Karuizawa is a place to escape the heat of Tokyo. In the late spring and early summer, before the crowds of August, it's a quiet retreat. The local hikes take me back to memories of Colorado (minus the evergreens). The town of Karuizawa is full of expensive restaurants, cheap clothing stores, many places to buy gifts of pickles or jam, and assorted places where you'll find a surprise (like the Monozukin gallery in the Church Street outdoor mall). There's also a big outlet center for shoppers -- oh, and wedding chapels. Karuizawa, founded (I'm told) by Christian missionaries has become the wedding chapel capital of Japan. This gallery of pictures is by no means comprehensive, but here's a slice of Karuizawa the way we experienced it during a few days in April.
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