Karuizawa, Nagano

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Karuizawa
軽井沢町
Street in Karuizawa.jpg
Typical scenery of Karuizawa
Flag of Karuizawa, Nagano.svg
Emblem of Karuizawa, Nagano.svg
Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture Ja.svg
Location of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture
Japan location map with side map of the Ryukyu Islands.svg
Red pog.svg
Karuizawa
 
Coordinates: 36°20′54.5″N138°35′49.3″E / 36.348472°N 138.597028°E / 36.348472; 138.597028 Coordinates: 36°20′54.5″N138°35′49.3″E / 36.348472°N 138.597028°E / 36.348472; 138.597028
Country Japan
Region Chūbu (Kōshin'etsu)
Prefecture Nagano
District Kitasaku
Area
  Total156.03 km2 (60.24 sq mi)
Population
 (October 2016)
  Total20,323
  Density130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
Symbols 
• Tree Magnolia kobus
• FlowerSakurasō ( Primula sieboldii )
• Bird Brown-headed thrush
Phone number0267-45-8111
Address2381-1 Nagakura, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano-ken 389-0192
Website Official website
Karuizawa Town Hall Karuizawa town office.JPG
Karuizawa Town Hall

Karuizawa (軽井沢町, Karuizawa-machi) is a refreshing town located in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 October 2016, the town had an estimated population of 20,323 in 9897 households, [1] and a population density of 130 persons per km². The total area of the town is 156.03 square kilometres (60.24 sq mi). Karuizawa is a popular summer resort area for the residents of Tokyo.[ citation needed ]

Contents

Geography

Karuizawa is located in eastern Nagano Prefecture, bordered by Gunma Prefecture to the north, east and south. The 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]

Surrounding municipalities

Demographics

Per Japanese census data, [3] the population of Karuizawa has been increasing over the past 50 years.

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1940 8,746    
1950 13,676+56.4%
1960 13,299−2.8%
1970 13,373+0.6%
1980 14,195+6.1%
1990 15,464+8.9%
2000 16,181+4.6%
2010 19,023+17.6%

History

From Hiroshige's series Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido (1834-1842), view 19 and station 18 at Karuisawa. Hiroshige Travellers lighting their pipes by a fire.jpg
From Hiroshige's series Sixty-nine Stations of the Kisokaido (1834-1842), view 19 and station 18 at Karuisawa.
Alexander Croft Shaw Alexander Croft Shaw.jpg
Alexander Croft Shaw
Karuizawa Union Church, before 1945 Karuizawa Union Church 2.jpg
Karuizawa Union Church, before 1945
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza (Main Street), 1934 Kyu-Karuizawa Main Street, Vintage Photos.jpg
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza (Main Street), 1934
Karuizawa Foreigner's Cemetery Karuizawa Foreigners Cemetery 1.jpg
Karuizawa Foreigner’s Cemetery

The area of present-day Karuizawa was part of ancient Shinano Province, and developed as Karuisawa-shuku, a post station on the Nakasendō highway connecting Edo with Kyoto during the Edo period.

Economy

Hoshino Resorts is headquartered in Karuizawa. [5]

Education

Karuizawa has three public elementary school and one public middle school operated by the town government, and one public high school is operated by the Nagano Prefectural Board of Education. The UWC ISAK Japan international school is also located in the town.

Transportation

Railway

Highway

International relations

Local attractions

Mt.Asama Mt.asama.karuizawa.jpg
Mt.Asama
Kumoba Pond 160729 Kumoba-ike Karuizawa Japan05s3.jpg
Kumoba Pond
Shaw Memorial Church Qing Jing Ze shiyoJi Nian Li Bai Tang Zheng Mian .jpg
Shaw Memorial Church
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Old Karuizawa ginza04s3200.jpg
Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza
Mikasa Street Mikasa-Dori2.jpg
Mikasa Street

with its comparatively cool summer weather, its cold refreshing nights, its heavy air-clearing showers, its southern aspect, and its position close to some of the most picturesque mountain scenery of Japan, Karuizawa leaves little to be desired as a summer retreat.

Cargill Gilston Knott, "Notes on the Summer Climate of Karuizawa", 1891 [7]

And now I am writing in the most lovely study in the world. Over my head the pine branches meet in arches of kindly green ; […] underfoot a lundred layers of pine needles have been weaving a carpet so elastic that the weariest foot must press it lightly ; and, lest I should want for music, a stream, deep-running between hedges of wild clematis and white hydrangea and crowding wistaria tangle, sings a cool tune near by, while the hum of happy insects in the air sounds the high note of noon, the hot Eastern noon, when every bird is still.

Mary Crawford Fraser, "A Diplomatist's Wife in Japan: Letters from Home to Home", 1899 [8]

while quite recently even Japanese gentlemen of high degree have begun to build houses and introduce their families. As in so many other cases, the world followed the lead of the missionaries. Foreigners are now the raison d’étre of Karuizawa, and no echo of Feudalism haunts the hills.

Ernest Foxwell, "A Tale of Karuizawa", 1903 [9]

the most popular summer resort in the whole of the Far East […] .

Arthur Lloyd, "Every-day Japan", 1909 [10]

Summers in Karuizawa were not just a break in the year but seemed a whole lifetime in themselves. I have far more memories of the minutiae of life there than I do of the much longer periods of time spent in Tokyo.

Edwin O. Reischauer, "My Life Between Japan and America", 1986 [11]

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. [12] Karuizawa hosted equestrian events in the 1964 Summer Olympics as well as curling in the 1998 Winter Olympics.

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.

Notable residents

Climate

Karuizawa has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature in Karuizawa is 8.0 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1352 mm with September as the wettest month. The temperatures are highest on average in August, at around 20.9 °C, and lowest in January, at around -4.2 °C. [13] Precipitation is much heavier in the summer than in the winter.

Climate data for Karuizawa
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)1.9
(35.4)
2.3
(36.1)
6.1
(43.0)
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)
13.6
(56.4)
Daily mean °C (°F)−3.9
(25.0)
−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
(30.0)
7.7
(45.9)
Average low °C (°F)−9.5
(14.9)
−9.0
(15.8)
−6.0
(21.2)
−0.1
(31.8)
5.0
(41.0)
10.9
(51.6)
15.3
(59.5)
16.2
(61.2)
12.2
(54.0)
4.4
(39.9)
−1.2
(29.8)
−6.4
(20.5)
2.7
(36.8)
Average precipitation mm (inches)29.9
(1.18)
43.0
(1.69)
59.6
(2.35)
84.2
(3.31)
108.8
(4.28)
187.4
(7.38)
184.1
(7.25)
159.3
(6.27)
173.3
(6.82)
107.7
(4.24)
50.7
(2.00)
23.3
(0.92)
1,211.3
(47.69)
Average snowfall cm (inches)29
(11)
43
(17)
37
(15)
8
(3.1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
3
(1.2)
16
(6.3)
137
(54)
Average relative humidity (%)74757372748487868883777479
Mean monthly sunshine hours 169.6156.3183.0175.1191.4126.4126.5158.0107.7134.9149.6165.21,843.7
Source: NOAA (1961–1990) [14]

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References

  1. Karuizawa Town official statistics (in Japanese)
  2. Demetriou, Danielle (16 June 2015). "Mount Asama volcano erupts near Tokyo". The Telegraph.
  3. Karuizawa population statistics
  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"
  6. 1 2 "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Archived from the original on 2 January 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  7. Cargill Gilston Knott, “On the Summer Climate of Karuizawa”, Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, Vol. XIX, Ginza: Hakubunsha, 1891, p.574
  8. Mrs. Hugh Fraser, A Diplomatist's Wife in Japan: Letters from Home to Home, Vol. II, London: Hazell, Watson and Viney, 1899, p.53
  9. Ernest Foxwell, A Tale of Karuizawa, The Living Age, Vol. 236, Boston : Living Age Company, 1903, p.107
  10. Arthur Lloyd, Every-day Japan, London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company Limited, 1909, p.281
  11. Karuizawa, c. 1920.Old Tokyo.com
  12. Davis, Tony (8 May 2015). "Nakasendo walking trail leads to the heart of old Japan – and bear country". The Australian Financial Review.
  13. Karuizawa climate data
  14. "Karuizawa Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved December 31, 2012.