Karuizawa, about 3 hours drive from Tokyo, is a well-known summer vacation spot. But what many people (even Japanese people) don't know is that it is actually a great spot for Christmas as well!

Karuizawa is also home to a very romantic Christmas illumination, which might make you want to visit the place in winter even more!

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Karuizawa was originally developed by missionaries around 100 years ago, and it still has strong ties with Christianity. Therefore, you can sense some Christian influences in the town.

Harunire Terrace, for instance, is like a Christmas market:

A 10-meter tall Christmas tree:

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And a delta-roofed Karuizawa Kogen Church:

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In front of the church lay about 2000 candles. These light gently illuminates the church at night.

Cap it with snow, then the view is absolutely amazing!

We think going to Karuizawa is a great way to get into Christmas spirit in Japan. And now we have the Hokuriku Shinkansen, Karuizawa is only 1 hour and 10 minutes from Tokyo.

Just remember that the temperature easily goes sub zero from December, so don't forget to dress warm!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.