A waterfall in Karuizawa

When it’s ridiculously hot outside and there’s no pandemic raging, many Japanese like to escape into the mountains or up north. A popular getaway spot is Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture.

To me, the place feels like a charming rustic area with log cabins, an old-fashioned-but-sophisticated downtown area and some truly nice hotels. Nature is everywhere, and so are photo opportunities.

Above all, it’s cool there in the summer. When you live where it’s 75 percent humidity and 35 C all day long, finding anywhere that’s even just a little bit cooler is a welcome reprieve.

Karuizawa seems like an ideal spot for camping, too, and I hope one day we can actually try it out there.