Translated by Jay Issei Karslake
Karuizawa's Scenic Nature Spots - Shiraito Falls And Kumoba Pond
Written by MATCHA
Karuizawa in Nagano prefecture has long been a popular holiday resort town and a breezy place to escape the summer heat. This article introduces two of Karuizawa's scenic spots - the Shiraito Falls and Kumoba Pond.
Karuizawa is a region in the center of Nagano prefecture and is famous its beautiful rich nature. It's in a highly elevated place making it extremely breezy. Many people come here especially during the summer to escape the heat.
Karuizawa has many spots where you can enjoy the views, but we especially recommend the places where you can see beautiful scenery while feeling the nature. This time we're introducing to you Karuizawa's scenic spots - Shiraito Falls and Kumoba Pond.
If you're going to Karuizawa from Tokyo, check out this article also: Sightsee On The Way - Rest Stops Between Tokyo and Karuizawa.
Feel the Power of Nature at the Shiraito Waterfall
Shiraito Falls is found deep in the mountains of Karuizawa. Many travelers from within Japan and from abroad gather here to see this beautiful scenery.
The Shiraito waterfall is 3 meters high and 70 meters wide - its charm is found in its width. It's believed that it got its name because it looks like a curtain made of white strings. ("Shiraito" means "white string" or "white thread" in Japanese). The force of the water from the waterfall hitting the bare rock is impressive.
On a stone near the waterfall there is an explanation regarding this place written in Japanese, English, Korean, simple Chinese, and traditional Chinese. It's a sightseeing spot where many travelers from abroad visit too.
How to Get to Shiraito Waterfall
The Shiraito Falls is on the route through the Shiraito Highland Way, a toll highway. To enter you need a car (400 yen) or take a bus (710 yen one way) that departs from Karuizawa station. For more information take a look at the Shiraito Highland Way website: Shiraito Highland Way (Japanese).
This time we're heading there by car. We are surrounded by trees in all directions. It's a beautiful, nature-filled road.
After paying the entree fee at the toll booth, you can use the Shiraito Highland Way. It's a road with going up and down, so if you're driving please be careful.
As you get closer to Shiraito waterfall there are shops where you can enjoy a light meal, as well as a free parking lot for people coming to see the falls. The Shiraito waterfall is a 150-meter walk from here. Let's move on while taking in the beauty of the surrounding scenery.
The mountain road isn't too challenging. You can feel at ease walking uphill and enjoying the beautiful sights of nature around you.
The Soothing, Gentle Space around Kumoba Pond
Kumoba Pond is a scenic place near Karuizawa Station, where the reflection of the green trees in the gentle water surface creates a wonderful, must-see scenery.
Depending on the angle you look from, the green reflecting in the lake changes. The surrounding area is a promenade, so you can enjoy the scenery from various angles.
It's about a 20-minute walk from JR Karuizawa station to Kumoba Pond. It's a little bit away from the main street, so it's perfect for slow relaxing walks while looking around the Karuizawa's residential areas.
If you're coming by car, there is a toll parking lot 80 meters away from Kumoba Pond. It costs 500 yen to use.
How to Get to Karuizawa from Tokyo?
There are 3 ways to get to Karuizawa from Tokyo. You can rent a car, take a bullet train, or take the highway bus.
If You're Going by Rental Car
Nippon Rent-a-Car Asakusa TX Store
It's convenient to use the highways if you're coming from the Tokyo direction. It's recommended to use a rental car. The highway fees are in the 6,000 yen range and if you travel along with other people, there's the added appeal that each person pays a lesser amount. Including the time for breaks, it will take around 3 hours to get to Karuizawa.
After getting off on a general road at Usui Karuizawa interchange, it's 20 minutes to Karuizawa. If you have a car, it's convenient to go around and see Karuizawa's sightseeing spots too.
For more information please take a look at this article, Sightsee On The Way - Rest Stops Between Tokyo and Karuizawa.
If You're Going by Shinkansen
If you're going by train from the Tokyo direction, we recommend using the Hokuriku shinkansen. It's the fastest way to get to Karuizawa from Tokyo.
The fee for taking the Hokuriku bullet train from Tokyo to Karuizawa is in the 6,000 yen range. It takes around an hour and 10 minutes. Get off when you reach the JR Karuizawa station.
If You're Going by Highway Bus
The are highway buses running from Tokyo to Karuizawa. Their appealing point is their affordability. It costs between 1,000 yen and 3,000 yen one way, making it a very reasonable price.
The ride to Karuizawa takes about three and a half hours including the time for bathrooms breaks. There are early morning buses, so it's possible to get to Karuizawa before noon.
Shiraito Falls and Kumoba Pond are just two of Karuizawa's sightseeing spots. There is much more to see in the area! When coming to Karuizawa, choose your preferred means of transportation.