Karuizawa Kogen Church is a 5-minute-drive north along Route 146, from Naka-Karuizawa Station on the Shinano Tetsudo (Line). The church, surrounded by beautiful greenery, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Karuizawa. But it was not a church at the beginning. In 1921, Christian evangelist, Uchimura Kanzo (1861-1930) named a small lecture hall “Hoshino Yugaku-do” as a place of learning and enjoyment. A lot of highly educated people gathered here and had passionate talks about art and literature. After WWII, the lecture hall changed its name to Karuizawa Kogen Church. Today, it is not only a place for worship, but also a place where concerts and weddings are held. Hoshino Hot Springs, Wild Bird Sanctuary, and other activities are nearby.
Many couples marry in this church during holidays. When I was here, a minister was talking to the bride in her wedding dress in front of the church door. The scene took place in the midst of beautiful fresh greenery. Parents and friends were waiting for her appearance patiently inside the door.
Series: Beautiful churches in Naka-Karuizawa
- Karuizawa Kogen Church
- Karuizawa Stone Church
Was this article helpful?
Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS: An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here. 日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。