Planning a vacation? How about visiting Karuizawa, the most famous resort in Japan? The spectacular mountain view and lovely sakuras will definitely save you from stress. Here in Karuizawa, you can escape from your busy daily life!
Let's go to Karuizawa! Enjoy the rich nature
Still haven’t decided your destination for a spring trip? Karuizawa, one of the most representative resorts in Japan, is your choice! Karuizawa is located in Nagano prefecture. It features three concepts: “cool breeze”, “sunlight slipping between leaves”, and “decent culture”. For those who want to chill out and get relief at a calm and peaceful atmosphere, I highly recommend you to visit Karuizawa. Although it takes you almost three and a half hours to get there from Tokyo by regular trains, it is only a one-hour ride if you take Shinkansen (bullet train). So it is totally okay to include Karuizawa into your itinerary when you are planning to visit Tokyo.
Here we will introduce you the must-go places in Karuizawa for your visit in spring.
Feel the fresh spring breeze when hiking
Before all other recommended places, let’s hike Mt. Asama first! Mt. Asama is an active complex volcano and is one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains. It stands 2,568 metres, so it is quite physically demanding and time consuming for beginners to climb. But no worries! There are three lateral volcanos, which are much easier to climb in the mountain range. If you hike one of them, say Mt. Koasama, it will only be 2 to 3 hours for a round trip.
Mt. Koasama with gorgeous view
There is a bus service running between Karuizawa and Mt. Koasama, so you can easily start the hike. Walk along the mountain trail and you will discover the relaxing fresh green and pleasant views. Take a deep breath – the air is fresh and clean! The trail is well-organized and there are signs everywhere. You don’t have to worry about getting lost there.
The name Mt. Koasama literally means “Mt. small Asama”, and as the name suggests you, it is not a huge mountain. But if you hike up to the top, the view there is simply wonderful. You will be definitely amazed at how much the nature can give you.
Shopping – in the nature?!
For shopping lovers, I am sure this place is not going to disappoint you. Let’s go to Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza! It is lined with around 200 shops of various kinds, including brand outlets, interior shops, sports shops, fashion boutiques, etc. The shopping plaza is built with nature. There is a large lawn where people take rest, enjoy the sun, and walk dogs. You can enjoy the natural environment while shopping!
Let's enjoy sakuras!
For those who are not interested in shopping, you are still recommended to visit this plaza, for enjoying the nature. The environment in Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is so natural and cozy that I won’t correct you even if you call it a park!
When you visit here in spring, there will be blooming sakuras, indicating the coming of spring. Why don’t you have a picnic under the stunning sakuras?
National Important Cultural Property: Megane bashi
Besides what the nature gives you, there is also man-made architecture which finely contrasts with the green nature. Megane bashi is a brick bridge which you can rarely find in Japan nowadays. Its official name is Usui daisan kyouryu, and was registered as a National Important Cultural Property in 1997.
Megane bashi is 31 metres high and 91 metres long. Although it is not big, what makes it special is not the size, but its beautiful design. Don’t forget to take some photos!
Walk across the bridge
After taking stunning shots of it, let’s climb to the bridge! There are stairs to the bridge, so you can take the stairs and walk across the bridge. In the old times, there were steam locomotives running through the bridge. Let’s see whether there are any traces left on the bridge!
A walking trail: follow the railway track and explore history
There is a walking trail called “Apto no michi” in Karuizawa. It follows the track of an old Abt-system railway, Megane bashi being included. Walking along the trail, you will see heritage railway stations, and explore the history. The trail is recommended not only to train lovers, but also to nature lovers, in that you walk in a forest following the trail. The whole trail is a 4-hour walk, and it will be perfect if you choose a part of it to walk.
How about chilling out at a farm?
Before the end of your trip, don’t forget to visit Asama farm located at the foothills of the mountain range. The farm covers an area of about 800 hectares, having the magnificent Mt. Asama as background. When you see the cows take their time eating grass, you miraculously feel loosened up! There are also areas for animal lovers to interact with animals such as rabbits and sheep. Seize the chance!
Fresh milk from the farm
At the entrance of Asama farm, there is a teahouse offering fresh milk and ice-cream made of their fresh milk. What’s more, there you can get original dairy products and specialties of Karuizawa – best choice for souvenir!
Have a relaxing spring in Karuizawa where you forget all your worries
Karuizawa is a peaceful town rich in nature, which is perfect for visitors who are looking for a relaxing trip. The fresh green of the mountain range heals your soul! Besides the rich nature, shopping and having fun with animals are also what you can do there. It is a miraculous place where both adults and kids enjoy, don’t you think? Book your flight with DeNA TRAVEL, and plan your spring trip to Karuizawa!