• Kuze Fuku & Co., Karuizawa Store

    written by Robert Japanese Gourmet Store Kuze Fuku & Co. is a rapidly growing producer of a variety of traditional and contemporary Japanese foods. Much of their products consist of bottled oils, dressings or sauces, as well as package dried ingredients for use in cooking at home. They also have rice, pickled vegetables, fish and more. Kuze Fuku also makes their own gelato in a variety of flavors to enjoy following your shopping experience. All other products can be safely wrapped as needed to stow in your checked luggage on your return. Be sure to confirm the expiration date to ensure what you’ve purchased will still be edible after your trip. Try their wakame soup! It is a dried soup mix requiring only boiled water. It’s delicious! Karuizawa Store  1178-232 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi (長野県北佐久郡軽井沢町軽井沢1178-232)  Summer Hours 9:00-21:00, Winter Hours 10:00-19:00  Tel (0267) …

    March 30, 2017

  • St. Cousair Winery, Karuizawa Store

    written by Robert St. Cousair Winery is a well-known local producer of fine wines, jams and sauces. Based in the present day town of Iizuna in northern Nagano Prefecture, St. Cousair also operates a network of shops that can currently be found in 27 prefectures nationwide. Their Karuizawa store is duty free and presents the customer with plentiful opportunities to taste test the varieties of wines, jams and other products available. Wines are produced entirely from domestically grown grapes, mainly from Nagano and Hokkaido. Grape varieties raised by St. Cousair in their orchards include Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. All products can be properly wrapped for safe stowing in your checked luggage for your return trip. St. Cousair Winery Karuizawa Store, 1178-232 Karuizawa Shopping Plaza New West, Karuizawa, Nagano Pref. (長野県北佐久郡軽井沢町軽井沢1178-232 軽井沢ショッピングプラザニューウェスト内)  Hours 10:00-19:00 (365 days/year)  …

    March 30, 2017

  • Three best Sakura spots in Nagano City

    written by Junko In Nagano City you can enjoy cherry blossoms from early April to early May. It’s not only watching Sakura but also visiting many historical places and beautiful mountains. Zenkoji Joyama Park 善光寺と城山公園の桜 : 30 mins walk from Nagano Sta. Matsushoro Castle 松代城址の桜 : 30mins by bus from Nagano Sta. Togakushi Oooyama Sakura 戸隠キャンプ場大山桜 : 70 mins by bus from Nagano Sta. then 15 mins walk

    March 28, 2017

  • Togakushi, a Mysterious Power Spot with Ninja

    written by Robert, photos by Junko The Togakure-ryu Ninja hail from the Togakushi mountains, in Nagano Prefecture. Today, you can meet real Ninjas, if you are lucky. Togakushi’s most visited shinto shrine, Okusha, is known as a “power spot”. The local people go to Okusha Shrine when they have to make important decisions in their lives. When visiting the shrine, once off the bus, head downhill from the road and you will see the torii gate which marks the start of the straight walking path to the shrine. Though it is a 2 km walk to Okusha shrine, it is at the halfway point that you will see the real reason for visiting this place. Here the walk is lined with dozens of 400-year-old cedar trees, with a single thatch roof gateway spanning the road. Standing among these majestic trees, …

    March 26, 2017

  • Matsumoto Castle in cherry bloom soon!

    written by Junko The cherry flowers are blooming in April 10-20 this year. Matsumoto Castle is one of the five castles designated as ‘National Treasures of Japan’ and the oldest castle donjon remaining in Japan. Nawate-Dori is the best shopping street along the Metoba River. Matsumoto Castle Entrance Hours :8:30-17:00 (Last Entrance 16:30) Date(s) :Closed from 29 Dec. to 31 Dec. Otherwise, open daily. Price :Entrance to castle and inner grounds, 610 yen per adult, 300 yen for middle and elementary school students. Group discounts available. See google map

    March 26, 2017

  • Karuizawa’s Popular ‘SAWAYA’ Jam, Since 1952

    written by Junko   Once you’ve tried SAWAYA strawberry jam, you can’t stop.  It’s as flavorful as freshly picked berries.   All products are made by locally-grown fruits.  SAWAYA started the factory in 1952 in Karuizawa which is a famous resort area among westerners. It takes just one hour from Tokyo by Shinkansen.  http://www.sawaya-jam.com/index.html   SAWAYA operates five shops and a factory in Karuizawa area, and one shop in Nagano Station. All locations provide tax-free shopping. The photos are taken at the shopping mall adjacent to Nagano Station. NAGANO MIDORI 長野市南千歳1-22-6 MIDORI長野店2F    TEL 026-219-6140 Open 9:00〜20:00     Karuizawa BYPASS 軽井沢バイパス店 〒389-0111 長野県北佐久郡軽井沢町塩沢702 TEL 0267-46-2400/FAX 0267-46-2404 営業時間 9:00~18:00(longer in the summer) Post-town Karuizawa/ Tea room 旧軽井沢店/喫茶サロン 〒389-0102 長野県北佐久郡軽井沢町軽井沢746-1 TEL・FAX 0267-42-8411 Open 9:00~18:00(longer in the summer) Post-town Karuizawa Rotary 旧軽ロータリー店 〒389-0102 長野県北佐久郡軽井沢町軽井沢811-2 TEL・FAX 0267-42-0050 Open 9:00~18:00(longer in the summer) New Karuizawa 新軽井沢店 〒389-0104 長野県北佐久郡軽井沢町軽井沢東1178 …

    March 26, 2017

  • 100,000 apricot trees are blooming soon!

    written by Junko Apricot Blossom Festival in Mori, Chikuma City   Here you see 100,000 blooming trees at a single glance. It’s am amazing sight in early April. This year the festival will be on the 1st -16th of April. Shuttle bus from Yashiro Station (Shinano railway)to Mori(Anzu no Sato); costs 200yen for adult, 100yen for children. See google map

    March 25, 2017

  • Nagano’s Premier Sake at Cella MASUMI

    written by Tyler Masumi, located near the shores of Lake Suwa, is arguably Nagano Prefecture’s most famous sake.  The elegant shop adjacent to their brewery is great way to introduce yourself to the world of Japanese rice wine, as well as purchase some Tax-Free to take back with you. Cella MASUMI (セラ マスミ) 1-16 Motomachi, Suwa City, Nagano Pref. 392-8686 (諏訪市元町1-16) Tel:+81(0)266-52-6161 More info from Unique Nagano Masumi’s Official Site.

    March 18, 2017

  • Original “American Casual” Fashion at Dessert Hill’s Market

    written by Tyler Desset Hill’s Market features “American Casual” fashion designed in Nagano by The Flat Head and made by skilled Japanese craftsmen with sturdy Japanese materials in Kojima, Japan’s denim Mecca.  Adored by celebrities, The Flat Head jeans, t-shirts, leather goods, etc. are available here Tax-Free! Dessert Hill’s Market Nagano (デザートヒルズマーケット長野店) 572-2 Azafukuouji Komori, Shinonoi, Nagano City 388-8003  (長野県長野市篠ノ井小森字福王子572-2) Tel:026-292-0101 Official Webite  

    March 17, 2017

  • Meet HOKUSAI in Obuse Town!

    written by Junko Hokusaikan : 北斎館 The spring Hokusai special exhibition will be held during April 8th and June 25th. Connecting the British Museum Exhibition, it will be focused on “Japan and Britain”.   Katsushika Hokusai is arguably the most famous ‘ukiyoe’ wood block print artist. Towards the end of his 7 decades of print-making, when he was in his 80s he spent time living in Obuse, the quaint town northeast of Nagano City known for chestnuts (kuri). Here he created some of his greatest works, many of which are exhibited at this museum dedicated to him. The collection includes 4 paintings he inscribed on the ceilings of some of the neighborhood parade floats, the Dragon and Phoenix of the Higashimachi floats, and the Onami (masculine wave) and Menami (feminine wave) of Kanmachi floats. The museum was renovated and reopened April, …

    March 12, 2017