Karuizawa, Nagano

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This article is about the town. For the adventure game, see Karuizawa Yūkai Annai.
Karuizawa
軽井沢町
Town
Flag of Karuizawa
Flag
Location of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture
Location of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture
Karuizawa is located in Japan
Karuizawa
Karuizawa
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 36°21′N 138°36′E / 36.350°N 138.600°E / 36.350; 138.600Coordinates: 36°21′N 138°36′E / 36.350°N 138.600°E / 36.350; 138.600
Country Japan
Region Chūbu
Kōshin'etsu
Prefecture Nagano Prefecture
District Kitasaku
Government
 • Mayor Susumu Fujimaki
Area
 • Total 156.05 km2 (60.25 sq mi)
Population (February 2016)
 • Total 19,769
 • Density 114/km2 (300/sq mi)
Symbols
 • Tree Kobushi magnolia
 • Flower Sakurasō (Primula sieboldii)
 • Bird Brown-headed thrush
 • Others Animal: Japanese squirrel
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City hall address 2381-1 Nagakura, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano-ken
389-0192
Website www.town.karuizawa.nagano.jp

Karuizawa (軽井沢町 Karuizawa-machi?) is a town in Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

As of February 2016, the town has an estimated population of 19,769 and has a total area of 156.05 square kilometres (60.25 sq mi).

At an elevation of 1,000 m (3,281 ft) and a temperate summer climate, Karuizawa is a popular year round resort offering many outdoor sport, hot spring and recreational activities. Convenient road and rail access from central Tokyo, has ensured Karuizawa's popularity as a location for second homes and resort hotels since the Meiji era. The town is known for its historic shopping street known as "Ginza dōri" or "Kyū-dō" (Ginza Street, or the Old Road) and association with both Japanese royalty and visitors such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono.[1] Karuizawa hosted equestrian events in the 1964 Summer Olympics as well as curling in the 1998 Winter Olympics. To date, it is the only city in the world to have hosted both Summer and Winter Olympic events.

Since 1997 Karuizawa has been accessible via the JR East Nagano Shinkansen. New high speed rail links has resulted in modest population growth and the development of large outlet style shopping malls.

Geography[edit]

Karuizawa town is located on an elevated plain at the foot of Mount Asama, one of Japan's most active volcanoes. The mountain is classed as a Category A active volcano. A small eruption was detected in June 2015, a more significant eruption spewing hot rocks and a plume of ash occurred in February 2015. Mt. Asama's most destructive eruption in recent recorded history took place in 1783, when over 1,000 were killed. The volcano is actively monitored by scientists and climbing close to the summit is prohibited.[2]

  • Usui Pass
  • Highest elevation: 2,568 metres (8,425 ft) (Top of Mount Asama)
  • Lowest elevation: 798.7 metres (2,620.4 ft)

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Karuizawa has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation is much heavier in the summer than in the winter.

Climate data for Karuizawa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.9
(35.4)
2.3
(36.1)
6.1
(43)
13.2
(55.8)
18.2
(64.8)
20.6
(69.1)
24.0
(75.2)
25.5
(77.9)
20.5
(68.9)
15.2
(59.4)
10.5
(50.9)
4.8
(40.6)
13.57
(56.43)
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.9
(25)
−3.6
(25.5)
−0.4
(31.3)
6.3
(43.3)
11.5
(52.7)
15.3
(59.5)
19.0
(66.2)
20.2
(68.4)
15.7
(60.3)
9.2
(48.6)
4.1
(39.4)
−1.1
(30)
7.69
(45.85)
Average low °C (°F) −9.5
(14.9)
−9.0
(15.8)
−6.0
(21.2)
−0.1
(31.8)
5.0
(41)
10.9
(51.6)
15.3
(59.5)
16.2
(61.2)
12.2
(54)
4.4
(39.9)
−1.2
(29.8)
−6.4
(20.5)
2.65
(36.77)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 29.9
(1.177)
43.0
(1.693)
59.6
(2.346)
84.2
(3.315)
108.8
(4.283)
187.4
(7.378)
184.1
(7.248)
159.3
(6.272)
173.3
(6.823)
107.7
(4.24)
50.7
(1.996)
23.3
(0.917)
1,211.3
(47.688)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 29
(11.4)
43
(16.9)
37
(14.6)
8
(3.1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
3
(1.2)
16
(6.3)
137
(53.9)
Average relative humidity (%) 74 75 73 72 74 84 87 86 88 83 77 74 78.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 169.6 156.3 183.0 175.1 191.4 126.4 126.5 158.0 107.7 134.9 149.6 165.2 1,843.7
Source: NOAA (1961–1990)[3]

Notable residents[edit]

History[edit]

  • Edo Period: Served as a post station town on Nakasendō, called Karuisawa-shuku at that time.
  • 1872: The village Usuitoge from Saku District, Nagano merged into the village of Karuizawa.
  • 1873: The town of Usuitoge broke off from the village of Karuizawa.
  • August 2, 1876: The villages of Kutsukake, Shiozawanitta, Karijuku, Narusawanitta, and Yui merged to form the village of Nagakura. The village of Hatsuji in Saku District absorbed the village of Matorikaya.
  • January 14, 1879: Kitasaku District Government enforced, and the town of Usuitoge, and the villages of Karuizawa, Nagakura, Oiwake belongs to Kitasaku District.
  • 1886: Canadian Anglican missionary Rev. Alexander Croft Shaw and Tokyo Imperial University English professor James Main Dixon introduced Karuizawa as a summer resort.
  • April 1, 1889: The city, town, and village status enforced. The town of Usuitoge, and the villages of Karuizawa, and the areas of the former villages of Kutsukake, Shiozawanitta, and Karijuku from the village of Nagakura merged to form the village of Higashinagakura in Kitasaku District, and the areas of the former villages of Narusawanitta and Yui in the village of Nagakura, and the villages of Hatsuji and Oiwake merged to form the village of Nishinagakura in Kitasaku District.
  • 1910s: Begins to attract the attention of other expatriates and Japanese.[4]
  • 1922: Gained town status. The village of Higashinagakura becomes the town of Karuizawa.
  • August 1, 1923: The village of Higashinagakura gains town status to become the town of Karuizawa. (The pre-town areas before gaining the town status is known as Kyu-Karuizawa.)
  • 1940s: Site of an internment camp for foreigners and diplomats during World War 2.
  • May 8, 1942: The village of Nishinagakura is merged into the town.
  • 1951: Selected as International Cultural and Tourism City.
  • February 1, 1957: The town absorbed Serizawa area from the former village of Goga, which was absorbed by the town of Miyota.
  • April 1, 1959: The Kajikazawa area of the former village of Oiwake was split off and merged with the town of Miyota.
  • 1964: 1964 Summer Olympics (Equestrian)
  • February 1972: Asama-Sanso incident Police besiege Left-Wing militants holed up in holiday resort after mass killing and hostage taking.
  • October 1, 1997: The Nagano Shinkansen opens, serving Karuizawa.
  • 1998: 1998 Winter Olympics (Curling)
  • 2004: Mount Asama erupts.

Economy[edit]

Hoshino Resorts has its headquarters in Karuizawa.[5]

International relations[edit]

Karuizawa is twinned with the following cities:

Education[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Karuizawa Station is located on the Nagano Shinkansen high-speed rail line, about 40 km from Takasaki Station and 150 km from Tokyo Station. The station is also served by the Shinano Railway Line which runs to Nagano City.

The Jōshin-etsu Expressway runs through the town, but the closest interchange is in neighboring Annaka, Gunma. Japan National Route 18 connects Karuizawa to Takasaki, Nagano and Joetsu.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Davis, Tony (8 May 2015). "Nakasendo walking trail leads to the heart of old Japan – and bear country". The Australian Financial Review. 
  2. ^ Demetriou, Danielle (16 June 2015). "Mount Asama volcano erupts near Tokyo". The Telegraph. 
  3. ^ "Karuizawa Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ Tohoku: The Scotland of Japan, p. 181
  5. ^ "Company Overview of Hoshino Resort Co., Ltd. (Archive). Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved on September 22, 2013. "2148, oazanagakura karuizawa-machi Kitasaku, 389-0111 Japan"

External links[edit]