5 reasons why you should visit Karuizawa

Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture is a nice blend of the historical, the cultural, the modern, and the natural. While best known to be a resort town to which Tokyoites escape summer, it has also grown in reputation as a tourist destination. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. A resort town for all seasons

The high elevation of Karuizawa brings about moderate summers – a good 10 degrees lower than the summer in Tokyo. Together with the good balance of peaceful natural scenery and modern upscale shopping options, some Tokyoites are known to make owning a second home in Karuizawa their life goal.

Moderate temperatures throughout the year

In autumn, the leaves paint the town green, yellow, orange, and red at the same time.

If you ever need motivation to drive around
If you ever need motivation to drive around
Autumn colors in the clouds at Kumano Shrine (1200m above sea level)

In winter, Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort is also one of the closest ski resorts to Tokyo. The Hokuriku Shinkansen gets you there in under 1.5 hours.

The Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort

During the change of seasons, there are plenty of other natural attractions like the Shiraito Waterfall.

Shiraito Waterfall

If nature is not your sort of thing, at any time of the year, you could shop at the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza. It is a huge complex with 32,000 square meters of retail space, known mainly for outlet shops including those of luxury brands like Gucci.

「prince shopping plaza」の画像検索結果
Relaxing shopping trip in spring…
or in winter...
Or cool festive shopping mood in winter…

2. Awesomely kids-friendly

For those who are bringing their kids along, Karuizawa also offers a range of attractions that may appeal to kids. First off, something that costs nothing, the Yukawa Furusato Park features a huge playground that caters to kids of all ages.

Yukawa Furusato Park

There is also the Karuizawa Picture Book Museum, the KaruizawaErzToyMuseum, and Karuizawa Taliesin all in close proximity.

The Karuizawa Picture Book Museum
Activities at Taliesin

A short drive north also gets you to the Karuizawa Toy Kingdom. It is a large attraction with both indoor and outdoor activities for children.

A four-story maze with the choice of “intellect” and “strength” routes
Indoor toy areas for younger kids

In winter, older kids could also ski, ride snow tubes and sleds. Young kids can still enjoy a jumping around in a bouncy castle in the snow!

Bouncy castle in the snow