Shigenoya: A Japanese Chaya Style Cafe That Sits on The Border of Two Different Prefectures

Chubu Food Gourmet 2019.11.16
There's this Chaya-cafe that we would like to talk about that sits on top of the border between Nagano Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture, not far from Karuizawa. This is a partition of two prefectures, but also a partition of the two regions of Japan, which is the Chubu region and the Kanto region. They are famous for their mochi rice cakes here and they have a great history.
  • The Karuizawa station


Karuizawa is a town in Nagano prefecture, only an hour away from Tokyo by the shinkansen.
A perfect destination for a day trip if you are staying in Tokyo.
There's the outlet, the town of Kyu-Karuizawa where you can see the old town of Karuizawa, you can ride a bicycle around there and get your shopping done on your way back home.

It is a great summer resort that's beautiful red in autumn and quiet in the beautiful white snow in the winter.

There are many small shops and restaurants to try around the area and there are nice locations for the fall foliage as well.
  • The autumn foliage at Kumobaike lake in Karuizawa.
If you are up to walking, it would be a great place for that as everything is not too far away from each other.

A walk from the station to the outlet is just a two-minute walk, from the station to the old Kyu-Karuizawa is a twenty-minute walk, which along the way you will see many small shops and restaurants. 

Especially during this autumn season, the temperature is not too high and you get to see a lot of the autumn colours along the way.
  • Try the cold noddles there with that comes with wild vegetables, grated yam, and mochi rice cakes inside.
    Feel the different textures inside your mouth and enjoy the flavours.
  • There's also the more simple option where you can enjoy the flavours of the soba noodles itself.
    Add some of the walnut sauce into the dipping sauce and you can enjoy the noodles with two different flavours.
  • Don't forget to try the mochi rice cakes there as well.
    They have few options for flavours so choose to your likings!
  • Take a walk up to the border between Nagano Prefecture and Gunma prefecture and find your self a wonderful treat.
    It would be a long walk, but if you enjoy the scenery, it would be a great walk.
    Of course, if you don't feel up to for that walk, you can always rent a car that will take you there in about 15 minutes, or rent a bicycle, some places have electronically assisted bikes as well.

    Look for Shigenoya【しげの屋:しげのや】.
    This is an old style Japanese cafe called a Chaya【茶屋:ちゃや】.
  • You can actually see the border between the two prefectures inside the cafe as well.
    That what makes this visit even more special.
So, take a trip to Karuizawa, make your day a wonderful day by traveling around in the autumn air.

Address: 2 Togemachi, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano 389-0101 (Map)
Open Hours: 10:00 - 16:00 Mon - Fri, 10:00 - 16:30 Sat - Sun
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