Karuizawa - alpine village with a rich history..
Located just over one hour from central Tokyo by shinkansen, Karuizawa is a charming alpine village filled with boutique shops, restaraunts and pleasant scenery. Originally a post town on the Nakasendo (Old, Edo period highway) it evolved into a popular resort for foreigners and the Tokyo Elite. Now it is a popular domestic holiday destination, with a unique brand within Japan. Largely ignored by Western tourists for the larger tourist destinations it offers a pleasant lifestyle, clean air and few crowds. Although some regular holiday weeks, such as Obon in August the roads can be crowded.
Recently a younger generation has shifted out of Tokyo to make Karuizawa their permanent home. All year round Karuizawa is a quiet and pleasant destination that is also an easy access point for short trips to see more of Japan.
What is the best time to stay in Karuizawa? Every season has it's own distinct charms, there is no bad time to be here.
March / April / May
June / July / August
September / October / November
December / January/ February
Cherry Blossoms (late April) leading to fresh green leaves.. still cold in March, but warming up..
May is beautiful, with warm days, cool nights, fresh mountain air and beautiful green everywhere..
Warm, even hot, with the forest and alpine cool that has made Karuizawa a favourite Summer break..
Japan has a 5th season - "Tsuyu" the rainy season, usually two or three weeks at the end of June, but it's a good time for printing!
Gradually getting cooler and even cold by the end of November, with amazing Autumn leaves in October, early November...
"Akibare" means beautiful sunny Autumn day, not a cloud in the sky!
Cold with snow.. crisp air and sunny days, heated rooms and perfect for carving and printing..
Japan's winter is the dry season - not so much rain with cold and sunny days.
The town of Karuizawa at the foot of Asama-yama, in Nagano
Read some more about Karuizawa on these tourism websites:
Go! Nagano (This website also has information about nearby attractions)