Karuizawa, Japan – Day 1(a)

tokyo subway
This is just the network for the private railway lines…not including the JR lines…Tokyo rail networks, sometimes just gets on my nerves especially arriving late into the night.

JR pass
Even though, I was there only for 5.5 days but I would accumulate more than 40000JPY in train connections so I figured buying a 7 days JR pass would still be the best. A typical 7 days JR pass for whole of Japan would cost 28300JPY. List of exchange office can be found here. I went to the Tokyo station Exchange office as it was 1 of the offices that would open early in Central Tokyo. Although it was a complicated feat to try to find the exchange office. JR pass holders are allowed to make reservations on trains with no extra charge and you can also easily exchange your train tickets for an earlier/later time depending on train availability.


Karuizawa is an upmarket mountain resort at the foot of the active volcano Mount Asama in Nagano Prefecture. It was first “discovered” and promoted as a mountain resort by Western residents of Japan in the late 1800s. Nowadays, many wealthy urbanites own a second home in Karuizawa. Located at an altitude of roughly 1000 meters, the mountain resort provides a pleasant escape from the summer heat. Thanks to the Nagano Shinkansen (opened in 1998), it now takes little more than an hour to reach Karuizawa from central Tokyo.

Japan Guide

At the exit of the train station would be a few bus stops and 1 of them would bring us to the next destination, Shiraito Falls (白糸の滝), 20 minutes bus ride away from the station. The bus ride cost about 710JPY and the timetable were printed at the bus stops or can be found online.


Shiraito Falls are a graceful expanse of waterfalls located north of Karuizawa. The falls are only 3 meters tall, but they are spread out over a 70 meter wide arch. Ground water spills out of the top of the arch in hundreds of little white strings from which the waterfall gets its name. The beautiful falls are a refreshingly cool setting, especially pleasurable in the summer.

Go! Nagano

It felt extremely nice as it was very humid and warm in Tokyo.

After viewing the waterfall, took the bus back to Old Karuizawa Town where most of the shops were. The buildings in this area were leaning towards the European feel likely due to the western developers who were there in the past.

Dropped by 1 of the famous sausage shop around this area, Gunraku (腸詰屋) to buy some back but it was a little pricey….but I got to admit that it was fresh and delicious when I ate it the next day.

Next stop was Church Street Mall to pick up some Karuizawa limtied edition tea. Fell in love with the teas from Lupicia ever since I tried their teas from the last trip. Definitely lots of selection for tea lovers.

Dropped a shop, Cerfeuil, known for their no frills natural products. Lots of sampling for jam lovers. I tried a seaweed jam but the taste of saltiness and sweetness doesn’t go well with my tongue and so I opted for the Karuizawa limited edition Kiwi jam.

Got distracted by this little performer along the street….and she was a crowd pleaser!

Hello kitty in Kimono for the Hello Kitty lovers.


The streets of Karuizawa was pretty easy to walk in the cooler weather. Near to the station was another big outlet mall that has big name brands like Burberry, Gap etc but I wasn’t too interested in shopping so I did not walk over. Definitely an easy place to stay for a day if you like shopping.

In Japan, we have to clear up after our meals but I just realised that there is another disposal for drinks/ice which I had never seen before. I even saw one lady put her unused syrup at the return area which is definitely great as this would help to reduce wastage. We learn news days everyday! 🙂


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. horimasa
    Jul 25, 2012 @ 19:29:15

    Reblogged this on Japan Reblogged and commented:
    Karuizawa, Nagano Japan. Nice photos.

  2. Xuan-er
    Jul 26, 2012 @ 14:40:30

    @horimasa: arigatou =)

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