Best Places to Stay in Karuizawa
Popular with Tokyoites, the more wealthy of whom often have second homes in the area, Karuizawa is one of Japan’s most famous resort towns and offers visitors some of Nagano’s best accommodation. On this page you will find the following information:
Only 70 minutes from Tokyo or 30 minutes from Nagano using the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Karuizawa is one of Japan’s oldest and most famous mountain resort towns. Sitting around 1000 metres above sea level, Karuizawa enjoys a notably cooler climate than the capital and as such, has offers escape from the heat and humidity of summer. Known for its shopping, dining and outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, golf and skiing and snowboarding in winter, Karuizawa is an all-year-round destination – a little taste of Tokyo in the mountains.
30 Things to Do Around Karuizawa & Where to Stay
Only 70-minutes from Tokyo using the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Karuizawa is one …
This page is intended to be read in conjunction with our ’30 Things to Do Around Karuizawa’ page. We hope that both pages inspire you to visit Karuizawa and are of assistance in finding the right accommodation for you.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN & AROUND KARUIZAWA
Karuizawa boasts an excellent range of accommodation options including many high-end hotels, guesthouses and self-contained apartments and lodges. In this section we provide information about accommodation in the following areas:
Most visitors arrive at Karuizawa Station using the Hokuriku Shinkansen, making the area around the station a convenient base. Alternatively, the area around Naka-Karuizawa Station also has some excellent accommodation options and attractions but it’s worth noting the shinkansen does not service that station:
KARUIZAWA STATION AREA
Most international visitors heading to and from Karuizawa will do so via the station, making it convenient to stay nearby. The area around the station – and effectively Karuizawa itself – can be divided into southern and northern areas. To the south of the station, Prince Shopping Plaza is immediately accessible while Karuizawa Prince Hotel Snow Resort is around five minutes drive. The Prince group operates multiple hotels and villas in this area catering to the high-end market. A little further to the south you will also find some independent guesthouses but it’s important to note that as you move further to the south you will be moving away from the town’s main attractions. To the immediate north of the station there are a good number of hotels including APA Karuizawa – a good option for those wanting immediate access to the station. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Karuizawa: Karuizawa Station Area’ hotel page.
OLD GINZA / KYUKARUIZAWA AREA
The Old Ginza / Kyukaruizawa area of Karuizawa is located to the north of the station, within 10 to 15-minutes walk depending on where you are headed. In this area you will find many smaller hotels and guesthouses including several high-end ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouses). As the name suggests, this is the original heart of Karuizawa town; a quainter shopping and dining precinct than the modern Prince Shopping Plaza to the south. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Karuizawa: Old Ginza / Kyukaruizawa Area’ hotel page.
NAKA-KARUIZAWA STATION AREA
Lying 4KM to the west of Karuizawa Station, Naka-Karuizawa Station is surrounded by small hotels, guesthouses and villas. Hoshino Resorts BEB Karuizawa is located in this area – around 1.5KM from Naka-Karuizawa Station – with Harunire Terrace and Hoshinoya Karuizawa sitting just a little further to the north. In the surrounding area, you will find some excellent restaurants and cafes with many wealth Japanese also having second homes nearby. If you are planning to stay in this area it’s important to note that the Hokuriku Shinkansen does not service Naka-Karuizawa Station. Upon arrival at Karuizawa Station you will either need to switch to the local Shinano Tetsudo line – a journey that takes only 4-minutes – take a taxi or walk. Unless you are travelling with only small luggage and the weather is good, we don’t recommend walking as it’ll probably take longer than you think. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Karuizawa: Naka-Karuizawa Station Area’ hotel page.
KUSATSU ONSEN AREA
Kusatsu Onsen is one of Japan’s most famous hot spring towns – located around 70 to 80 minutes drive to the north of Karuizawa Station. There’s no shortage of accommodation options in Kusatsu Onsen, with most hotels and guesthouses concentrated around the iconic ‘yubatake’ which feeds the hot springs of accommodation throughout town. There’s a large range of accommodation including high-end ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouses), large hotels along with mid-range and budget options. Given the fame of the town and its hot springs, accommodation can book-out well in advance on weekends and holidays so if you you’re your eye on a specific hotel or guesthouse, make sure to lock-in that booking early. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Kusatsu Onsen Area’ hotel page.
MANZA ONSEN AREA
Manza Onsen is a notably smaller hot spring town nestled within Joshinetsu Kogen National Park – also located around 70 to 80 minutes from Karuizawa. Hotels and guesthouses are dotted across a dramatic yet beautiful alpine landscape with walking trails spanning-out into the national park. Drawing its water from nearby Mount Shirane, the water of Manza Onsen is known for its brightly-coloured, acidic and sulfuric character. While it won’t be for everyone, the town is popular with many visitors who seek-out its water, said to improve blood circulations and metabolism. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Manza Onsen Area’ hotel page.
30 BEST THINGS TO DO IN & AROUND KARUIZAWA
Karuizawa is one of Japan’s most famous resort towns offering lots of reasons to visit. Within easy reach of Tokyo, both Japanese and international visitors flock to Karuizawa to enjoy its cool alpine climate, shopping, restaurants, museum, galleries and array of great accommodation. Sitting on the boundary of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, visitors headed to Karuizawa can also enjoy nearby destinations including Mount Asama, Mount Kusatsu-Shirane and multiple hot spring towns including Kusatsu Onsen. For lots of great tips and suggestions of what to do and where to stay, see our ’30 Things t Do Around Karuizawa & Where to Stay’ page.
HOW TO GET TO KARUIZAWA
As a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa, Karuizawa is easy to reach from the capital, nearby Nagano and beyond. Our ‘How To Get To Karuizawa’ page explains how to make the journey from those and many other popular starting points.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Central Japan offers many, many reasons to visit. Operating all year round, we are Nagano’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator, offering a range of services including group tours, private tours and charters. We can arrange travel packages including accommodation and transport – with a private vehicle and driver – along with group and private tours and other services in Karuizawa and Central Japan.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of your adventure in Central Japan and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2022 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
Got a question about visiting Karuizawa? Contact us and let’s get planning together!