This trendy main street in Karuizawa’s old town once hosted merchants traveling between the capitals of Kyoto and Edo, old Tokyo. Today, it’s a popular area where you can escape the baking Tokyo heat, enjoying Karuizawa’s breezy higher elevation.
Kyu-Karuizawa is easily accessible by train.
From Tokyo, head to Karuizawa Station via the Hokuriku Shinkansen, about 75 minutes. The street is 20 minutes walk north of Karuizawa Station. There are loop buses from the station operated by Kusakaru Kotsu which get you there in about 5 minutes, or you can rent a bicycle just outside the station.
The historic heart of Karuizawa plays host to a unique side of Japan, where the rustic and the fashionable combine. Usually bustling with vacationing Tokyoites, it’s lined with enough boutiques, cafes, and restaurants to keep you busy for days.
The cosmopolitan streetscape has eateries ranging from traditional Japanese to French, Nepalese, and Iranian. For beer lovers, keep a lookout for Yona Yona Ale, brewed on the outskirts of town. Looking for a gift to take home? Grab some handmade jams made with locally grown fruits.