I always want to go to Karuizawa have a look at that famous church (Kogen Church), so we did a one day trip couple weeks ago. And it shows one day is not enough for people who want to discover lots of special places. So I definitely will go back there. Lobe Karuizawa and Nagao There are so many unique architecture buildings hiding in the city.
We decided to get off highway little bit earlier so we can see different towns and places. We saw so many abandoned Pachincos, restaurants etc. Feel sad for that small town that away from popular cities in Japan. If you like driving there a crazy mountain road that has about 183 curves from Gunma to Nagano. You can experience it if you driving on the normal road, also there is an abandoned train station in the middle of that mountain road.
It is called Kumanotaira Station. It had opened at 1893 until 1997. If you are a fan of trains or railway, they this one you definitely should visit. Seems like I have a sense of abandoned places every time during my trip to somewhere, which is good because you will see lots of historical place and things that left from an old time.
I have some issues with a closed area such as trains etc, so I prefer to travel by car. We left Tokyo around 8:30, took the highway from outside Tokyo to Karuizawa. I think it took us around 3 hours including rest in the rest stop. This time we had our lunch at Takasaka SA, I had a famous miso fried pork rice, but my Nagoya friend that is not as real one as Nagoya's miso fried pork rice. XD.
Then we drive to the Kogen church for a sightseeing. There are lots of tourists and people who planning to have a wedding there checking the church. I love all the modern buildings/churches that around Nagano area. Sadly we don't have enough time last time. I will do more research about those special architectures in Nagano and Karuizawa for my next trip there maybe this spring or autumn.
So far I might say Karuizawa, Nagano area is one of my favourite city in Japan. I like how it still keep original Japanese style, at the main time combine modern architechtures etc.