Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Shopping at Japan's Largest Outlet Mall Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza Then Traveling to Kusatsu Onsen

Going to Kusatsu Onsen from Karuizawa
About 50 minutes by bullet train from Tokyo Station,
Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture is a highland of vast nature.
Changing with the season,
Karuizawa is one of Japan's most popular healing destinations.

Take a direct bus for approximately 60 minutes from Karuizawa and you will reach the famous Kusatsu Onsen.
Kusatsu Onsen is one of the best hot springs in Japan.
Although it is a popular hot spring area, transportation is inconvenient, 
so it takes over 4 hours by bus from Shinjuku in Tokyo. 

Getting to Karuizawa
If you're using the JR Kanto Area Pass,
then it's a lot more convenient for you to come here directly!

What is JR Kanto Area Pass you ask?
It's a pass, obviously, 
for foreigners that allows you to travel within Tokyo and the Kanto Region.
You can ride the shinkansen (bullet train) and local trains as much as you want until the pass expires (3 days).
It is absolutely your good partners if you plan to travel most of the popular tourist attractions like Mount Fuji, Izu, and Karuizawa.

Adults (12 years and older)  10,000 yen (about $88)
Children (6 to 11 years old)  5000 yen ($44)

Karuizawa is also easily accessible by bus 
from most of the popular areas in Tokyo.
For example,
 Shinjuku West Exit (in front of the BIC CAMERA)
in front of Ikebukuro Station (Cross the road from the East Exit, in front of GU).

*You can buy the ticket at Seibu bus ticket center*


Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
There are 10 areas within Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza

More than 240 stores of premium brands, 
fashion, groceries, sporting goods, outdoor activities, etc. 

Below are the stores we stopped by this time.

Alice and Olivia
Alice and Olivia is a New York City-based clothing company
that is known for its contemporary designs.

At Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza, 
there is an Alice and Olivia store where you can get a closer look 
and try the clothes on.

Alice and Olivia
Floor Guide: NEW WEST  (NW-19)

 Outdoor Goods 
The North Face is an outdoors and sports brand that doesn't need much explanation.

Inside the store are North Face and Hanley Hansen brands, 
as well as sporting and mountaineering supplies, 
as well as casual wear.

The reason we recommend The North Face is because 
there are limited items available here in Japan.
All of which are available at reasonable prices.

Floor Guide: EAST (E-08・09)

Many people know the designer brand COACH one way or another.
In Japan, you can see MANY women with COACH bags and wallets.
We were curious what sort of stuff they sold
compared to America so we went to check it out.
For being an outlet store,
you would think that their stock would be limited
but that wasn't the case at all.
There is a good variety of men's, women's, and children's apparel
along with bags, wallets, keychains and more that you can touch!

Floor Guide: TREE MALL (TM-08)
-Dogs allowed inside if carried-


This restaurant specializes in food that uses local ingredients.

Sakuya Honten is a place where you can enjoy fresh and healthy food using ingredients from the Karuizawa area.
Some other local specialties are Karuizawa origional sake that is worth trying.

Floor Guide: GARDEN MALL
-Animals not allowed-

Mikado Coffee
At Mikado Coffee, you can find high-quality coffee beans from around the world. The coffee beans are roasted and prepared by professionals for the customers.  
Mikado Coffee uses the Japanese coffee culture and tries
to retain the aroma, body, flavor, and acidity of each coffee. 
A large variety of their beans have a tangy undertone, 
which they believe is the best taste you can get from the coffee beans.

 If you are not into coffee but would like something sweet, don't worry, 
you can still try their popular Mocha Ice Cream! 
It is so good!! 
(280 yen/cone)

 Mikado Coffee 
Floor Guide: CENTRAL MALL (CM-08)
☎ 0267-42-0549

 Nagano/Karuizawa Jam Store  
Sawaya's top 3 jams - strawberry, apple butter, and blueberry.
Karuizawa is known for its jam so much that 
people come out here just to a jar or to.
You can find more than 50 flavors of fruit jam at Sawaya. 
It's super important to mention that all the yummy jam here
are free from artificial ingredients! 

Select from the all-time favorite strawberries, blueberries, oranges,
to the not so common plums and kiwi!

You can try the fruit jam with the bite-size biscuits at the shop! 
All are original handmade original jams
that is 100% made from fruit produced in Nagano.

So if you're looking for a souvenir that is specific and special to Karuizawa
we recommend stopping by Sawaya.
Even if you don't buy anything,

just looking around at the unique flavors is interesting.

Floor Guide: Souvenir Court (SC-08)


Going to Kusatsu Onsen
from Karuizawa Station
After shopping and whatnot,
we took a bus from Karuizawa to Kusatsu Onsen. 
If you go to the bus stop on the other side of Karuizawa Station, 
you can take a bus directly to Kusatsu Onsen.

Bus to Kusatsu Onsen is available at Karuizawa Station No.2 bus stop!

🚌Kusatsu Express Bus (草津交通バス)
One way 2,200 yen

Kusatsu Onsen
 Kusatsu Onsen is a small town nestled in mountains where visitors can experience nature all year round.
Kusatsu Onsen boasts the largest flowing water volume of all hot springs in Japan.
Click here to learn more about the natural spring water of Kusatsu Onsen, which is one of Japan's most acidic, kills almost all bacteria and microorganisms and has superior antibacterial power.

Lowering the temperature of the water

Many people come to Kusatsu Onsen to see a traditional service called jikan-yu. The hot springs are said to be about 65℃ (149℉), which is, of course, way too hot to take a bath in. 
So in order to make it bearable, they stir the hot springs water with long planks 
to cool it to roughly 48℃ (118℉).
This act of stirring the water is called "yumomi."

This method of lowering the water temperature also serves as an important pre-bathing exercise. In addition, breathing steam into the body also has therapeutic effects. Everyone sings a special song at this time, which further stimulates deep breathing, adding to the absorption of steam and healing effects yumomi.

Takamatsu Onsen
Despite being one of Japan's hot springs spots Kusatsu, 
you will not be able to take a bath and relax.
There are however about 130 hot spring ryokans and hotels in the Kusatsu area.

For reference, most hot springs in Japan refuse those with a tattoo, 
but the Japanese Inn (ryokan) Takamatsu says if a foreigner wants to enjoy their hot springs and has tattoos they can!
So if you have tattoos and want to relax in Japanese hot springs, 
we recommend staying at Takamatsu!!

Kusatsu Hot Spring Hotel Takamatsu
(喜びの宿 高松)
🏢312 Kusatsu, Agatsuma District, Gunma
Google Maps
💻 Official Website (English)


Visiting Karuizawa
Shopping at Japan's Most Popular Resorts

Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
🏢KARUIZAWA PRINCE SHOPPING PLAZA Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagono 〒389-0102 (←zip code)
⏰ Shops, Food Court, Restaurant, Cafe: 10:00~7:00
Karuizawa Aji no Machi: 11:00~22:00
TULLY'S COFFEE: 9:30~19:30
(※changes depending on season)
💳VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club, and Union Pay credit cards are accepted

🏨 For more info on Karuizawa? 🏨


No comments:

Post a Comment