Located about a 10-minute walk from “Tachikawa Station”, Suwa Shrine is a shrine with a history of 1200 years, which is said to have been built at the current location by Emperor Saga during the Heian period.
It is a shrine enshrined in Suwa Taisha Shrine in Nagano, and enshrines Takeminakata God. Takeminakata God is a god of hunting and farming that appears in Kojiki and is popular because it is said to have benefits such as prosperous business and prayer for victory.
There are different events happening here throughout the year, such as the Year-end Festival on New Year’s Day, the Kokukokusai in February, the Grand Festival in August, and the Autumn Festival in September.
The festival held in late August is especially famous when lion dances and sumo wrestling take place in Suwa Shrine. The lion Dance of Suwa Shrine is an intangible folk cultural property of Tachikawa City. The lion dance is dedicated to praying for a good harvest and the safety of the hometown before the autumn harvest. The origin of the lion dance is said to be the Genroku era, and it has a tradition of about 300 years. This dance has been passed down through generations. In 1963, the “Suwa Shrine Lion Dance Preservation Society” was established to preserve and inherit the lion dance.
In the shrine, you will find lion dance heads and they have been designated as an “intangible folk cultural property” in Tachikawa City. These are two male lion heads and one female lion head and they were produced around Genroku. It was used in the lion dance that has been handed down in Shibasaki-cho and Fujimi-cho.