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Karuizawa, Nagano

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Country  Japan
Region  ChubuKoshinetsu
Mayor  Masayoshi Sato

Area  156.05 km2
District  Kitasaku
Population  17,833
Karuizawa, Nagano Beautiful Landscapes of Karuizawa, Nagano

Map of Karuizawa, Nagano

Karuizawa (軽井沢町, Karuizawa-machi) is a town located in Kitasaku District in south-central Nagano Prefecture, in the Chūbu region of Japan. As of 1 October 2016, the town had an estimated population of 19,939 and a population density of 128 persons per km². Its total area was 156.03 square kilometres (60.24 sq mi). Karuizawa is a popular summer resort area for Tokyo.


Karuizawa, Nagano in the past, History of Karuizawa, Nagano

Sights sounds of karuizawa nagano

karuizawa nagano 555


Karuizawa is located in eastern Nagano Prefecture, bordered by Gunma Prefecture to the north, east and south. The town is located on an elevated plain at the foot of Mount Asama, one of Japan's most active volcanoes. The mountain is classed as a Category A active volcano. A small eruption was detected in June 2015, a more significant eruption spewing hot rocks and a plume of ash occurred in February 2015. Mt. Asama's most destructive eruption in recent recorded history took place in 1783, when over 1,000 were killed. The volcano is actively monitored by scientists and climbing close to the summit is prohibited.

  • Usui Pass
  • Highest elevation: 2,568 metres (8,425 ft) (Top of Mount Asama)
  • Lowest elevation: 798.7 metres (2,620.4 ft)
  • Surrounding municipalities

  • Nagano Prefecture
  • Saku
  • Miyota
  • Gunma Prefecture
  • Takasaki
  • Annaka
  • Shimonita
  • Naganohara
  • Tsumagoi
  • Climate

    Karuizawa has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation is much heavier in the summer than in the winter.


    The area of present-day Karuizawa was part of ancient Shinano Province, and developed as Karuizawa-shuku, a post station on the Nakasendō highway connecting Edo with Kyoto during the [{Edo period}].

  • August 2, 1876: The villages of Kutsukake, Shiozawanitta, Karijuku, Narusawanitta, and Yui merged to form the village of Nagakura. The village of Hatsuji in Saku District absorbed the village of Matorikaya.
  • January 14, 1879: Kitasaku District Government enforced, and the town of Usuitoge, and the villages of Karuizawa, Nagakura, Oiwake belongs to Kitasaku District.
  • 1886: Canadian Anglican missionary Rev. Alexander Croft Shaw and Tokyo Imperial University English professor James Main Dixon introduced Karuizawa as a summer resort.
  • April 1, 1889: With the establishment of the municipalities system, the town of Usuitoge, and the villages of Karuizawa, and the areas of the former villages of Kutsukake, Shiozawanitta, and Karijuku from the village of Nagakura merged to form the village of Higashinagakura in Kitasaku District, and the areas of the former villages of Narusawanitta and Yui in the village of Nagakura, and the villages of Hatsuji and Oiwake merged to form the village of Nishinagakura in Kitasaku District.
  • 1910s: Begins to attract the attention of other expatriates and Japanese.
  • August 1, 1923: The village of Higashinagakura gains town status to become the town of Karuizawa. (The pre-town areas before gaining the town status is known as Kyu-Karuizawa.)
  • 1940s: Site of an internment camp for foreigners and diplomats during World War 2.
  • May 8, 1942: The village of Nishinagakura is merged into Karuizawa
  • 1951: Selected as International Cultural and Tourism City.
  • February 1, 1957: Karuizawa absorbed Serizawa area from the former village of Goga, which was absorbed by the town of Miyota.
  • April 1, 1959: The Kajikazawa area of the former village of Oiwake was split off and merged with the town of Miyota.
  • 1964: 1964 Summer Olympics (Equestrian)
  • February 1972: Asama-Sanso incident Police besiege communist militants holed up in holiday resort after mass killing and hostage taking.
  • October 1, 1997: The Nagano Shinkansen opens, serving Karuizawa.
  • 1998: 1998 Winter Olympics (Curling)
  • 2004: Mount Asama erupts.
  • Economy

    Hoshino Resorts has its headquarters in Karuizawa.


    Karuizawa has three public elementary school and one public middle school operated by the town government, and one high school operated the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education. The UWC ISAK Japan international school is also located in the town.


  • JR East – Hokuriku Shinkansen
  • Karuizawa
  • Shinano Railway – Shinano Railway Line
  • Karuizawa - Naka-Karuizawa - Shinano-Oiwake
  • Highway

  • Jōshin-etsu Expressway
  • Japan National Route 18
  • Japan National Route 146
  • International relations

  • Campos do Jordão, Brazil
  • Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
  • Local attractions

    At an elevation of 1,000 m (3,281 ft) and a temperate summer climate, Karuizawa is a popular year round resort offering many outdoor sport, hot spring and recreational activities. Convenient road and rail access from central Tokyo, has ensured Karuizawa's popularity as a location for second homes and resort hotels since the Meiji era. The town is known for its historic shopping street known as "Ginza dōri" or "Kyū-dō" (Ginza Street, or the Old Road) and association with both Japanese royalty and visitors such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Karuizawa hosted equestrian events in the 1964 Summer Olympics as well as curling in the 1998 Winter Olympics. To date, it is the only city in the world to have hosted both Summer and Winter Olympic events.

    Since 1997 Karuizawa has been accessible via the JR East Nagano Shinkansen. New high speed rail links has resulted in modest population growth and the development of large outlet style shopping malls.

    Noted residents

  • E. Herbert Norman (1909–1957), Canadian diplomat and historian
  • Endo Shusaku, novelist
  • Idei Nobuyuki, former Sony Chairman, CEO
  • References

    Karuizawa, Nagano Wikipedia