See Classic Stories in a Beautiful Forest Setting at Karuizawa Picture Book Museum

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  • Karuizawa is located at the foot of a mountain with a very cool summer climate perfect for relaxation. It has lush natural surroundings with abundant forests and gardens. Nestled in this area is the Karuizawa Picture Book Museum. It was built by A.C. Shaw, a Scottish missionary. Let’s get to know a little bit about the story behind it.

    picture book museum outside

    The Beginnings of the Museum

    picture book museum inside

    A.C. Shaw felt Karuizawa’s forest reminded him of his home country, Scotland. This inspired him to build the villa that has become the museum in 1886. He built it in a way that it would remind him of his European roots. Many foreign people visited the villa until it became a favorite spot for them to relax. Then came a time where he opened The Karuizawa Picture Book Museum which primarily consisted of 6,000 items.

    The items include Anglo-American works and picture books including their original sketches. Anglo-American tales focus on giving the protagonist the responsibility for their own destiny. Some of the books which you can find in the museum are Cinderella, Peter Rabbit and Alice in the Wonderland.

    What and Where to Explore

    picture book museum sketches

    The museum is the best place to explore first editions and sketches of well-known stories around the world. Other than this, there is also a bookshop and a garden. The book shop offers many interesting stories on literature while the garden gives guests the chance to stroll and enjoy some fresh air. The museum is accessible by car from JR Karuizawa Station. It will only take 10 minutes. Admission fee is 900 yen per person. It is open all throughout the week except on Tuesdays. During the winter season, it is closed three times a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays).

    Karuizawa Picture Book Forest Museum is the perfect place for adults and kids who want to enjoy reading books to tickle their imagination. The best way to spend quality time with family is snuggling together with good books in hand.

    Museum Website

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