January 30, 2023 at 6:00
On the morning of the 29th, Lake Suwa was completely frozen over for two consecutive days. The Hachitsurugi Shrine (Owada, Suwa City), which is responsible for Shinto rulings and rituals, observed the surface of the lake in the morning and confirmed that thin ice was spreading. It was decided “as far as the eye can see, the entire surface is frozen.” Many smiles can be seen from the 16 parishioners who gathered, and the anticipation for the sight is increasing.
According to the shrine, the temperature at 6:30 am was minus 9.4 degrees Celsius and the water temperature was 0.5 degrees Celsius. Two days in a row, the temperature dropped to minus 10 degrees Celsius. The valedictorian split the ice on the shore with an ice ax and confirmed the “one night ice” that grows overnight. Around the mouth of the Funado River in Toyota City, where the observation was made, a phenomenon was occurring where broken ice was not washed away by the waves and frozen. The valedictorian exclaimed, “Beautiful views,” about the beauty of natural formations.
Miyasaka Miyasaka said, “We have had many days with severe temperature fluctuations, but I am happy that the cold days have continued here.”
At the end of the observation, Mr. Miyasaka muttered, “It seems that Lake Suwa wants to freeze as soon as possible.” The ice has melted during the day, but as long as there is a possibility, I will continue to pray for the appearance of Omiwatari.
■ Most visitors this season
On the morning of the 29th, when expectations for the appearance of Omiwatari increased due to the continued severe cold weather, the largest number of visitors this season gathered from inside and outside the prefecture to observe the surface of the lake .
Make memories by taking photos with the head priest Miyasaka and the parishioners of the lakeside parish, and pick up the ice collected during the observation. Masayuki Nonaka (41), who came from Nagaoka, Niigata City, with his family of four, said with a smile, “It has been two years since we visited. It was a shame that the miwatari had not appeared, but I ” I am satisfied because I was able to experience the harsh cold that is unique to Suwa.” was
Raco Hotel Hananoi (Suwa City) held an Omiwatari Observation Tour every weekend, and this day was the last time. Due to the cold weather, the number of participants increased and it was crowded. A total of 30 people attended the four sessions. Kazumi Shiratori, president of the museum, said, “It is very popular to experience the faith, history, and traditions of Suwa. I would like to continue to contribute to conveying the charm of winter in Suwa next year and beyond.”