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With temperatures reaching over 35 degrees Celsius in summer, Tokyo is notorious for being hot.
One popular destination to escape the heat is a town nestled in the mountains, about an hour northwest of Tokyo, called Karuizawa.
Karuizawa offers a number of tourist attractions and makes for an excellent day or weekend trip.
And is where we'll be going today.
My name is Raina Ong, staff writer for and today I'm on a day trip in Karuizawa.
Here's the plan.
We arrive in Karuizawa on the Hokuriku Shinkansen and take the bus straight to Shiraito no Taki.
After that, we take the bus back down into Kyu-Karuizawa where we will walk along the Ginza shopping street and have lunch in the vicinity.
Finally, we take the red retro bus from the shopping street to the Usui Pass Observation Platform to take in the views from 1200 meters above sea level and where we will end our day.
So follow along as I go on a day trip to Karuizawa,Tokyo's summer escape in the mountains.
It takes one hour by shinkansen to get from Tokyo to Karuizawa. The one-way trip costs around 5500 yen and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Tokyo Wide Pass.
It takes about 25 minutes to get from Karuizawa Station to Shiraito Waterfall by bus.
So, the green season right now is one of my favorite times to come here.
To breathe in the negative ions and to reset my senses.
It takes 20 minutes by bus to head down to Kyu-Karuizawa.
This is the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Shopping Street, one of the main attractions in Karuizawa.
Here you can find souvenirs, local products and pretty much anything you want.
This is mocha soft serve, one of the specialties along the shopping street.
For exciting times, make it mocha soft serve time.
I'm going to taste some honey that's made in Karuizawa.
Let's go with apple honey.
It tastes like apple, and honey!
You can find a wide variety of foods in Karuizawa, but today, I'm in the mood for something cheesy.
I got the cheese calzone for lunch.
I can't wait!
I could eat like ten of these.
We had a good lunch and now we're going to climb a mountain.
We're now going to the Usui Pass Observation Platform, and there are two ways we can get there.
One is via the hiking trail at the end of the street and the other, the simpler method, is to take the bus.
We are now at the Usui Pass Observation Platform, which stands at about 1200 meters above sea level, and allows you to be in two prefectures at the same time.
And that concludes our day trip to Karuizawa.
Thanks for joining me.
I hope this video has been enjoyable and perhaps even inspires some ideas, should you decide to plan a trip to Karuizawa.
For more information about Karuizawa or to watch another video, click the links on the screen now, or head over to, your comprehensive, up-to-date travel guide, first-hand from Japan.
Thanks for watching and be sure to subscribe for more videos about Japan.
Happy travels.
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Tokyo Summer Escape: Karuizawa Day Trip |

4860 Folder Collection
Nina published on July 23, 2019    Nina translated    Evangeline reviewed
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