In truth, we spent a few days in Kita (north) Karuizawa, which was actually in Gunma prefecture, unlike the rest of the town, which lies in Nagano.
Either way, it was all beautiful and at even one hour from Omiya station on the Shinkansen, the air was so much crisper and Autumn had already passed us by. At ground level there were still some leaves of red, yellow and brown, but we didn't stay so low for long.
Our coach transported us to the north of the town, up the mountainous roads that always curve so fast and so dangerously - yes, we were heading to where Autumn had passed; the leaves were on the ground and snow was in yonder distance on the big Mount Asama.
We had read reviews of people's thoughts on the hotels they had stayed in - many were complaints of there being nothing to do! This made us laugh as this was the very reason we were headed to the forests of the 'Zawa!
If you look carefully, you can see the Ferris wheel from The Toy Kingdom (Omochiya Ookoku). This is a great place to bring kids and have a bit of adventure! You can even decorate your own mugs and keyrings and the like. A little memento of the occasion!
Typical souvenirs of the Shinshu region, where Nagano sits are the delicious apples! I would whole heartedly recommend you try them as they are crisper and fresher than any other!!