Suwa Shrine

Nagasaki's premier Shinto shrine

By Sleiman Azizi    - 1 min read

With its 277 stone steps and 400 years, Suwa Shrine is Nagasaki's major Shinto Shrine, and a centre of the local community.

Famous for its annual Kunchi festival in October, the shrine was built in the 1600s as a bulwark against the Christianity that had been spreading in Nagasaki at the time. On the receiving end of the religious fervor that sometimes swept the city, Suwa Shrine has officially been at the forefront of Japanese spiritual pride.

However, like most shrines in Japan, it is often the details and aesthetics of the shrine complex - its structures and monuments - that draw attention and admiration. Suwa Shrine is no exception.

Complete with a magnificent location above the city, stone torii gates marking the entrance to the sacred space, as well as spiritually and culturally charged monuments, Suwa Shrine offers much for the curious visitor. Like all shrines in Japan, do keep in mind that Suwa Shrine is considered a sacred place and a sense of propriety goes a long way in enjoying the shrine.

Getting there

Take the tram to Suwajinja-mae Station. Pretty straightforward, though do note the 277 steps it takes to reach the top...

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Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

A Japanese Permanent Resident, I drool over proper soba and sushi while Japanese aesthetics ticks all the right boxes for me.With over 100 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books written in a traditional Japanese style, I also happen enjoy writing. Funny that...I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, Japan's never ending capital, so if you've anything to say about Tokyo - or Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via sleiman.azizi@japantravel.com