Suwa Shrine is the original shrine in Yuzawa, and although the exact date it was founded is unknown, it is thought to date back to the 1200s. The first written account of the temple is that is was rebuilt in 1402. The current temple was renovated in 1943, but the location was moved slightly when the shinkansen line was erected in 1974.
As well as being one of the important historical landmarks in Yuzawa, Suwa Shrine also made an appearance in Kawabata’s Snow Country novel. The Shrine, the giant cedars and the Lovers Table rock under them are stops on the Yuzawa Hot Spring ‘Snow Country’ Literary Walk.
It is a peaceful site, even with the bullet train tracks right next to it, and there are good views through the big cedars down into the valley.
There are a few special days where you can see events on at Suwa Shrine. January 1st, May 30th, August 17th, and October 30th are all dates for the diary if you want to see what role a countryside shrine play in the life of a Japanese town.