Spots in Karuizawa / Saku / Komoro Area

  • Shiraito Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    The result of underground water welling out of bare rock, Shiraito Falls has a thin stream of water almost like a strand of silk with beautiful lines of water and white spray falling down. The refreshing sight is one of Karuizawa’s representative sightseeing spots. In the winter, icicles are artificially created using water gushing forth from the waterfall, producing a fantastical atmosphere.
  • Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    A gigantic shopping mall and virtual landmark in Karuizawa. With a total of seven parking areas, shoppers visiting by car are encouraged to look up which stores they are most interested in before choosing where to park. In addition to fashion brands, the mall also contains a shop selling Karuizawa sweets and jams, making it the perfect place to pick up a few souvenirs as well. Children can play to their hearts’ content in the spacious outdoor kids park.
  • Kumoba Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    This pond located in close proximity to Roppon-tsuji serves as the water source for gozen-sui. The quiet, beautiful pond is also called Swan Lake since swans used to migrate here in the past. A promenade has been built around the circumference of the pond upon which visitors can enjoy a slow stroll. Visits during the autumn season with its changing leaves are particularly recommended. The sight of the trees steeped in red and yellow reflected in the water is well worth seeing.
  • Kyukaru Ginza (Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    This is the main shopping district of Karuizawa located along the old Kyu Nakasendo. It has over 400 years of history, and the area boasts a row of long-established shops such as a bakery, boutiques of imported fashion, and various new and established shops. The area is bustling with many tourists in the summer months.
  • Hoshino Hot Spring Tonbo-no-yu
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 2148
    Ever since this hot spring opened in 1915, it has been loved as a famous hot spring in Karuizawa, and it is a Hoshino hot spring used by literary masters such as Hakushu Kitahara, Toson Shimazaki, and Akiko Yosano. In consideration of that history it opened as a day trip hot spring facility in 2002. The natural hot springs which are overflowing with the source water are full of mineral deposits moving around, and guests can relax and forget the time there. The building has a modern Japanese style with bilateral symmetry, and is a spot where one can enjoy spacious indoor baths and a very open rotemburo open-air bath that is enveloped in nature. It is located about 15 minutes by car from the shinkansen’s Karuizawa Station.
  • Harunire Terrace
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 2148
    Located in a commercial facility that serves as the entrance to the Hoshino Area in Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County, Nagano Prefecture, the concept of this store is “everyday Karuizawa.” Taking on the role as the hot spring town for Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-Yu, it features 15 stores that include restaurants and shops. Inside the facility which features a wood deck construction and nine buildings is a space full of abundant scenery that incorporates a grove of more than 100 Japanese elm trees which had been growing there naturally. There are also book cafes and unique miscellaneous good shops, and visitors can experience the vacation home life that is typical of Karuizawa.
  • Karuizawa Kogen Church
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Prefecture Kitasaku-gun Karuizawa Town Hoshino
    This church full of history and located in Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County Nagano Prefecture began in 1921 as a small wooden building, and was the origin of the Free Education of Art Salon  movement that attracted cultured people such as Hakushu Kitahara and Toson Shimazaki. The building, which is enveloped in the nature of Karuizawa, is characteristic for its pointy triangular roof. As a church that is open to all people, it holds gospel worship every Sunday and events in accordance with the season. It is also popular as a place for resort weddings.
  • Komoro Castle Otemon Gate
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Komoroshi Ote 1-150
    Famous as an example of large gate architecture representative of eastern Japan, this castle gate is inside Otemon Park located in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture. Inside the turret, there are limited time special exhibitions that are free to view. In addition, it has been selected as a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property, making it visited by many tourists.
  • Kusakaru Kotsu Shiraito no Taki Store
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura Mountain National Forest Inner Shiraito Falls
    This souvenir shop is located at the entrance to Shiraito Falls. They sell a wide variety of souvenirs such as food items including pickles and jam from Karuizawa, folk crafts and picture postcards. Many tourists visit to rest or eat since there are food booths where you can have udon (white flour noodles) or soba (buckwheat noodles) and outdoor benches. Their popular menus are handmade tofu made from the spring water from Shiraito Falls and soybeans from Nagano Prefecture, and salt-grilled white-spotted char.
  • Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 815
    Located in Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County, Nagano Prefecture, this private art museum exhibits the works it owns created by artist Hiroshi Senju, a modern Japanese painter who is active around the world. The building was designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa and has large glass windows that give it a bright and spacious atmosphere. It also has a beautiful garden with various trees and plants, and is a creative space that achieves harmony with nature. The museum holds exhibitions that introduce Senju’s works as well as special exhibitions according to different themes. There are also a bakery café and shop, and guests can relax and enjoy art and nature.
  • Usui Pass Observatory
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Tougemachi
    An observatory park located in Toge-machi, Karuizawa Town. Situated 1,200 meters above sea level on the border between Nagano Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture, visitors can enjoy a view of the surrounding scenery, including Mt. Asama, Yatsugatake, and the Myogi Mountain Range. The park also has a walking path which can be used as a hiking course.
  • Sonmin Shokudo
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 2148
    This casual restaurant is close to Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-Yu, a famous hot spring in Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County, Nagano Prefecture. While enjoying the spacious environment surrounded by greenery, guests can enjoy set meals and a la carte items based on Japanese food that makes use of seasonal ingredients. The popular menu item is the Shinshu-no-Irodori-Gozen, which packs in plenty of Shinshu food’s appeal. There are many reasonably-priced items on the menu such as the Shinshu salmon rice bowl and soba (buckwheat noodles), and the restaurant can be used for a wide range of situations from lunch to dinner.
  • Takamine Onsen
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Nagano Komoro-shi Takamine Kogen
    A cloud top hot spring inn 2,000 meters above sea level with indoor baths, a lamp lit bath, and an outdoor bath commanding a view of the Japan Alps and overlooking Takamine Ravine. The outdoor bath is small, accommodating only a maximum of four people, but its highly medicinal waters, constantly replenished from a source spring kakenagashi style, will soothe away the fatigue of your journey. The inn's sulfur-containing calcium sodium magnesium hydrocarbonate spring is said to provide a variety of health benefits. Be sure to talk to the staff, who can tell you about the best way to bathe so as to improve the efficacy of the waters for your specific ailments. The inn also has an area where you can drink these waters, and doing so is said to treat diabetes, gout, liver disease, and constipation. Non-guests can only use the inn's bathhouse from 11:00 to 16:00; also note that bathhouse fees are different during winter (November 21 to April 20).
  • Mt. Arafune
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Prefecture Takara-gun Shimanita-cho, Nagano Prefecture Saku City
    This is a famous mountain located in the Myogi-Arafune-Saku Kogen Quasi-National Park in the southwestern part of Gumma Prefecture. The mountain has an altitude of 1,423 meters is one of 200 hundred famous mountains in Japan. The mountain became a table-shaped plateau after many years of erosion. It is said that it was named because the flat top and the steep cliffs looks like a ship breaking through rough waves. The cliffs are an overwhelming 200 meters high. Many climbers visit throughout the year and as there are several climbing courses, you can choose the route best suited to your skills.
  • Kyu Mikasa Hotel
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa 1339-342
    A historic building located in Karuizawa Town. This hotel was built by the industrialist Naoyoshi Yamamoto in 1906. Purely Western in design, the interior is decorated with accoutrements that were both cutting edge and of the highest class at the time, including a chandelier with electric lights and a carpet made in England. Prominent men such as Eiichi Shibusawa, Fumimaro Konoe, and Takeo Arishima once stayed here at what was called “the Rokumeikan of Karuizawa,” a name which alludes to the cultural cachet of the hotel. The hotel remained in operation until the 1970 and was designated a national Important Cultural Property in 1980.
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Karuizawa
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 2052-2
    This art museum collects and exhibits works with a theme of ''artists who crossed the oceans.'' Its primary collection features works by artists including Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara, Shusaku Arakawa, Atsuko Tanaka, and Ayako Rokkaku. The museum also features a gallery where visitors can purchase artwork. Admission includes a complementary cup of tea and a snack, allowing visitors to soak up impressions of the artwork at a relaxed pace. The museum closes over the winter from late November to mid-April. It is a five-minute drive from JR Karuizawa Station.
  • Kawakamian
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa 6-10
    This stylish and airy soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurant is located at the entrance to Karuizawa's Ginza shopping district. In addition to carefully prepared, homemade soba, the restaurant is also popular thanks to its tasteful selection of food and beverages as well as an abundant list of renown sake, and has fans throughout the country. Kawakamian's duck cuisine, with just the right amount of fat on the meat, is exquisite and brings many a repeat customer. Dining in the terrace seating in summer is recommended.
  • Amekawa Dam
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Sakushi Taguchi
    This check dam is on the Amekawa River, which has its source in the vicinity of Taguchi Pass. While it was built to stop avalanches, it is also used to supply water for agriculture and household use. As such, it holds a high volume of water, and it is unusual for a check dam. The emerald green water creates some unique scenery. Following the road from the reservoir into the forest far enough will bring you to the point farthest from the coast in Japan.
  • Saku Municipal Tenrai Memorial Hall
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Sakushi Mochiduki 305-2
    "Saku Municipal Tenrai Museum is located about a seven-minute walk from the Mochizuki bus stop. Built in the style of a traditional warehouse, Japan's first art museum devoted to calligraphy and a memorial to the Meiji Period calligrapher Hidai Tenrai is near the remains of the Mochizuki clan's troop lodgings and the Mochizuki History and Folklore Museum. Some of Tenrai's finest works are on display. He rediscovered old calligraphy manuals and is known as ""the father of modern calligraphy."" In addition to his works, visitors can also see related materials, such as the actual implements he used, and the calligraphic works of his wife and pupils."
  • Vegetari-an Fuwari-ya
    Gourmet / Alcohol
    Nagano Pref. Komoroshi Hishidaira 533-1
    Fuwariya Mushroom Forest is a 15-minute drive from the Komoro Interchange or 20 minutes from Komoro Station. This unique restaurant, housed in what looks like a single-family home in the Mt. Asama area, offers up a menu focused on wild plants and mushrooms. In the spring, customers can enjoy bamboo shoots, and in the fall, they can enjoy dishes full of mushrooms. Since ingredients and cooking methods vary, depending on what shipments come in and what is available to harvest, customers like to come back again and again. Customers who want to order the Matsutake Mushroom Zukushi must make reservations and may choose either local or foreign mushrooms. The restaurant can respond to all kinds of customers' needs, with spaces ranging from single rooms to rooms accommodating up to 60 persons at once.

Nagano Areas

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Nagano prefecture is an exciting mix of mountains, hot spring monkeys, and preserved Edo history. At the heart of the Japanese Alps, Nagano is one of the country's most popular destinations, whether in winter for its snow sports and the much-loved Jigokudani Monkey Park or in the warmer months for discovering the undulating hills on foot. For fantastic Edo architecture, head to the Kiso Valley for a 60-kilometer stretch of quaint wooden buildings that marked the Nakasendo route 200 years ago.

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