Karuizawa, a place pioneers call home
Karuizawa flourished as Syukubamachi (Post Station Town) during the Edo period. In 1886 (Meiji Era) the Canadian born Alexander Croft Shaw, a minister to the British Legation in Tokyo visited Karuizawa. Admiring the town and the surrounding natural beauty, he recommended Karuizawa as a wonderful place to settle down. Today, Karuizawa is popular destination amongst visitors from all over the world. Karuizawa is best known for hosting some of Japan’s top-quality summer resorts. The area has much in the way of flourishing local culture and natural beauty to recommend itself to visitors looking to get away, and to those seeking a second home.
“A resort town adored by foreigners and locals alike”
In 1958 the current emperor and empress first met at a tennis court in Old Karuizawa and the aptly named, “Tennis Court Romance” has maintained Karuizawa as a popular destination for the Royal Family as well as other romantics. The historical and thriving business community attracts professionals, entrepreneurs and business people from around the globe for work and play.
Surrounded by Nature
As Karuizawa is located at an altitude of around 1,000 meters above sea-level, even in mid-summer the climate remains cool and comfortable. In spring the area is freshly covered in new growth and summer brings balmy sunshine and local in-season fruits and vegetables. Autumn brings foliage in fiery colors and winter snows blanket the scene is a frosty wonderland, picturesquely framing a view of Mount Asama. Nature’s beauty and bounty is everywhere in Karuizawa.
Only 1 hour from Tokyo.
Karuizawa is a popular getaway, only one hour from Tokyo by Hokuriku bullet train and two hours by car. Kuruizawa’s quiet and relaxing appeal makes for a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of busy city life.
Karuizawa’s cool climate and rich nature makes it ideal for a variety of recreational pursuits such as Golf, Tennis, Cycling, Hiking and Skiing. Follow up these activities by unwinding and enjoying a long soak in Karuizawa’s hot springs.
The place you want to return to again and again.
When you visit the Karuizawa’s historic Post Town villages that go all the way back to the Edo Era, such as Oiwake, Unnojuku and Mochizukijuku, you can feel the energy of the people and culture that makes up Japan’s past, and drives its future. Karuizawa also offers the popular Hoshino-onsen (hot spring), Sengataki-onsen (hot spring) and for those who are looking for shopping “Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza” the Biggest outlet in Japan. You will find something new and something for everyone each time you visit Karuizawa.
New and Old Karuizawa Area
After you enjoy its rich nature and are relaxed , why don’t you go to the Old Karuizawa (Kyu-Karuizawa) Ginza, the old shopping area “Tennis Street” or the biggest outlet shopping mall in Japan “Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza”. The best thing about Karuizawa is that you can enjoy the old and new worlds.
Karuizawa・Prince Shopping Plaza
The Prince Shopping Plaza is located at the south exit of Karuizawa Station. This is the main major shopping area in Karuizawa and the biggest outlet in Japan. It has a wide range of shops from famous brands to local products.
Old Karuizawa (KyuKauizawa) Ginza
Kyu-Karuizawa is the main area of the Karuizawa resort area. The town has a pleasant atmosphere with exquisite restaurants and cafes. Kyu-Karuizawa also offers a wide range of shopping opportunities as well.
It is situated in the Hoshino area. This area offers good restaurants and shops within the pleasant atmosphere of the forest and river.
Hiroshi Senju Museum Karizawa
The museum offers more than 100 works of Hiroshi Senju and art works done by other well known Japanese artists at the gallery.
The museum of contemporary art, Karuizawa
The museum offers art works from world famous artists who have worked outside of Japan. Their collection is built around the artists who crossed the oceans as well as the works done by a new generation of Japanese artists.
Sezon Museum of Modern Art
The Museum has built up an international collection of twentieth-century art. It focuses on three areas : works by modern masters, a selection of contemporary art from abroad, and recent art of progressive Japanese artists. Every year the museum shows two major exhibitions of modern and contemporary art.
Karuizawa Forest of Muse
The Forest of Muse situates incorporating the Karuizawa Erz Toy Museum and the Karuizawa Picturebook Museum as well as a garden. The Picturesque Garden was designed by an English Gardener, Paul Smither. You can find native vegetation here.
Karuizawa Wild Brids Sanctuary
Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary is home to the Picchio Wildlife Research Center with its own visitors center. Picchio offers you several tours such as The Flying Squirrel Watching Tour in the evening and Birdwatching Tours in the day time.
An experienced “Picchio” eco-tour guide will lead you through the natural forest for a truly unique experience. Birds, flowers and insects in the forest will show you many different aspects of their daily existence.Flying Squirrel Watching Tour is also arailable.This species can be found only in Japan.
Karuizawa National Wild Bird Sanctuary Forest is one of four national wild bird forests in Japan.Its designation was deeply related to Godo Nakanishi, who was the founder of The Wild Bird Society of Japan.
About eighty species of birds have been recorded in the sanctuary.Four of these birds are endemic to Japan (e.g. Copper pheasant,Syrmaticus soemmerringiiand Japanese Green Woodpecker,Picus awokera).
Since historic times, hot springs have remained popular in Japan. The unique combination of minerals makes for multi-hued bathing experience and a multitude of health benefits including relaxing the muscles and nurture your skin. You can mix with local people and the community in the hot springs as well as enjoying the Japanese four seasons.
Toumi is about 40 minutes away by car from Karuizawa. There are several wineries to enjoy. Why not try tasting the local wine and then relax in the hot springs? You can also enjoy walking around the old post town, Unno-juku.
This is a picture of winery called "Villa d'Est Gardenfarm And Winery" and it is one of the most famous winery in this area.
Komoro is about 30 minutes away by car from Karuizawa. There is a park called “Kaikoen” where you can see the beautiful cherry blossoms in Spring and the atmospheric changing of the leaves in Autumn. You can admire the Chikuma river from the park. It is a very pleasant walk around the Kaikoen area too.
Karuizawa is an alpine resort at an elevation of around 1,000 meters above sea level. As Karuizawa is easy to get to by the Shinkansen Line, it makes it an ideal and very popular place with skiers and snowboarders. There are several skiing places such as the Prince Snow Resort, Karuizawa Snow Park and Asama 2000 Park. Why not try them all?