Sighteeing in Karuizawa: Old Karuizawa Main Street - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sighteeing in Karuizawa: Old Karuizawa Main Street

Old Karuizawa Main Street (旧軽井沢)
Karuizawa is an area famous for its many high-end resorts and luxurious summer houses owned by the country's many billionaires and celebrities. In the summer it is a popular destination for people who want to get away from the hot and humid city life in Tokyo, and in the winter the area attracts visitors from people interested in winter sports.
Old Karuizawa Main Street (旧軽井沢)
Last weekend I went to Karuizawa along with my friend and co-worker Kristian, some of his friends and my boyfriend Yuma to spend some time outside the increasingly hot and humid Tokyo. The first day was spent mostly relaxing, but the second day we had the chance to do some sightseeing too. We went to the old shopping street known as the Old Karuizawa Main Street, sometimes also is referred to the Old Karuizawa Ginza. Here you can find both expensive brand stores, but also interesting local stores that offer some of Karuizawa's local specialities.  

Pictures of a man with a bee beard

Kristian trying on some gigantic crocs

You can also visit a small bakery called the France Bakery where John Lennon apparently used to stop by frequently. There is a picture of him on the wall inside the bakery taken during one of his visits.

Another place that might be worth a visit is the small Karuizawa Photo Studio (軽井沢写真館) situated further down the Old Karuizawa Main Street. You can have your photo taken with dresses that make you look like you've just been traveling back in time to Europe in the 18th century or something. Apparently this photo studio is quite well-known, and it has previously been introduced on Japanese TV as well. Next time I visit Karuizawa I might want to get my picture taken here, it looks pretty cool.. Haha..

Some of the dresses you can try on for your own back-in-time photo
But of course, Old Karuizawa is also packed with more traditional Japanese places to visit. You can shake off most of the tourists and shoppers once you get further down the road, and see some nice old buildings at the same time. At the end of the road you'll find yourself almost at the brink of the forest. So if you get tired of the swarm of shoppers at the beginning of the street you might want to head over to this part of the street instead.

Typical Japanese 雰囲気

An old house at the end of the Old Karuizawa Main Street

How to get there
You can easily get to Karuizawa by Shinkanzen from Tokyo, a trip that costs 5000 yen and takes little more than an hour. If you're on a budget you can also get there for only 2000 yen by bus leaving from Ikebukuro Station. The bus trip takes about 3 hours (during the weekend you usually have to add an hour due to the congested traffic). To get to the Old Karuizawa Main Street from the station you walk north and turn right after about 1km.

Other Pages:
Karuizawa Tourist Guide
Some information about Old Karuizawa in Japanese (w. pictures)

Related Blogposts:
Rakuten Travel Hotel Training: Karuizawa Prince Hotel
Author Image

About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

  • 0Disqus Comment
  • Facebook Comment

Leave your comment

Post a Comment

comments powered by Disqus

About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
・Read more →

Recent Posts


Random Posts