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St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Ginza Street in Kyu-Karuizawa

I can’t reasonably explain my gentle affection for Karuizawa. The irrational wish to visit this small mountain resort town every year may be explained in different ways. Maybe its because I grew up in a similar sleepy town. Or maybe… I’m not trying to compare myself to John Lennon, but he also had a Japanese spouse and also loved Karuizawa. However, while the great musician mostly appreciated the place in summer, I prefer to visit in winter. We don’t own a holiday home, and don’t stop at high-end skiing resorts. Anyway, my husband says I’m not good at sports. Instead, we enjoy long walks and listening to the healing silence of mother nature!KaruizawaThis year the town wasn’t very cold and snowy. So, we went St. Paul’s Catholic Church, a sightseeing spot and a wedding facility in Kyu-Karuizawa (Old Karuizawa).KaruizawaActually, the whole town is a real paradise for brides and grooms, full of bridal salons, gorgeous wedding dresses, skillfull photographers and ceremony halls of various sizes. But that particular church is just a perfect place for a quiet yet stylish little wedding. I wish we have had ours there!KaruizawaJust in front of St. Paul’s Church there is a shopping street called “Church Street”.Karuizawa

This is the exit to the old town’s main street, called Karuizawa Ginza Shopping Street.Karuizawa

My version about the name of the street is simple: a cup of coffee a fancy shop is as pricey there as it is in Tokyo. Another thing that shocked us was this paid toilet, a rare sight in Japan.Karuizawa

Christmas was on its way, and the holiday atmosphere made our walk even merrier than it would normally be.KaruizawaUnfortunately, I was too lazy to read about Karuizawa Ginza Street in advance, so I didn’t take any pictures of the French Bakery. You know, the one where John and Yoko used to buy their baguettes back in the 1970s.


St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Ginza Street 

Address: Kyu-Karuizawa, Karuizawa, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
Telephone: 0267-42-2429
Opening hours: 9:30 am – 8 pm
Access: 10 min. walk Karuizawa Station
Official website (only in Japanese): http://www.karuizawa-stpaul.org/
Distance to airport: 189 km from Haneda Airport

Article by Olga Kaneda

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