Suwa, Japan



Suwa is located at the center of Japan’s main island, Honshu, in Nagano prefecture, in a mountainous region called “Switzerland of the Orient.” Suwa was a resort for centuries and is known for its abundant hot springs. Like St. Louis, Suwa has a famous botanical garden and popular summer festival with fireworks display. Suwa is an international center of precision machinery, industry and export.

Business Affiliations

Japanese businesses with U.S. operations in St. Louis include Nidec Motor Corporation, Novus International, Bodine Aluminum, Zoltek, Nichiryo America,  CBG Enterprises, Marubeni Corporation, and Koken Manufacturing, as well as an additional 25 companies throughout Missouri.



Mr. Paul Maruyama was born near Suwa, and with the help of former Mayor John H. Poelker, was responsible for establishing Sister City relations between St. Louis and Suwa in 1974. Since then, the Committee has participated in numerous exchange programs and cultural events. St. Louis and Suwa have exchanged orchestras, students, Taiko drum musicians, and dancers.

The St. Louis – Suwa Committee facilitates business communications through trade shows, exhibitions, and seminars for corporations and for small businesses. The Committee also provides homestays, volunteer tour guides and introductions between city officials.

Both cities participate in mayoral and trade delegations and tours. In 1977, a Suwa delegation presented St. Louis with a Yukimi lantern and teahouse. The Missouri Botanical Garden houses these gifts in the Japanese Garden. For the 40th anniversary of their Sister Cities relations, St. Louis and Suwa exchanged visits of delegates and commemorated with matching stone monuments at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and at Takashima Castle in Suwa..


Peter Love, President, [email protected]

Lake Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Committee Membership: 

Annual Membership:
Individual $25
Non-profit Organization $50
Corporation $100


We are grateful to the Japan American Society, Japan American Society Women’s Association and Pan American Society for the strong financial support we received to celebrate our 40th anniversary when we hosted a delegation from Suwa, Japan.  The St. Louis Osuwa Taiko Drummers are also a vital participant in many of St. Louis-Suwa Sister Cities events.