The scenic part of town begins in Kyu-Karuizawa, about 1km north of the station. Pass the popular shopping outlet dubbed “Little Ginza” to emerge into the forest. Here you’ll find the quaint wooden Anglican Chapel, fronted by a bust of the Canadian missionary Alexander Croft Shaw, who helped popularize the area as a retreat.
Things to see:
- Old Mikasa Hotel dating back to 1906
- Shraito Faills measuring 3 meters high and 70 meters wide
- Hoshinoya luxury resort hotel with an excellent onsen
- Tonbo-no-yu, a forest of chestnut and larch trees
- Onioshidashien, closest view point of Asama-yama (Japans highest triple-createrd active volcano, which last erupted in 2004!
- Kannon-do temple, standing on a raised red platform amid the black rocks.
At Nagako-ken’s eastern edge, on the slopes of Asama-yama, is the ritzy resort of Karuizawa where Crown Prince Akihito (now the emperor) met his future wife, Michiko, on the tennis courts in the 1950s, and where John Lennon and Yoko Ono vacationed in the 1960s and 1970s.
Our staff will be more than happy to supply local knowledge on the hot spots to visit and how to do it!