Welcome to Karuizawa

September 3rd, 2010 by
Category: Information, Sightseeing

 

 

Hello.  This is my first blog article.  First of all, I would like to give you a rough idea of what Karuizawa, where I live and work, is like.

Shaw Memorial Chapel

Shaw Memorial Chapel

 
Introduction to Karuizawa]
Karuizawa is one of the most renowned mountain resort towns in Japan with a population of about 19,000, located on the eastern edge of Nagano Prefecture and bordering on Gunma Prefecture.  Karuizawa is approximately 150 kilometers north of Tokyo.  If you take JR Nagano Shinkansen it takes only about one hour from Tokyo.  At the height of about 1,000 meters above sea level, its cool temperature and refreshing climate have attracted a lot of tourists.  In fact, the number of visitors to Karuizawa is around eight million a year.  To the northwest of this town is a beautiful active volcano called Mt. Asama (2,568 meters).  The mountain is a symbolic landmark and can be viewed from many parts of the town.

 

Happy Valley Path
Happy Valley Path

[First-class Resort]

Karuizawa is well known as a place to have a lot of luxury holiday homes.  In fact holiday homes outnumber permanent residential homes.  Karuizawa used to flourish as post-towns of the ancient highway called Nakasendo during the Edo period.  In 1886, a Canadian missionary named Mr. Alexander Croft Shaw stopped by Karuizawa and liked its beautiful nature and refreshing climate very much.  In 1888 Mr. Shaw built the first holiday home (or summer house) and the first church in Karuizawa.  He then spread a good reputation on Karuizawa as a mountain resort.  Therefore, Mr. Shaw is now called “benefactor father of Karuizawa”, who made Karuizawa a well-known resort.

 

If you have a chance to visit Japan or live in Japan, why not come and relax in Japan’s representative resort, Karuizawa?