Kyoto's village culture


Suwa Shrine

In the village of Tsuruga-oka lies Suwa Shrine with over 1300 years of documented history. This Shinto Shrine’s deities watch over the crops to ensure a good harvest and are connected with the wolves who used to inhabit the mountains around the village (sadly they are extinct now). The wolves’ presence and calls scared away the deer and wild boar that can decimate the crops. Unlike the busy Shrines and Temples of central Kyoto, Suwa Shrine has a quiet serene atmosphere and is still very much a community shrine, a place where villagers come to pray and take a moment out of their busy routine to contemplate life. The wooden carvings on the Shrine are superb, two enormous sacred trees adorned with ropes that honour them tower above it. This well looked-after Shrine has karp in the little pond, and even a towel to dry your hands after washing them at the Chozu as you enter on the left of the main entrance. This washing of hands signifies purifying oneself before entering the sacred realm of the Shrine. There is a yearly Sumo competition held here in October, in which the local children wrestle one another on the earthen stage with a rope around it.

Basic Information

Activity/Tour Name
Suwa Shrine
Time Required
2 Miyanokoshi Tsurugaoka Miyama-cho Nantan-city Kyoto, 601-0762
food store is nearby