For many of those who live in Tokyo, the most popular “recreational” destination is the town called “Karuizawa.”
It is a sweet escape from the summer heat. It is also an upmarket mountain resort at the foot of an active volcano. There are several places to unmask the historic beauty of Karuizawa. If you’re up for shopping or just strolling to enjoy the nature, here are two of the popular shopping hubs to visit.
Kyu-Karuizawa is the central town where you can find many nice shops and restaurants. It was formerly a post-town around the Nakasendo Route. Today, it is the center of Karuizawa resort area. It has a pleasant atmosphere and you can see many chic restaurants and cafes aiming at affording patrons, and the forested residential districts seemingly built like holiday villas. There’s a wide range of shopping opportunities here such as the Prince Shopping Plaza and the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza. The former is an outlet mall for popular brands, outdoor goods, sportswear and trendy items, while the latter is a smaller version of Ginza, Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping district.
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza has a romantic ambiance that is well-suited for a stroll or buying desserts or souvenirs. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza has a pleasant surrounding which makes it a lovely area for a walk.
Naka-Karuizawa is a secondary town center which has fewer shops and restaurants compared to Kyu-Karuizawa. However, it has several sights of interests such as Hoshino Resort. It is a place with an elegant atmosphere which has been integrated into the woods offering chic restaurants, shops and hot spring houses.
The resort also offers vacation accommodations such as Hoshinoya and Hoten Bleston Court. You’ll be able to find a unique stone church and a fashionable dining area known as Harunire Terrace here. This town can be explored on bicycles. There are rental shops which can be found close to the Naka-Karuizawa Station, charging 1,000 yen per day.
These places are a must-visit for every traveler who wants to go shopping or strolling while enjoying nature at the same time. It is great fun to take pleasure in leisure, cultural activities and shopping all at the same time at the same place!
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