Karuizawa is a town known for its mountainous region of Nagano prefecture. Locals and tourists alike travel over to Karuizawa for various recreational activities, from exploring waterfalls and nature trails to skiing at ski resorts during winter.
Besides that, there are also various beautiful churches, museum and shopping districts to satisfy a non-sporty / non-nature loving person like myself. It only took about 2 hours of train journey from Tokyo to this beautiful town! Check out what are the 6 top things I did during winter in Karuizawa, Japan.
1. Uchimura Kanzo Memorial Stone Church
One the my most memorable experience in Karuizawa would be to visit Uchimura Kanzo Memorial Stone Church! This stone church is known to be a popular attraction as well as wedding location. Check out its amazing architecture of stone arches, walls and floorings. Do take note that photography isn’t allowed in the service room itself or I would have shared it already!
Address: Hoshino, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0103, Japan
2. Karuizawa Kogen Church
Just a short distance walk away from Uchimura Kanzo Memorial Stone Church would be yet another popular church known as Karuizawa Kogen Church. Despite being traditional and triangular, this church is also worth a visit as it also is surrounded by natural lush greenery (not during winter though). Grab your chance to capture the beautiful Christmas tree and candle lights during Christmas seasons!
Address: Hoshino, Karuizawa, Nagano 389-0195, Japan
3. Harunire Terrace
Within the vicinity of the 2 churches above, Harunire Terrace is a perfect place to grab a cup of hot coffee to keep warm and recharge before heading back down the mountain via transport. You might want to browse around some of these shops or even enjoy the peaceful natural surroundings.
Address: 2148 Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0111, Japan
4/5. St. Paul’s Catholic Church at Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street is basically an old town of Karuizawa with buildings of European feel. The place not far from Karuizawa station itself and walking distance from Hotel Karuizawa Elegance, the place I was lodging at. There are many things to shop and explore along this street such as St Paul’s Catholic Church, many restaurants, sweets and souvenir shops. I even tried the well known fried curry donut bun and bought home few bottles of apple jam since Karuizawa is quite known for their apples too. My only regret would be during winter, the shops and restaurants tend to close early.
Address: 541 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan
St. Paul’s Catholic Church Address: 179 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan
6. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
Last but not least, I visited the luxury shopping district Prince Shopping Plaza that was conveniently located right beside Karuizawa Station. The mall consists of more high end shops and I had to buy a pair of shoes since mine gave way due to wear and tear. There was even an artificial lake along this beautiful mall and the Christmas decoration setup was just so beautiful. So glad there was a 7-11 where I could grab supper back to my hotel room to feast on since the restaurants were pretty crowded and packed with tourists.
Address: Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0102, Japan
If you’re looking accommodation in Karuizawa, Japan… Check out this hotel review for Hotel Karuizawa that I have stayed in for my trip,