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Photo By: PIXTA/ denkei
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Nagano
Population
2,214,409

Kumobaike Pond

Kumobaike Pond is a must for tourists all year round.

By Elizabeth Sok

Only 20 minutes by foot from JR Hokuriku Shinkansen’s Karuizawa station, Kumobaike Pond is a must for tourists all year round. Sometimes called Swan Lake by locals for the swans that visit the area in winter, this pond is a lovely spot for birdwatching due to the many wild birds that call the area home. At approximately one kilometer, the path around the pond will take you about 20 minutes to complete a stroll.

Regardless of the season, you’ll be able to take advantage of the benches along the shore to take in the natural beauty the site has to offer. Each time of year presents a different landscape for visitors from the bare trees of the winter months to the darkest greens of summer punctuated with colorful blooms.

Warm Weather Views

Kumobaike Pond

Photo by: PIXTA/ denkei Spring’s milder temperature makes for a comfortable time to explore the surrounding area.

Spring and summer offer beautiful sights of the lake. Although there is only a solitary cherry tree, it is nevertheless a stunning one that stands with pink blooms against the resplendent light green forest of trees that characterize the pond in the springtime. Also, listen for the gentle songs of the many wild birds, such as ducks, in the area. Spring’s milder temperature makes for a comfortable time to explore the lovely plant life and flora of the pond, including delicate low-lying Japanese violets and indigenous doudan tsutsuji, a shrub with hanging white bell-shaped flowers.

Summer’s foliage is a deeper green, which contrasts with the blue water. The mountain hydrangeas and spotted bellflowers of early summer make way for the mountain lilies and bright purple thistles of later summer. Walking along the winding forest paths and in and out of tunnels of trees, you can enjoy a cooler moment in the unwavering heat of Japan’s summers.

Autumn and Winter Scenery

Kumobaike Pond

Photo by: PIXTA/二匹の魚 Don’t forget to snap a photo of the the red Japanese maples reflected on the lake’s water.

Kumobaike Pond is best known for its vibrant autumn foliage, especially the red Japanese maples reflected on the lake’s water. The leaves are at peak from late October to early November so this is the best time to make your way to Karuizawa if you don’t mind the crowds.

Although less popular, winter is also a beautiful season at the pond. As the trees surrounding the water get adorned with frost and snow, they are reflected in the still deep blue pond, creating a seemingly never-ending expanse of icy beauty. Whatever season you visit Kumobaike Pond, you will surely appreciate its natural splendor.

Things To Know

Hours and fees

The pond is always open and admission is free.

How To Get There

Address

By train

The site is about a 20-minute walk from Karuizawa station

By car

From the Joshin-Etsu Expressway, take the Usui-Karuizawa IC. Follow the signs for the pond and arrive in about 30 minutes.

Where To Stay

Karuizawa Pension Sato no Nukumori
  • 1323-283 Karuizawa (Oaza), Kitasaku-gun Karuizawa-machi, Nagano, 389-0102 Japan
  • ¥16,524 - ¥21,870
  • 4.21/5 (277 reviews)
  • 0.6 km
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo Curio Collection by Hilton
  • 491-5 Karuizawa (Oaza), Kitasaku-gun Karuizawa-machi, Nagano, 389-0102 Japan
  • ¥50,305 - ¥271,596
  • 4.45/5 (111 reviews)
  • 0.7 km
The Gran Resort Elegante Karuizawa
  • 288 Karuizawahigashi, Kitasaku-gun Karuizawa-machi, Nagano, 389-0104 Japan
  • ¥12,018 - ¥25,080
  • 3.94/5 (78 reviews)
  • 0.7 km
Le Grand Kyu Karuizawa (Granbell Hotels & Resorts)
  • 469-4 Karuizawa (Oaza), Kitasaku-gun Karuizawa-machi, Nagano, 389-0102 Japan
  • ¥42,800 - ¥226,300
  • 4.48/5 (348 reviews)
  • 0.7 km
Hotel Cypress Karuizawa
  • 287-1 Karuizawahigashi, Kitasaku-gun Karuizawa-machi, Nagano, 389-0104 Japan
  • ¥17,000 - ¥50,000
  • 4.29/5 (1,536 reviews)
  • 0.7 km

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