Karuizawa: Getting there and around
How to get to Karuizawa
By train from Tokyo
Karuizawa can be reached from Tokyo in 65-80 minutes by the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way journey costs about 5,500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, JR Tokyo Wide Pass and several other JR passes. At 10,180 yen, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, in particular, already pays off for a round trip.
By bus from Tokyo
Highway buses make five round trips per day between Tokyo's Ikebukuro Station and Karuizawa Station. The one way journey takes three hours and costs 2700 yen. Online reservations can be made through Japan Bus Online.
By bus from Kusatsu Onsen
There are 4-7 round trips per day between Karuizawa and Kusatsu Onsen, stopping at the Shiraito Waterfall along the way. The one way journey takes about 80 minutes and costs 2240 yen.
By train from Nagano
Karuizawa can be reached from Nagano in 35 minutes by the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen. The one way journey costs about 3500 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Alternatively, the one way trip by Shinano Railways takes 90-100 minutes, but cost only 1670 yen. There are one or two departures hourly and most require a change of trains at Komoro Station. JR passes are not valid on the Shinano Railways.
By bus from Kansai
Multiple companies operate overnight buses between Osaka, Kyoto and Karuizawa. The one way ride takes eight hours and costs around 9500 yen.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.
The primary transportation hub of Karuizawa is Karuizawa Station, which is served by the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen, Shinano Railways, local buses and highway buses. While some of the town's sights can be reached on foot from the station, others are distributed quite far across a relatively wide area and are best reached by bus, taxi, rental car or bicycle. A secondary transport hub is Naka-Karuizawa Station, one station west of Karuizawa Station by the Shinano Railways.
The local bus network is operated by two companies, Kusakaru Kotsu and Seibu, and connects Karuizawa Station to the various attractions around town and beyond:
The most important lines are the hourly buses by Kusakaru Kotsu from Karuizawa Station via the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza (160 yen, 5 minutes), the former Mikasa Hotel (270 yen, 10 minutes) and the Shiraito Waterfall (720 yen, 25 minutes) in direction of Kusatsu Onsen and by Seibu from Karuizawa Station via the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza (150 yen, 5 minutes) to Naka-Karuizawa (290 yen, 15 minutes). While many of the Seibu buses terminate at Karuizawa Eigyosho, a few of them continue to the Onioshidashi Park (1230 yen, 35 minutes) and further to Manza Onsen.
In addition, there are a few loop bus lines that connect the stations with several attractions around town as well as a shuttle bus between Karuizawa Station and the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza. The Karuizawa Free Pass allows unlimited rides on the above-mentioned buses (but not beyond Onioshidashi bus stop) plus rides on the Shinano Railways between Karuizawa Station and Komoro Station. A 1-day pass costs 2500 yen while a 2-day pass is available for 3600 yen.
Karuizawa is also suitable for exploration by bicycle. Many rental shops can be found close to Karuizawa Station and the Karuizawa Ginza area. Rental fees are around 500 yen per hour or around 1000 yen day, while electric bicycles are avaiable for a little bit more. Another alternative is to travel by rental car. Rental car outlets can be found around Karuizawa Station.
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Links and Resources
Hotels around Karuizawa
B&B Hotel HyochoanOpened in August 2012, B&B Hotel Hyochoan offers simple Western-style accommodations. Free in-room WiFi is available and guests can enjoy bird watching from the propertyüfs terrace. JR Karuizawa Station is a 15-minute drive away. The air-conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen TV with Apple TV, Hulu and Netflix, an iPod docking system and an electric kettle with green tea bags. Japanese Yukata robes are provided for all guests and the en suite bathroom comes with a bathtub. A washing machine can be used free of charge during specific hours, upon request, and free private parking is on site. Luggage storage is provided at the front desk. A free shuttle is available from JR Karuizawa Station, if requested in advance. The property is handicap-accessible. Japanese and Western homemade meals are available at Caf? Hyochoan. Guests can soak in the Hoshino Hot Spring just 3-minutes away via car or visit the famous Shiraito Falls with a 7-minute drive. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza and Lake Kumoba can both be reached with a 15-minute drive.View on Booking.com
Hotel WelliesSituated along a peaceful tree-lined street in Karuizawa, Hotel Wellies offers a British country hotel experience in the highland resort area. There is an English style garden with a lawn and gazebo and it comes with an English-language library, homemade British meals and spacious guest rooms that went through renovations every year since opening from 2013 to 2016. Free WiFi is available at public areas and all guest rooms. The whole hotel is non-smoking inside and all guest rooms include a 32-inch flat screen TV and a fridge. A hairdryer and toiletries are included in the en suite bathroom. All rooms has views of surrounding greenery, and some rooms feature great views of Mount Asama. Guests at Wellies Hotel can leave their luggage and ski/golf equipment at the property, or use a safety deposit box. Free parking and bicycle hire are available. The property's signature dish is a hearty, hot full English breakfast with homemade sausages, home-cured bacon and black pudding (included in the room rate). A 4-course meal, including authentic dishes such as fish & chips, beef stew, Yorkshire pudding and home smoked salmon is also available at a surcharge. Property staff are able to recommend local restaurants to guests who wish to eat out. The on-site bar offers local and imported beers, wines, cocktails and spirits, including many Scotch whiskies. A welcome tea is served to guests arriving before 18:00. Both Karuizawa Shinkansen (bullet train) Station, an outlet shopping mall, the Prince Ski Resort, Shiozawa Lake and the Kyu-Karuizawa area are all approximately a 10-minute drive from the property, while Naka-Karuizawa Station on the Shinano Line is a 3-minute drive. The Hoshino area with hot spring baths, the Sezon Museum of Modern Art, Harunire Terrace and Karuizawa Stone Church are a 5-minute drive away. The Yu River and local temples and shrines can also be reached within a 5-minute walk.View on Booking.com
Koya BackpackersOffering views of the mountain, Koya Backpackers is located in Karuizawa, 5 km from Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms have a shared bathroom. Koya Backpackers features free WiFi throughout the property. You will find a shared kitchen with complimentary coffee and tea. The guest house also offers bike hire. Harunire Terrace is 500 metres from Koya Backpackers, while Yacho No Mori wildlife conservation park is a 10-minute walk away.View on Booking.com
Hotel Indigo KaruizawaSituated within éR km of JR Karuizawa Station, , Hotel Indigo Karuizawa in Karuizawa has a number of amenities including a restaurant, a fitness centre and a public bath. This 4-star hotel features a 24-hour front desk and room service. Guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a coffee machine. Complete with a private bathroom fitted with a hot tub and slippers, all rooms at Hotel Indigo Karuizawa have a flat-screen TV and air conditioning, and some rooms have a seating area. The rooms have a safety deposit box. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is 2 km from the hotel, while Karuizawa Oga Hall is 2.6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 66 km from Hotel Indigo Karuizawa.View on Booking.com
Bellscabin GuesthouseSituated around a 15-minute stroll away, or 900 metres from Naka-Karuizawa Station, the completely non-smoking Bellscabin Guesthouse provides cosy rooms in bold colours and free WiFi throughout. Skiing and summer outdoor activities can be found nearby. Looking out on the natural surroundings, rooms at Cafe & Guesthouse Bellscabin are air-conditioned. Bed linen is provided. Showers and toilets are shared with the other guests. The shared bath is open 24/7. Karuizawa Prince Ski Resort and Kyu Karuizawa Golf Club are both about a 15-minute drive away. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is 4 km away. Parking is free, and bicycles and cars can be hired on site. Tonbu-no-yu hot-spring bath and Ishino Church are both a 20-minute walk away. There are hiking opportunities in the area. A free-use internet PC is provided. A Western breakfast is served daily from 07:30-09:00 at the property's cafe.View on Booking.com
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by HiltonLocated in Karuizawa, Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton is situated a 6-minute walk from Kyu Karuizawa Ginza Dori shopping street. Complimentary shuttle service is available to/from JR Karuizawa Station, 1.2 km from the property. Featuring a local artwork, the contemporary rooms come with a 50-inch flat-screen TV and Nespresso Coffee Machine. The private bathroom includes Maison Margiela bath amenities. Selected rooms feature a patio or balcony with courtyard views. The property offers private parking on site. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is a 6-minute drive from the property. Haneda International Airport is 2-hour by train from the property, while Narita International Airport is a 2-hour train ride away.View on Booking.com
Le Grand Karuizawa Hotel and ResortOpen from August 2018, featuring Mount Asama views and a single-star Michelin restaurant, Le Grand Karuizawa Hotel and Resort is located in Karuizawa. The resort is fitted with garden, bar, fitness and spa facilities including a hot spring bath. Each air-conditioned room is equipped with a private bathroom. Free WiFi is available throughout the resort. Karuizawa Station is 7.3 km away. At the resort each room has a desk and a TV. A buffet breakfast is available daily at Le Grand Karuizawa Hotel and Resort. The onsite restaurant features fine cuisine using local ingredients. Speaking English and Japanese at the 24-hour front desk, staff are ready to help around the clock. Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza is 7 km from the accommodation, while Karuizawa Lake Garden is 1.6 km away. The nearest airport is Matsumoto, 90 km from Le Grand Karuizawa Hotel and Resort, and the property offers a free shuttle service.View on Booking.com
Le Grand Kyu KaruizawaOpen in July 2016, Le Grand Kyu Karuizawa is situated a 15-minute walk from Karuizawa Station. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. There is free private parking on site. Guest rooms feature classic decor and amenities. All rooms come equipped with a Simmons bed. Restaurant Arpeggio offers continental cuisine prepared by combining elements of Japanese-style and Italian-style cuisines. Seasonal dishes served at this restaurant are complimented by fresh produce acquired from contract farms in the Shinano highlands. Guests can also enjoy a drink at Bar Burgundy, or unwind at the cafe with a terrace facing the street. The open-air bath on site boasts star views at night and forest views during the day. The hotel offers bike hire for exploring the area. Karuizawa Shopping Plaza is a 6-minute drive away, while Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza is a 6-minute walk from the hotel.View on Booking.com
Twin-Line Hotel Karuizawa JapanFeaturing a restaurant and a bar, Twin-Line Hotel Karuizawa Japan is situated in Karuizawa, 700 metres from Karuizawa Station and 17 km from Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park. Located around 1.9 km from Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza, the hotel with free WiFi is also 600 metres away from Karuizawa Oga Hall. The property is less than 1 km from Kyukaruizawa Ginza and a 12-minute walk from Kumoba Pond. At the hotel, each room is fitted with a desk and a TV. The private bathroom is equipped with a bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A ? la carte breakfast is served every morning at the property, while Spanish cuisine is available. Staff speak English and Japanese at the reception. Yukawa Furusato Park is 5 km from Twin-Line Hotel Karuizawa Japan. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 89 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
HOTEL KARUIZAWA CROSSHOTEL KARUIZAWA CROSS has a garden, shared lounge, a restaurant and bar in Karuizawa. With free WiFi, this 3-star hotel offers a ski pass sales point and a concierge service. Some units at the property feature a terrace with a city view. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At HOTEL KARUIZAWA CROSS all rooms have bed linen and towels. An American breakfast is available every morning at the accommodation. Guests at HOTEL KARUIZAWA CROSS will be able to enjoy activities in and around Karuizawa, like hiking, skiing and cycling. Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park is 18 km from the hotel, while Honmachi Machiyakan is 22 km from the property. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 87 km from HOTEL KARUIZAWA CROSS.View on Booking.com