Autumn 2016: Karuizawa

Visit Date: 11/01/2016 (Best viewing Time: mid October to early November)

Karuizawa is a resort town situated at the foot of the active volcano, Mt. Asama in Nagano Prefecture. It just over an hour away from Tokyo by shinkansen. It offers different outdoor activities, scenic locations and various shopping and dinning opportunities.

Vibrant autumn colors envelop the town and excellent views around the Karuizawa Station welcome visitors.

Autumn2016_Karuizawa01Canvas of beautiful autumn colors on the mountains as seen from the Karuizawa Station.

Autumn2016_Karuizawa02Streets are lined with gorgeous colors.

Autumn2016_Karuizawa03View of Mt. Asama from the pond in the Yagasaki Park, just about 500 meters from the station.

The Kumoba Pond or otherwise called, Swan Lake, is one of the most popular autumn viewing spot in Karuizawa. This lovely small pond provides a lot of photo opportunities with stunning autumn hues reflected on the water. Visitors can circle the pathway around the pond in about 15-25 minutes.

autumn2016_karuizawa04Different shades of autumn surround the pond.

autumn2016_karuizawa05Blazing azalea shrubs surround the pathway around the pond.

autumn2016_karuizawa06Gorgeous hues reflected on the water.

autumn2016_karuizawa07Restaurant cafe within the pond where visitors can view the beautiful colors while relaxing.

autumn2016_karuizawa08The ducks are also having the time of their lives.

autumn2016_karuizawa09Photographer(s) at work.

autumn2016_karuizawa10Lovely autumn colors.

Karuizawa can easily be reached from Tokyo Station in about 70 minutes via the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen, alighting in Karuizawa Station. One-way journey costs ¥5,910 and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR East Pass.

However, non-Japanese residents can purchase the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, which costs ¥10,000, which is a discounted pass that provides 3-consecutive days of unlimited rides on JR trains in Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto area.

There are also highway buses that make five round trips per day between Tokyo’s Ikebukuro Station and Karuizawa Station. The one way journey takes three hours and costs 2,600 yen.