Karuizawa has been a popular stop for travellers on the Nakasendo Highway since the Edo Period. There are over 250 hotels and inns in this small town that caters to summer tourists escaping the Tokyo heat and avid skiiers in the winter season.
Where is it?
Karuizawa is located over 3,000 feet high in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture. The temperatures in Karuizawa are some of the mildest experienced in Honshu. The average high is about 25 degrees C and the low is -10 degrees C in winter. The town is surrounded in cool trees that have marked cycling routes.
For more pictures please see my Karuizawa travelogue!
Many of the tourists flocking to Karuizawa in summer come here to shop! There is a street called Kyu-Karuizawa (pictured) that has many shops at discount prices. Recently at the southern exit of Karuizawa Station a large outlet shopping mall that houses all sorts of fashion retail outlet stores (eg. Adidas, Nike etc.)
How to get there?
Karuizawa can be reached by Shinkansen from Tokyo or Nagano. I chose to take the local train from Nagano on the Shinano Line (2 hours travel time).