Hot springs in Kusatsu (North of Karuizawa). Located here is the largest complex of health-spa's in the Japanese Alps. Especially in wintertime it is a very special place as the snow will surround you, while you soak in hot mineralrich water.
Also impressive are the Yudaki-falls. This is in opposit direction from Karuizawa (South).
This area is best (maybe only) to reach by car. Very few railways connect the dense-polpulated Tokyo and other surrounding cities with the Japanese Alps, but roads are there enough.
Rental car will bring you anywhere. Busses are scarse, but the network brings you in the smallest villages.
In the valleys of the Japanese alps are many agricultural grounds and for whome is intrested, the local farmers are always willing to explain about there way of farming and soil-use. For example, the inundated ricefields on terraces, but also many other forms growing crops for the masses in the cities. Japan is the number one rice-importing country in the world as it's own production is by far enough to feed the many souls. Still, the own production is done on a relatively small scale, yet of very high quality.
Walking during summertime in the silent forests of the Japanese mountains can be considered as 'Off the beaten path' for any tourist. The Japanese however know on every holiday to find these spots as being packed in dense-populated cities, they love nature like no-one else.