We wanted to go to Hakuba for a long snowboarding weekend but didn't manage to get a room at our favorite hotel: la neige Higashikan, so we decided to go to Karuizawa. Karuizawa is not well known for being a ski resort but rather a summer getaway to get a bit of fresh air and to avoid Tokyo heat. It's therefore known for being a classy place for the Tokyo well off to have a country house. We really love the forest in Karuizawa and we once considered buying there before we found our house in Ohara. Karuizawa in winter is not a crowded place, most of the villas are closed during the winter, a lot of shops, museums and restaurants too. But the principal was there. There is a little ski resort with enough tracks to spend a whole day having fun there, and it's steep enough for a few shirt black tracks. The view of Mount Asama, a nice smoking volcano, is really nice from the top of the resort.
There are tons of nice hotels to stay at. We tried the newly refurbished Kyu Karuizawa Hotel and were not disappointed. And since there are some hiking courses in the area we went snowshoeing too, which is also something I really like to do, and I found missing in Hakuba (only found guided tours). I also like very much visiting the old Nakasando-中山道 area of Oiwake with some nice old houses along the path.
Eating in Karuizawa is also nice, there are plenty of local nice products, one being ham and cured pork meat. Miso is also great and I bought a few. I can't wait to try it!
And if outdoor is not your cup if tea or the weather is not good, there are a few art museums to visit around.
So it was a great outdoor time, with little use of connected devices; I have muscles ache and this time I know it's not because of work and stress and it feels really good!!!