Lying at the foot of Mount Asama (2560m), at the border of Nagano and Gunma prefectures, Karuizawa is a mountain resort town favoured by Tokyo residents wanting to escape the heat of summer.
The town has only 6000 permanent residents, but this number doubles between June and August. The local "Ginza" shopping street reproduces the atmosphere of the famous Tokyo district and its upmarket boutiques and restaurants.
Karuizawa is ideal for practicing outdoor activities such as horse-riding, golf, tennis or hiking. Note that Mount Asama cannot be climbed, as it is an active volcano and could erupt anytime.
How to get there
Karuizawa is on the Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Nagano. The journey takes just over an hour and cost about ￥5,000 from Ueno Station.