "Omiwatari" (御 神 渡 り), or the "God's Crossing." What is it that happens exactly? Every winter when the lake freezes completely and the outdoor temperature is maintained for days at a very low temperature, the ice cracks and fissures form in the ice.

Slowly, as days go past, a sort of ice ridge forms on the surface.

Why is this? The answer is actually in the depths of the lake. Lake Suwa has a hot spring which generates a considerable temperature difference, so the laws of physics produce this "miracle".

According to legend, the god of the lake - Takeminakata no kami - would leave his sanctuary to rejoin his beloved - the goddess Yasakatome - on the opposite bank. And this trip would result in these beautiful peaks on frozen waters. A much nicer way to explain the phenomenon!

Suwako Lake Suwa

Our tours in Nagano

  • Duration : 13 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima
  • Duration : 14 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka
  • Duration : 12 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Mt Fuji (Kawaguchiko), Osaka, Himeji, Kyoto, Nara
  • Duration : 12 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kawaguchiko, Tokyo
  • Duration : 21 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka, Kobe, Takachiho, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Miyajima
See all our other Tours (5)

Latest Articles

Japan Visitor - narai-222.jpg

Narai-juku: a beautifully preserved Edo period post town in Nagano

Narai-juku is a historic post town located in the Kiso Valley of Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Japan Visitor - nakasendo-2017-5.jpg

Tsumago: Stepping back in time in a beautifully preserved Edo period post town

Nestled in the heart of Japan's Kiso Valley lies Tsumago, one of the best preserved post towns from the Edo-period.

Sunset over rocks in the ocean from Sado Island

Sado Island Guide

The history of Sado Island, north of Nagano, is one of both a land of exile and the gold rush. Today, it is primarily a destination for seasoned hikers and a center of taiko drumming.

See All (25)