30 Date Visited: December 2017
Karuizawa (軽井沢) was my last stop before heading home (I was in Nagano City and Okushiga Kogen prior to this). Karuizawa is a small resort town located in southeastern Nagano Prefecture, in the Chubu region of Japan. Via bullet train (Shinkansen), it is approximately 70 minutes away from Tokyo and 30 minutes away from Nagano City. This convenience makes it a perfect weekend getaway.
Known for its mild and cool summers, Karuizawa is a popular summer resort town with less than 20,000 local residents. Vacation homes are pretty common in Karuizawa. However, visitors arrive all year long due to the town's numerous tourist attractions. Karuizawa is abundant with both outdoor and indoor activities -- camp grounds, national parks, skating rinks, curling rinks, golf courses, hot springs, shopping centers (there's a huge outlet), cafés, museums, boutiques and restaurants. Skiing is also possible in nearby mountains.
Karuizawa is a quiet, beautiful town worth a visit. I would recommend visiting the Hiroshi Senju Museum (轻井泽千住博美术馆), which beautiful design meets nature. It is the brainchild of Hiroshi Senju (the first Asian to ever be bestowed with an individual award at the Venice Biennale and talented architect Ryue Nishizawa. The result is a minimalist and harmonious structure filled with beauty and essence. The museum is around 10 mins by car from Karuizawa Station.
- Address: 815 Nagakura, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano. 389-0111, Japan