Second day of our Golden Week trip. Karuizawa is an elegant resort town in Nagano Prefecture which is known for its various winter sports activities and hot springs. We chose this place to get an experience riding a shinkansen under the Tokyo Wide Pass (since Tokaido Shinkansen isn’t included in our pass).
How we get there:
Under the Tokyo Wide Pass, we rode the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Ueno. It only took us 1 hour to get to Karuizawa. Without this pass, an ordinary shinkansen ticket costs around 6,000 yen for one-way.
As we arrived to the station, we are being greeted with blooming sakura trees along our path. Since this place is somewhere at the northern part of Japan, cherry blossom at Karuizawa blooms later than in Tokyo.
Kyu-Karuizawa is a former post town along the Nakasendo Route that connects Kyoto and Tokyo during the Edo period. Today, interesting store fronts stood in this street of Karuizawa Ginza, which is the local version of Tokyo’s high end district Ginza.
We also got to meet this cute, big dog. Funny thing, we met this guy and its owner trice throughout our walk.
We went off the beaten path when going to Kumobaike Pond. There were tons of rest houses along the way. There were also tons of pine trees which is makes this place beautiful when covered with snow during winter.
Being close to an active volcano, Naka-karuizawa is home of most of the hot springs (onsen) in Karuizawa. From Karuizawa station, we rode Shinano Railway Line that is bound for Nagano.
Nagano is one of the places I really want to visit however our pass only limits us until Karuizawa so getting to Nagano at the time was so far to reach 😦
Me and Carmelle didn’t try the onsen (except for Rex) but walking along the river made me feel relaxed.
Surprisingly, this place has more churches than temples or shrines. One of its popular church is the Karuizawa Kogen Church (landscape photo below) because of its beautiful architecture.