Lake Suwa

Lake Suwa is the largest lake in Shinshu, located in the middle of Suwa Basin in the middle of Nagano prefecture. It is a headwater lake of the Tenryu River, which runs from Okaya City through a number of scenic areas and finally pours into the Pacific Ocean. In the past, the surface of the lake used to fully freeze every winter, allowing people to enjoy ice-fishing pond smelt and skating on the lake. However in recent years due to warmer winters it is less likely that the lake fully freezes over. During the period when the lake is completely frozen, you can experience the frozen surface loudly cracking and the cracks slowly rising. The mechanism of this phenomenon is this: the ice melts due to an increase in temperature during the daytime and then when the temperature drops during the nighttime, the frozen surface of the lake shrinks, causing the phenomenon.


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