Get your koyo groove on with six weeks of awesome autumnal foliage and a shedload of great local deals in Karuizawa, Nagano. The Karuizawa Momiji Festival began on 23 September but fear not! It goes on until 5 November, and all that time the town of Karuizawa goes all out to ensure that you can feed your eyes and your soul on some of the best momiji Japan has to offer.
By buying a “Sawayaka Karuizawa Campaign” pass at the tourist offices at Karuizawa Station, Nakakurosawa Station or the Karuizawa sightseeing hall, you open up opportunities to get discounts on local minshuku accommodation, museum admittance (and Karuizawa has four art museums, the Le Vin Museum, and a toy museum, as well as an old-town, so even if you or the one you’re with couldn’t care less about the fiery mantle of maple-leaves blanketing the mountains, there’s still something to do), and several other local attractions.
Also available through several participating local cab companies is a three-hour foliage-viewing tour (for ¥18,000) that takes you out of town to the Takahara Temple, Shiraito Falls, and up into the hills. If that doesn’t do it for you, there is also this tour of Karuizawa’s historical sites and viewing spots.
And if you can’t get to Nagano, check out these places for your fill of fall instead.