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Karasawa cirque lies under Mount Oku-Hotaka(3,190m)in Hida Mountains or "Northern Japanese Alps". The diameter of the cirque is about 2,000m. The bottom of the cirque is 2,300m above sea level.So, the deference of the elevation is 900m.  The melted snow of the cirque forms River Azusa and go down to Kamikochi valley. Karasawa cirque is the center for mountaineering Mount Hotakadake, and filled with lots of colorful tents in summer. Large amount of snow remain in summer, and suitable for summer skiing. It is also famous for vivid color of autumn leaves. The altitude of the cirque floor is 2300m avobe sea level.
Geographist Tomoya Iozawa advocated two stages of Glacials in Japan through reading aerial photographs of Japanese Alps.That is Yokoo Glacial (60 thousand years ago) and Karasawa Glacial (20 thousand years ago).
There are two major mountain huts.
- Masaki Iwafune "Rock Avalanches Occurred in the Snow-melt Season at the Karasawa Cirque in Mt. Hotaka-dake, the Japanese Alps"Journal of Geography 105(2) 569-589 1996
- Shuji Iwata"Turning points in the Glacial Landform Study of the Japanese Alps 第四紀研究(The Quaternary Research)53(6)p. 275─296
- Ito ,Vorndran"Glacial Geornorphology and Snow-Lines of Younger Quaternary around the Yari-Hotaka Mountain Range, Northern Alps, Central Japan" Polarforschung 53 (1): 75-89, 1983