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August 27, 2005

Karuizawa - very cool

And I mean cool! It was 16 degrees on Thursday. And rainy. And foggy. I had hoped to go hiking (walking) for a little while, but the weather precluded that. I did walk around the place and buy a few things (jam, sausage), so it was not too bad.

Probably the biggest mistake I made was going on Thursday (rain in Tokyo) and not Friday (blindingly hot in Tokyo). Oh well, timing was never one of my strong points. The picture on the left is the view from Karuizawa Station. The one on the right is the entrance to the main shopping street.
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Karuizawa is one of the popular summer getaways from Tokyo. People have been heading to the mountains here for over one hundred years to escape the summer heat. The opening of the bullet train (shinkansen) and highway for the 1964 Olympics helped make it more accessible.

There is plenty to do (when it is not raining). Tennis, golf, hiking, and, of course, shopping. Most everything is on the northern side of the station, but there is an outlet mall on the south side that is impressively big. I did not take any pictures of that, but I did get a few shots in town - on the top left is an example of how international the stores are (sort of) and, on the right you can see the happiest store in Karuizawa. They sell honey there. Woo hoo. The bottom pictures are taken on the shopping street: a path to a shrine and the lack of crowds.
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It was a nice place to spend the day, but I would recommend you go when it is not raining. I was bored after a few hours. The train was nice, though.

Posted by Kirk on August 27, 2005 09:04 AM