Thursday, February 2, 2012

Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan and Tombo no Yu Onsen

I took my first trip outside of Tokyo since moving to Japan. Karuizawa is a resort town about a 90 minutes from Tokyo, with skiing in the winter and is a place to escape the Tokyo heat in summer.

I stayed at the Tokyo Prince Karuizawa, which they call the flagship of the Prince hotel family. It large and nice resort with its own Ski lift, golf course, hot springs, and outlet mall. And they rent bikes. As a team building exercise, my colleagues and I road tandems to lunch, but we got lost.

The outlet mall is the nicest one I've ever seen, with Japanese and internal brands and some cool shops like Tommorowland, Beams, Ships, and Margaret Howell. The building below is a food court.
From Karuizawa Station you can take a free bus to the Tombo nu Yu area. There is a small shopping area with very nice cafes and outside, riverside seating.

I recommend Maruyama Coffee, which has good coffee and a relaxing seating area witch couches, which can be hard to find in Japan.
A short walk along the river will take you to Hoshinoya Onsen. Its a very nice modern structure with
an outside bath in the woods.

They also have a hotel that looks amazing (and expensive). This picture from really captures how nice the area is.

There are many other attractions in the area that I didn't get a chance to see and I will come back again.

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