The population in Karuizawa has exceeded 20,000 residents for the first time since it received a town status in 1923.
From the 1980s to 1990s, the town’s population hovered at around 15,000 residents, but began to grow again after the opening of the Nagano Shinkansen station shortened the trip to Tokyo to about 70 minutes. The town is estimating that the local population will reach 21,000 by 2022. The population in 1923 was 5,012 residents.
Along with new residents, a number of holiday home owners have changed their permanent address to Karuizawa.
Karuizawa is a popular tourist spot and vacation home area for both Japanese and foreign residents. It offers a cool escape from Tokyo during the summer months. Approximately 7.8 million tourists visit the area each year.
There has been speculation that Bill Gates is building a large vacation home in Karuizawa. View more here.
Some of the vacation homes you can find in Karuizawa:
Source: The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun, August 6, 2013.