This mountain resort in east Nagano has been a popular upmarket retreat for Japan’s middle class since the Edo period. The area benefits from crisp and clean air, an abundance of natural beauty, and the dramatic scenery of Mt. Asamo towering above.
In recent years, Karuizawa has also become a center for outdoor sports; both the winter and summer Olympics have held events here. The town also boasts some great golf courses, hiking trails, and cycle routes. Add a wealth of fantastic restaurants, galleries, and museums into the mix, and you have more than enough to fill anything from a weekend escape to a two week vacation.
Some of the best sights include the volcanic scenery of Onioshidashi Park, the wispy waters of Shiraito Falls, and the challenging Usui Toge Trail which runs through the area. If you’re more of a shopper than a sightseer, then the luxury outlet stores at Prince Shopping Plaza, and the quaint old-time charm Karuizawa Ginza Street will give you more than your fill.
Nagano wouldn’t be Nagano without its winter sports scene, and Karuizawa is no different. Here you’ll find the Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort which — in true Karuizawa style — is centered around a luxury hotel, and features a great range of difficulties on its pistes.