Forest Bathing in Japan – Karuizawa

The beautiful town of Karuizawa offers a long list of amazing places to explore and exciting things to do. From cultural attractions and historical monuments to natural sceneries, there is so much begging to be discovered. Karuizawa particularly comes to life in the summer. The atmosphere is serene with beautiful bamboo pathways that meander through a towering lush green forest of trees to complete a magical scene for visitors. If you have never been to this beautiful summer hotspot before, the following is what you should know about Karuizawa.

Planted on the foot of Mt. Asama, the resort town of Karuizawa provides the perfect destination to get away from the scorching heat and high humidity of a Tokyo summer. Its proximity to the mountain ensures that temperatures are cool, with average highs of around 25 degrees and lows of 15 degrees; making it the ideal vacation spot. Discovering this peaceful and relaxing town is as easy as renting a bike to take you to all the amazing places.

One of the most interesting experiences you’ll find near Karuizawa is Kumoba Pond. This natural attraction is surrounded by a wealth of green vegetation, with a paved trail that allows you to explore the exciting nature around you. The pond is picture-perfect throughout the year and the colorful greenery reflecting in the clear blue water increases the charm of the whole area. Get to indulge in a refreshing cup of coffee as you get a taste of forest bathing, the Japanese way.

Another place to visit is the Karuizawa Kogen Church. Surrounded by majestic greenery, this historical monument is one of the most visited places in the town. Karuizawa Kogen Church didn’t start out as a church originally! In 1921, Uchimura Kanzo, a Christian evangelist turned a small lecture hall into a site of learning and enjoyment. Many scholars gathered here with the passion to share their thoughts about arts and literature. However, after the Second World War, the lecture hall was renamed Karuizawa Kogen Church. Nowadays, it not only serves as the only place of worship but also a place where weddings and concerts are held. Located close to the church are the Wild Bird Sanctuary and Hoshino Hot Springs.

The Stone’s Church Uchimaro Kanzo Memorial Hall is another one-of-a-kind place you want to visit while in Karuizawa. Built by Kendrick Kellog, an American architect, the church features an amazing structure that uses stones and other natural elements in an intricate and sophisticated way. The round stones used for its construction gives it a medieval look even though it was built just a few decades ago. The Stone Church is a popular venue for Japanese weddings and serves as one of the popular attractions among tourists.

Your vacation in Karuizawa won’t be complete without visiting the Harunire Terrace. This modern shopping hub comprises a number of restaurants and stores with interested souvenirs to buy. Wooden terraces nestled in a forested surrounding make it quite an amazing point of interest. You can’t leave out the varied culinary offerings that will pamper of your taste buds and give you a chance to savor the local delicacies. The outdoor sitting areas provided by the majority of the cafes ensure that you enjoy your favorite meal in the heart of nature.

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