Karuizawa is close to the metropolitan area and is a plateau area located at an altitude of 900 to 1000 m. Since the Meiji period, it has developed as a summer resort and has been loved by foreign missionaries and cultural people. It is a popular villa dotted with churches nestling in nature, sophisticated restaurants and so on.
- 5th Kumoba Pond
- 4th Old Mikasa Hotel
- 3rd Old Karuizawa Ginza Street
- 2nd Karuizawa New Art Museum
- 1st St. Paul’s Catholic Church
1. Spot Ranking
5th. Kumoba Pond（雲場池）
Kumoba Pond originates from a Gozen water known as famous water from long ago. The landscape of nature is pure and beautiful, and it is a popular pond from tourists. A walking path is set around the pond, and you can go around in 20 minutes. Quercus crispula Blume and maple are forested, and autumn leaves are splendid in autumn.
The Kumoba Pond is free to walk and it takes 20 minutes on foot from JR Karuizawa Station.
4th. Old Mikasa Hotel（旧三笠ホテル）
Old Mikasa Hotel is an original western style hotel which was open from 1906 to 1970. It had the highest grade facilities of the time and was crowded as a social gathering place for political and business people. Valuable buildings in the late Meiji period are designated as important cultural assets of the country.
Business hours are from 9:00 to 17:00 (last entrance is at 16:30), and it is open 7 days a week. Admission fee is 400 yen.
From JR Karuizawa station, take a Kusatsu Traffic Bus heading for Kusatsu Onsen and get off at the bus stop Mikasa station, and then it takes a short walk from there.
3rd. Old Karuizawa Ginza Street（旧軽井沢銀座通り）
Old Karuizawa Ginza Street has restaurants and shops on the 550 m street. It is the main street of old Karuizawa and there are souvenir shops as well. Please note that in the congestion season such as summer, the area from the rotary to around Karuizawa Tourist Center may be pedestrianized, and many shops are closed in winter. Also, please confirm the regular holiday and business hours of each shop in advance.
It takes 25 minutes on foot to the old Karuizawa district from Nagano Shinkansen Karuizawa Station North Exit.
2nd. Karuizawa New Art Museum（軽井沢ニューアートミュージアム）
Karuizawa New Art Museum opened in April 2012. The appearance is based on the full glazing, the structure which designed the white pillar imaged the larch forest is impressive. We collect and exhibit works of contemporary artists extensively, and at the museum, which has 6 exhibition rooms, we hold 2 to 3 exhibitions every year. Business hours are from 10:00 to 17:00 (with seasonal fluctuation), regular holiday is Tuesday (the next day in the case of holiday).
Admission fee is 1000 yen (varies according to the exhibition) and it takes 10 minutes on foot from JR Karuizawa station.
1st. St.Paul’s Catholic Church（軽井沢聖パウロカトリック教会）
Karuizawa St. Paul’s Catholic Church was built by Father Ward in 1935. It is representative of Karuizawa and built by the design of Antonin Raymond which left a great influence and achievement in Japanese architecture. The church is a wooden building characterized by a large sloping triangular roof. There is a pipe organ inside, and it is popular for wedding.
You can take a tour for free from time to time. The opening hours are from 7:00 to 18:00 (Winter season until sunset and no tours at the time of worshiping or wedding).
It takes a 6-minute walk from the bus stop, Old Karuizawa.
2. Getting to Karuizawa from Tokyo
From Tokyo, you can be reached to Karuizawa in 65-80 minutes by the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way journey costs about 5,500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass and several other JR passes.
3. Nagano Area list
Tateshina – Venus Line
Lake Suwa, Kami-Suwa Onsen and Shimo-Suwa Onsen