Considered by many to be the crown jewel among the Japanese Alps resort town, Nagano Prefecture’s Karuizawa is bustling with activity year-round. During the spring and summer months, people from greater Tokyo flock to Karuizawa and the surrounding area to escape the heat and humidity; during autumn, the mountainsides become flush with brilliant reds and oranges as the leaves change. And come winter, Karuizawa joins Niseko, Yuzawa, and Hakuba as one of Japan’s – and Northeast Asia’s – premier ski destinations.
Karuizawa has been a favored weekend getaway since the Meiji era, and as a result has an impressive collection of hotels and ryokans, ranging from traditional 200-year old onsens to expansive brand-new resorts. Prices range accordingly, from budget pension lodgings to luxury spa boutiques. As with other Japanese Alps vacation spots, many Karuizawa accommodations have on-site onsen / hot springs – be sure to check facility details on Expedia to ensure you book the right hotel for you.
As a pioneering summer and winter resort destination for the Meiji-era upper and middle class, Karuizawa is bursting with landmarks, both historic and new. Here you can find chapels and churches built by Europeans brought in to develop Karuizawa in manners similar to how German and Austrian resort towns were designed; St. Paul’s Catholic Church is still a hugely popular place to get married. You will find beer halls, château-style wineries, well-curated art museums such as the Sezon Museum of Modern Art, and many, many shopping opportunities. From the traditional, narrow shop-lined streets of Old Karuizawa Ginza and Mikasa Street, to the massive Prince Shopping Plaza and its many outlet shops, Karuizawa is both a nature lover’s and a shopaholic’s paradise.
Whether you are looking to hit some of the best slopes in Northeast Asia, hike the mountain trails of the area’s many national parks, or just soak up the mountain resort atmosphere with a beer in hand, Karuizawa has something for everyone – and Expedia is the place to find that perfect hotel for your Karuizawa trip!