Various shopping and gourmet you can experience only here! Go around Karuizawa in early spring.
Karuizawa has developed since its charm drew the attention of overseas visitors who visited Japan more than 100 years ago. It has an image of summer resort, but full of attraction in Spring as well. It only takes about an hour by a Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo station, and about 2 hours from Haneda Airport. Let’s take advantage of these good access and leisurely enjoy the town.
“Picchio” - Meet the creatures of the forest on the eco-tours
“Piccio” in the Karuizawa Hoshino Area is a guide of forest creature. They engage in wildlife protection management and environmental education, and are known as a pioneer of ecotourism in Japan. Piccio offers many programs such as “Nature Watching Tour” that observe wild birds singing in the early spring forest of March to April, and “Flying Squirrel Watching Tour” that you can observe wild giant flying squirrels, so-called “flying cushion.” At the tour, they can be seen in high probability of 90% or more. A custom-made tour for only one group a day can also be arranged.
●Hoshino, Karuizawamachi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
●“Nature Watching Tour” operated from 10:00-12:00 daily (from 13:30 to 15:30 tour is added between April and November). Reservations must be made through online or by call by 17:00 the day before.
“Flying Squirrel Watching Tour” is a one-and-half-hour evening tour operated between March 16th and November 30th. Reservation is required by one hour prior to the departure. *Online reservation must be made by 15:00 on the tour day.
Gigantic outlet directly connected to the station - “Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza”
“Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza” is an extensive shopping complex, adjacent to the south exit of Karuizawa Station, and it became a place where most of visitors to Karuizawa visit. They offer approximately 240 stores including outlet stores of Japanese and overseas’ high-end brands, restaurants, consolidating as 10 zones in green environment.
There is substantial correspondence to foreign customers such as Wi-Fi service throughout the area, an independent exemption tax system by store, cloud interpretation service at information center. Long holiday special sales are scheduled from the end of April. Check the website for the latest information. You can also enjoy cherry-blossom viewing around the same time as there are about 300 cherry blossoms in the premises of the adjacent Karuizawa Prince Hotel.
“Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza”
●Karuizawa, Karuizawamachi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
●Business hours and holidays may vary depending on stores
Fun to stroll around the area where Karuizawa begun - “Kyu-Karuizawa”
Karuizawa began to develop after being noticed as a summer resort for overseas visitors since a missionary Shaw from Canada built the villa for the first time, and founded a church in the Meiji Era. This is Kyu-Karuizawa, the center of Karuizawa, so-called Kyu-Karu. Established restaurants, branches of major stores in Tokyo, and souvenir shops lined up on the main street called Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza. And if you are a little off, you will find a hidden-gem restaurant in a quiet larch forest. Let's introduce some famous shops of Kyu-Karu.
“Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza store association”http://karuizawa-ginza.org/map/
Additive-free Jam made from seasonal fruits – “Sawaya”
It is a famous Jam shop born in Karuizawa over 60 years ago. The products here are known as Kyu-Karu's classic souvenir. They have a line-up of more than 50 types additive-free handmade jam. They are made from only fresh seasonal fruits that can-be-eaten as it is, and domestically produced granulated sugar. A limited marmalade jam made from “Kiyomi Gold” that multiplied oranges and tangerine is sold from mid-April. There is a café space at the branch of Kyu-Karuizawa where the brand was founded.
“Sawaya Kyu-Karuizawa branch / tea salon”
●746-1, Karuizawa, Karuizawamachi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
●9:00-18:00 (Extend hours for summer)
Enjoy the taste of Shinshu in a fashionable atmosphere - “Karuizawa Kawakami-An”
It is a very popular Soba restaurant near the Kyu-Karuizawa rotary. Its chic interior along with jazz music make you relaxed. You enjoy not only their popular Ten-Seiro Soba and Kamo-Nanban Soba at lunch, but also a variety of dishes and local sake at night.
●6-10, Karuizawa, Karuizawamachi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
●11:00-22:00 (L.O. 21:00), High season 10:45-23:00 (L.O. 22:00)
Enjoy the meat dishes baked in the fireplace - “Pyrénées”
Heading to Kyu-Karu rotary to Kumoba-ike Pond. “Pyrénées” is a restaurant located at the intersection of an old villa called Roppontsuji, and a sister restaurant of Auberge de Primavera. There is a large fireplace in the back of the restaurant where the sunlight comes through the wide window. Selected ingredients from Shinshu such as Chiyogenton pork, Shinshu beef, and chicken are slowly baked with the live charcoal of the fireplace, and its aroma spreads in the restaurant. There are also terrace seats warm covered with vinyl.
●1181-8, Karuizawa, Karuizawamachi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
●Lunch 12:00-14:30, Dinner 17:00-21:30
●Closed on second Thursday of each month
Access to Karuizawa - About one hour by Shinkansen. Highway buses are also convenient!
Train: From Tokyo Station to Karuizawa Station approximately 1 hour 10 minutes by Hokuriku Shinkansen
Highway bus: Buses operate from Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shinagawa, Yokohama, Haneda Airport etc. Takes about 3 hours ~ between Tokyo and Karuizawa
Car: Approximately 25 minutes from Usui Karuizawa IC on Joshinetsu Highway. About 2 hours 20 minutes from Tokyo
Shinkansen is the best If you want to arrive early on the same day. Highway buses operate between different stops for departure and destinations such as Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza, Karuizawa Prince Hotel, Hoshino Onsen hot spring and so on, so you can pick your designated stops. If you choose using a car, you may have a heavy traffic jam on weekends and consecutive holidays.
*The above information was last updated March 12, 2018. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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