15 Things to Do in Karuizawa

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Source: Yusuke Kawasaki

Karuizawa is an affluent mountain resort at the bottom of the still-active volcano Mount Asama and it is a part of the Nagano Prefecture. It is positioned at the height of approximately 1,000 meters. The town can be a perfect escape from the summer heat and the high humidity. It has a long history as a tourist destination. Today, wealthier people have the tendency of buying a place there where they could come to and get away from the city rush. Even John Lennon was fond of this place and he spent his time in a local Mampei Hotel located deeply in the forest. The town is only about an hour away from Tokyo.

1. Karuizawa prince shopping plaza

This shopping center is easily accessible either by train or by driving. There are more than enough parking spaces near the JR Karuizawa Station. You can find a lot of shops featuring well-known local and international brands. The prices are not that low but cheaper than the city’s shops.


  • Name: Karuizawa prince shopping plaza
  • Address: Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0102, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-42-5211
  • Website: http://www.karuizawa-psp.jp/page/#_=_

2. Relaxing walk at the lake Kumobaike

Kumobaike is the lovely little lake where you can get with the 20-minute walk from the old town. The cottages beside the road are charming and elegant. You can stop and grab a bite at some of the restaurants along the street. The lake itself is peaceful and picturesque. You can get a close-up view of the mallard ducks and take pictures.


  • Name: Kumobaike
  • Address:Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0102, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-45-8579
  • Website: http://kumobaike.sblo.jp/#_=_

3. Golfing

The only golf course in this area is Karuizawa 72Golf North Course. Women’s professional tournaments have been held at this spot. This is not the most elegant of the 72 courses but it is still a good place to play some golf and relax. If you need a change of pace this is definitely a nice place to visit.


  • Name: Karuizawa 72Golf North Course
  • Address: Minamikaruizawa, Hotchi, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0197, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-48-0072
  • Website: http://www.princehotels.co.jp/golf/karu72/north/#_=_

4. Enjoy the nature at Shiraito Falls

You can get there in half an hour by bus from the train station. This is not a large fall but this is still a very beautiful place. At the entry to the path, which leads to the fall itself, you can buy some delicious roasted fish. Then there is a brief walk to enjoy until you reach the fall.


  • Name: Shiraito Falls
  • Address: Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 3890111, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267310070
  • Website: http://karuizawa-shw.jugem.jp/#_=_

5. Explore Harunire Terrace

There is a large variety of shops and restaurants where you can wander around or get a light bite after visiting the nearby Hoshino Onsen. Harunire Terrace is located next to the river so it is a good place for a relaxing walk. You can get free transportation from Karuizawa JR station.


  • Name: Harunire Terrace
  • Address: Hoshino, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0194, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267310811
  • Website: http://www.hoshinoresort.com/resortsandhotels/daytrip/harunireterrace.html#_=_

6. Walk Around the Popular Street of Ginza

This is a lovely old part of town with a couple of upscale restaurants and shops. You can reach it by bus, cycling, or walking from Karuizawa station.There is a nice French bakery and an outstanding Nepalese restaurant called Sojito. There are some tennis courts as well if you want to do something dynamic.


  • Name: Kyukaruizawa Ginza
  • Address: Kyukaruizawa, Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267411122

7. Rest at Sengataki Onsen Karuizawa

The place is highly recommended especially if you are already in Karuizawa and want to relax before going back to Tokyo. They have big indoor and outdoor baths. The place itself is clean and peaceful, especially outside where you can see stars and the bright moonlight. There are also massage chairs in the lobby, you can pay 100 yen for 10 minutes of usage.


  • Name: Sengataki Onsen Karuizawa
  • Address: Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0198, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-46-1111
  • Website: http://www.princehotels.co.jp/sengataki/access/#_=_

8. Visit the Hiroshi Senju Museum

Hiroshi Senju is a nice example of architecture and art combined together.Beautiful landscape and ponds of natural light intertwine with the artwork in a sensible manner and provide a wonderful lighting to the place. As the weather changes, so the light changes and creates a unique effect. Serene and a peaceful. Great place to visit.


  • Name: Hiroshi Senju Museum
  • Address: 815 Nagakura Shiozawa, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0194, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-46-6565
  • Website: http://www.senju-museum.jp/#_=_

9. Wander the Hoshino Area

The area is wonderful. Peaceful and quiet. You can walk uphill to see some of the nice-looking chapels nearby. This is the place where you can enjoy the scenery but you can do your shopping as well. There are more than enough restaurant choices. You can buy a 3-day pass if you are taking Shinkansen.


  • Name: Hoshino Area
  • Address: Hoshino, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0194, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-44-3580
  • Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/#_=_

10. Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort

This area is close to the Karuizawa JR station. You can walk from there. Choose a hotel with hot springs to make your visit more enjoyable since it can get really cold. Resort facilities are well-organized, large, and clean. Ski lessons are available if you need them. You can enjoy games and slides at some of the snow parks around. When you get tired and hungry there are restaurants near the slopes.


  • Name: Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort
  • Address: Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0103, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-42-5588
  • Website: http://www.princehotels.co.jp/ski/karuizawa/

11. Walk Tour – Picchio Visitor Center

This is a nature walk tour accompanied by an educated English-speaking guide who will lead you through the forest. It is an amazing opportunity to acquire some knowledge about the local nature and different kind of trees and animals. You will be provided with the binoculars and the small encyclopedia so you will have the chance to observe the nature closely, especially the birds. Very nice experience and certainly very useful.


  • Name: Picchio Visitor Center
  • Address: Nagakura 2148, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0194, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-45-7777
  • Website: http://picchio.co.jp/sp/#_=_

12. Go to Karuizawa Taliesin Complex

Karuizawa Taliesin is settled by a beautiful lake Shiozawa. There are a nice bridge and adorable ducks. Additionally, there is a rose garden, cafeterias, old houses, and a museum. Beautiful place to visit when cherry blossoms are blooming. It is easily accessible from Karuizawa Station.


  • Name: Karuizawa Taliesin
  • Address: 217 Shiozawa, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0111, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-46-6161
  • Website: http://www.karuizawataliesin.com/#_=_

13. Concerts at Karuizawa Ohga Hall

This musical hall was built from a donation from the president of Sony Corporation. Karuizawa Ohga Hall usually features pop and classical music concerts. The entire floor is made of wood which makes a very warm and pleasant atmosphere. The main goal was to have a place which will interpret and bring together the feel of the local culture and share it with their local visitors and tourists as well. A very good place to exchange experiences with local people.


  • Name: Karuizawa Ohga Hall
  • Address: 28-4 Karuizawa Higashi, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0104, Nagano Prefecture
  • Phone Number: +81 267-42-0005
  • Website: http://www.ohgahall.or.jp/2016spring/index.html

14. Former Usuitouge View Point

Source: Kosho Owa

Follow the footpath called Usuitoge uranhodo. It will take you a 40-minute relaxing walk to get there with this footpath. When you do, you will witness a beautiful scenery and this can be one of the highlights of your trip.


  • Name: Former Usuitouge View Point
  • Address: Tougemachi, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0101 , Nagano Prefecture

15. Go to the Sezon Museum of Modern Art

At Sezon Museum, you can enjoy some great exhibitions of modern art. Performed outside in the gardens and inside as well. The museum is opened by one of the well-known Tautsumi brothers who himself was a writer and appreciated art. The museum is definitely worth visiting.


  • Name: Sezon Museum of Modern Art
  • Address: 2140 Nagakura, Kitasaku-gun, Karuizawa-machi 389-0111, Nagano Prefecture

If you decide to visit Karuizawa you can enjoy various outdoor activities, such as hiking, golfing, tennis, and cycling in the summer. In the winter time, you can enjoy ice skating, skiing, and visit some of the hot springs. There are plenty of choice for shopping. The town is settled on the Romantic Road and it is the most beautiful in October and November where you can see its beautiful autumn colors typical for this period.

Have a good Trip and Travel!